"Memory of Everything at Once is Fiction": a Workshop on Innovative Prose led by Geoffrey Olsen

"Memory of Everything at Once is Fiction": a Workshop on Innovative Prose

SUNDAYS 4/23/17 - 5/28/17 11:30am-1:30pm

Taking as a starting point the novels of two poets—Fish in Exile (Vi Khi Nao) and Dahlia's Iris (Leslie Scalapino)—this workshop led by poet Geoffrey Olsen will investigate the possibilities of innovative prose and the lyric novel, moving towards questions of how these forms articulate inner experience in the social world. We will approach questions these authors bring up within these works regarding the US as “occupied by ‘itself’” (Scalapino). How do these books use form to encounter and trouble borders of nationhood and citizenship? Where does language meet solitude, pain and mourning? How do these books challenge conventions of “the novel” to critique social relations and histories of violence? Spurred on by these discussion, we will work towards our own writing into the overlaps of poetry and novel.

The workshop will start on Sunday, April 23 from 11:30am - 1:30pm at Berl's Poetry Shop in Brooklyn, and continue for the next five Sundays. There’s no fee, but participant need to purchase the books, which will be available from Berl’s.

If you are interested in participating, email olsen.geoffrey@gmail.com.

Poetry Chicken Live!

As part of her work on Berl's social media, Carolyn Newmark has brought to Berl's instagram feed the charming adventures of Poetry Chicken. 

On November 15, 2014, Poetry Chicken performed with Carolyn at a reading sponsored by Mr. Hip Presents at Poets House in New York. Here is video footage from the reading:


Paige Taggart Interviews Berl's!

Never before heard interview with Farrah and Jared conducted by poet Paige Taggart... three months after first opening at the Brooklyn Flea! A sunny Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg, June 19, 2011. Full of inside scoop on the genesis of the shop.

Paige Taggart poses with Sampson Starkweather at Berl's

Paige Taggart poses with Sampson Starkweather at Berl's

Book Covers Live

Here's a compilation from our time at the Brooklyn Flea. On slower days at the market we entertained ourselves with macro book photography and with our favorite game, re-enacting book covers live with found materials. We encourage you to send us images of your own efforts -- we'll be posting some more here soon! For now, please enjoy this gallery.

Leslie Flint presents...

Shortly after our opening, poet Joseph Bradshaw conceived a monthly reading series here at Berl's involving a single writer holding court for the entire evening. A combination reading/lecture/performance, the event has been named in honor of the twentieth-century British spiritualist Leslie Flint, who claimed to hear the voices of the dead.

Voices of the living in this monthly feature have included Christian Hawkey, Thom Donovan, Elizabeth Swados, Robert Kocik, Jane Gregory, David Abel and many others. Joseph recently moved to New Orleans and we look forward to the series continuing this fall hosted by fellow poet Jamie Townsend.

Two Heads presents...

Since last September, poet Nada Gordon has been hosting readings at Berl's on the first Friday of every month under the moniker "Two Heads Presents." The series features two readers, artists or performers with a shared creative history -- sometimes as collaborators or even partners in marriage -- presenting work together and sparking off each other. The night has included art, music, theatrical performance, and more. Always, Nada opens the night with playing the same musical introduction, a master class in joyous (self) collaboration that transcends the erotic, the romantic or the competitive:


Handmade at Berl's

At Berl's we have pursued many projects in the spirit of independent artisanal craftsmanship: for instance, handprinting our business cards, designing our own carved wooden bookstands, and building own custom shelving by hand out of repurposed Ikea attic shelf brackets to create our unique front-facing displays. Here is a gallery of photographs representing various projects we've pursued over the years, including knitting, felting, printmaking, sewing, silkscreening, and more.

Reading PARTYKNIFE at the Brooklyn Flea

One weekend in April 2012, we started asking passersby and assorted acquaintances at the Brooklyn Flea to read excerpts from PARTYKNIFE, the first book by Brooklyn poet Dan Magers, then hot off the presses from Birds, LLC. Here are some highlights from this little impromptu enterprise!

Poetry Shots at Dumbo First Thursday

During the Dumbo Art Walk on Thursday August 7th, we gave out Poetry Shots. Expertly "mixed" by Carolyn Newmark, each shot contained not alcohol but rather a quotation from one of the many poets who have read here!  What a fun night!