ThinkOlio Presents: Free as Gods: Picasso, Calder and Artists at Home in the Theater

Friday, July 7 at 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

The Strand Bookstore
828 Broadway (& 12th Street)
New York, NY 10003

More than just stars on the art scene, Picasso and Calder took center stage in the world of theater. In 1917 Picasso fell in love with a ballerina in the Ballets Russes while creating scenery and costumes for his collaboration with Satie on the pathbreaking dance work, Parade. His stage designs changed the course of his painting. Alexander Calder, who has a major show at the Whitney this summer, created his famous Circus as well as the set for Satie’s opera Socrate and many other theater works.

Cultural historian Charles A. Riley II, author of Free as Gods, will share the backstage secrets of Picasso, Calder, Leger, Chagall, Hockney, Kentridge, and many other contemporary artists who have found a home in the theater.

Admission is $20. Reserve your seat online.

Columbus: Koi A Modern Folktale

Tuesday, July 11 at 7:00 pm

Book Culture
450 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10024

Harper’s Magazine present  Koi: A Modern Folktale by Margery Gray Harnick, Matt Harnick, and Sheldon Harnick.

Koi are unusually beautiful creatures. Perhaps because of their unusual beauty, koi have inspired a variety of legends. The recurrent theme in these legends is that koi, because of their endurance and perseverance, have become symbolic of overcoming adversity and fulfilling one’s destiny. In one of the more celebrated versions of this legend, koi are rewarded for their endurance and perseverance by being transformed into dragon fish.

In their book Koi, Margery and Sheldon Harnick have created their own version of this legend in photographs and verses. In their version, koi are rewarded for a reason other than endurance and perseverance. Though the years, the gods have noted how much pleasure men and women have derived simply from observing the prismatic beauty of the koi. For this gift to mankind, the gods decided to transform the most beautiful koi into majestic and powerful dragons.

Admission is free. A copy of Koi: A Modern Folktale is $24.95.

Brian Platzer & Jodi Kantor: Bed-Stuy is Burning

Tuesday, July 11 at 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

The Strand Bookstore
828 Broadway (& 12th Street)
New York, NY 10003

With “the mordant wit of Franzen, the dazzling smarts of Roth, and the compassion of Tolstoy” (Rafael Yglesias, author of A Happy Marriage), and which Alice McDermott called a millennial Bonfire of the Vanities, author Brian Platzer has penned an intimately relatable tale about a changing neighborhood and its residents.

His book follows Aaron, a rabbi turned banker, his journalist girlfriend, and their newborn live in the diverse and turbulent Bedford-Stuyvesant as it undergoes the process of gentrification. As more members of the upper-class move into the area the tension rises until a cop shoots a boy. Then the riots begin and Aaron is stuck in the middle.

Bed-Stuy Is Burning offers a look into a collection of complex lives and examines the most pressing issues of our time.

Admission is $15. Admission plus a signed copy of Bed-Stuy Is Burning is $26.

Book Launch: Reckless Years: A Diary of Love and Madness by Heather Chaplin

Wednesday Jul 12 at 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

POWERHOUSE @ the Archway
28 Adams Street (Corner of Adams & Water Street @ the Archway)
Brooklyn , NY 11201

Trapped in a dissatisfying marriage for nearly a decade, New York journalist Heather Chaplin finally summons the courage to leave. On her own, she finds herself intoxicatingly free, pursuing adventure, and juggling romance on two continents in multiple cities. She contemplates the meaning of life; she falls for a handsome Irishman.

But as the adventures progress, Chaplin’s own reckless choices send her spiraling downward—and toward a reckoning she’s avoided all her life. Pulled from Chaplin’s own diaries, Reckless Years is a raw, propulsive debut: unfailingly profound and impossible to put down.

In this page-turning memoir, a woman tries to reinvent her life after divorce and discovers that sometimes finding yourself is not all it’s cracked up to be. About the Book: Trapped in a dissatisfying marriage for nearly a decade, New York journalist Heather Chaplin finally summons the courage to leave. On her own, she finds herself intoxicatingly free, pursuing adventure, and juggling romance on two continents in multiple cities. She contemplates the meaning of life; she falls for a handsome Irishman. But as the adventures progress, Chaplin’s own reckless choices send her spiraling downward—and toward a reckoning she’s avoided all her life. Pulled from Chaplin’s own diaries, Reckless Years is a raw, propulsive debut: unfailingly profound and impossible to put down.

Admission is free. RSVP is appreciated. RSVP here.

Poetry reading with Susan Lewis and Sharon Mesmer

Thursday, June 29 at 5:30 pm

Muhlenberg Library
209 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011

Susan Lewis and Sharon Mesmer will present their poetry at the Muhlenberg Library.

Susan Lewis is the publisher and editor of Posit. Her most recent book, Heisenberg’s Salon, was just published by BlazeVOX Books. She is the author of eight other books and chapbooks, including This Visit, How to be Another, and State of the Union. Her poetry has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes and appeared in a great number of anthologies and journals, including The AwlBerkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, The Journal, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, Verse, Verse Daily, and VOLT.

Sharon Mesmer is a multi-genre writer  poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and reviews  and professor of creative writing (poetry and fiction) in the undergraduate and MFA programs of New York University and the New School. Her 2015 poetry collection, Greetings From My Girlie Leisure Place from Bloof Books, was one of Entropy’s Best Poetry Collections of 2015. Her two fiction collections — The Empty Quarter and In Ordinary Time, both from Hanging Loose Press — were published in French translation by Hachette in 2005 as Ma Vie à Yonago. She was a member of the flarf collective and a Nuyorican slam semi-finalist. Her awards include a Fulbright Specialist grant, two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, a Jerome Foundation mentoring award, and a MacArthur Scholarship, given through the Brooklyn College MFA program through nomination by Allen Ginsberg.

Admission is free.

Book Talk: The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back

Thursday, June 29 at 6:30 pm

Brooklyn Historical Society
Great Hall
128 Pierrepont St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

For decades Brooklyn was synonymous with grit and struggle, yet today the borough is a hub of hipsters, booming startups, and massive new developments across many neighborhoods. Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal, Kay Hymowitz, examines this seeming Renaissance of Brooklyn’s ever-changing landscape through seven neighborhoods: Park Slope, Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brownsville, Sunset Park, and Canarsie. In this exploration, Hymowitz looks at the successes of black and white middle classes, local policies, and small businesses, while assessing the challenges left for recent immigrants and other diverse communities trying to thrive.

Admission is $5. Reserve your tickets online.

ThinkOlio Presents: The Woman Question

Friday, June 30 at 7:00 pm

The Strand Bookstore
828 Broadway (& 12th Street)
New York, NY 10003

From the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, scholars, doctors, religious leaders, and politicians were vexed by the “The Woman Question.” Inspired by the democratic revolutions of the late eighteenth century, fueled by market capitalism, and later fostered by the reform efforts of the Victorian bourgeoisie, the woman question actually posed the inquiry: What are women good for?

Please join us for a much needed discussion on the history of women’s suffrage in America. Let’s look squarely at the achievements of the past generations without shying away from the explicit racism and classism imbedded within the movement. Let’s learn from their successes and their failures, too. And, finally, let’s gather together and consider the psychic and social ramifications of being a question.

Nina Simone covers by South African jazz vocalist, Vuyo (Vuyolwethu) Sotashe and the exquisite jazz pianist Fima Chupakhin to follow this Olio!

Jamie Warren has a Ph.D. in American History from Indiana University, and she is an Assistant Professor at BMCC-CUNY where she teaches American history, the history of women and gender, and women’s studies. Her research focuses on slavery in antebellum South with a particular focus on death, the body, and the philosophy of history.

Admission is $20. Reserve your tickets online.