Event, Literary, Long Island City
Apr 04, 2016

Let’s All Go To The Q-Boro Lit Crawl

Enjoy an evening of readings throughout LIC’s Vernon Jackson section during the Q-Boro Lit Crawl. Food and drink specials, too!

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This Thursday evening, head to LIC for the inaugural Q-Boro Lit Crawl! This fantastic literary event, which is also a fundraiser for this summer’s Queens Book Festival (all ticket proceeds go to the Festival), features several hours of readings at all sorts of locations throughout the Vernon-Jackson section of LIC, as well as food and drink specials at local cafes, restaurants, and bars.

Johanne Civil, the Queens Book Festival’s Executive Director, told me the Lit Crawl’s genesis story:

“We started off trying to find a fundraiser [for the Queens Book Festival] that would be fun—not only fun, but also more for the adult community in the neighborhood. Our focus with children in the neighborhood is on literacy, but at the same time their parents have been reaching out, asking us if there is anything we have for them. So after doing more research, we found a group of people who put together a program called Beast Crawl and after doing the research on Beast Crawl we found out about Litquake, and after contacting them we found out they help organize lit crawls.”

As for why they decided to have the Q-Boro Lit Crawl in LIC, Johanne explains, “First, it’s because of the environment—the nightlife, the ambiance—we knew it would be a perfect fit. We want to encourage adults of all ages to come out and have a good night—one that’s wholesome in a way, but at the same time something that anybody would really want to come to.”

Johanne reveals additional reasons they decided to create the Lit Crawl—to help build familiarity with the literary scene in Queens. “It’s a wonderful way for you to get to know the writers in the community” she says. “There are a lot of writers that reside right there in LIC, and there’s a reading series in LIC that a lot of people don’t know about. There are also other people outside the community that have started to become part of the Queens literary series, too. Some of our curators are from Brooklyn, the Bronx; we have curators from everywhere.”

The event, which starts at 6:30pm (readings will begin at 7pm), features a diverse group of talented writers and poets based in Queens and neighboring boroughs. The night is divided into four one-hour legs with breaks in between (schedule is here). “Between each leg is a 20 minute break, so that you can gather yourself after whatever emotional thing you’ve gone through after hearing the poetry,” Johanne says. “Or you can stay at whatever venue you decide to go to.” Going to multiple locations is also an option.

There’s also an after-party planned, to continue the fun post-midnight. “The after-party is a chance to honor all the curators who have participated with this, because nobody is getting paid—everybody is volunteering their time.”

Venues for the Lit Crawl include Re • Pub • LIC, PJ Leahy’s, Dominie’s Hoek, L’Inizio, Gantry Bar & Kitchen, Manducatis Rustica, Corner Bistro, Junior’s Cafe, The Standing Room, Tutti Matti, sLICe, and super friend to the Queens literary community, LIC Bar (they’ll be doing trivia that night). The Lit Crawl’s curators are all very experienced in bringing writers and poets together, and include the LIC Reading Series, Bronx Writers Center, South Side Laureates, and more—see the full lineup here. Participating readers can be seen on the Lit Crawl’s homepage (NB: as of this writing, there’s an autoplay video happening).

In case you’re wondering, this event is not really a good fit for kids, according to Johanne. “It’s super late in the evening, and there will be adult language. We’re trying to work with the company possibly for next year to have a strictly teen/kids venue, but that’s something in the future. But right now we want to reach out to the adults.”

Johanne and the rest of the Queens Book Festival staff are really looking forward to sharing this Lit Crawl with the community and are eager to see all the people in attendance. “We would love to see everybody out there,” she says. “We made the tickets affordable for just about anyone who would like to partake. We want to see people come out and not only support us and the festival but support the businesses—some are brand new, and a lot of people don’t know about them. You get to sample their food and get to know the staff that works there.”

You can buy your tickets here, which range from $10 for just the Lit Crawl to $25 for just the after-party; $40 gets you into both.

The possibility for an engaging, enjoyable, and affordable evening is real—”If you come out with $20 you get a chance to see everything you want to see, and also eat a little something somewhere.”

Q-Boro Lit Crawl
Thursday, April 7, 6:30pm
Various locations, Vernon-Jackson section of LIC
Tickets
Lit Crawl Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
The Queens Book Festival will be at Citi Field on August 7, 2016.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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