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Inaugural Lit Crawl Combines Readings And Bar Specials Along Vernon Blvd


April 1, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge

Bookworms and bar-goers can gather on Vernon Boulevard next Thursday for a new nighttime literary event.

The inaugural Q-Boro Lit Crawl will kick off April 7 at 6:30 p.m., with readings and poetry performances scheduled at a dozen local venues, and food and drink specials to accompany them.

All proceeds will go toward the production of the Queens Book Festival, a free literary gathering at Citi Field in August.

While the Festival has a mission of increasing literacy among children, QBF Director Johanne Civil said that the Lit Crawl aims to engage adults.

“They are the inspiration for these kids. They are the parents of these children,” Civil said. “[With the Lit Crawl] we can give them something to build upon for the festival.”

The event is organized into three “legs” of roughly an hour each and a fourth after party leg, with multiple readings happening at different venues simultaneously. Participants can hear about half a dozen performances at one venue during a leg, and then will have 20 minutes to switch venues between each leg.

Venues include L’inizio, L.I.C. Bar, the Standing Room and P. J. Leahy’s.

“It’s like a bar crawl. You get a chance to stretch your legs, get out and try other foods and other restaurants, and see other performers,” Civil said.

The performers were curated by a number of literary organizations and reading series from across the City. According to Civil, about 95 percent of the performers are poets or spoken word performers, and half come from Queens.

The full schedule of readings and venues will go up on the Q-Boro Lit Crawl website by Sunday night, Civil said.

She added that the organization will be posting videos of the writers’ past performances on the Q-Boro Lit Crawl event page to help participants plan their time at the Lit Crawl.

“This is your chance to get to know a new writer, get to know a new poet,” Civil said.

“We also hope that [attendees] get a chance to come out and see what Long Island City has to offer,” she added. “That entire row on Vernon Boulevard is growing. There’s a great culture coming out of it and that culture is also involved in the literary community.”

Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased online here. For those who can’t make it to the Long Island City Lit Crawl, there will be a second event held in Forest Hills on April 28.

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