Pete's Candy Store Reading Series

FREE - Every other Thursday at 7:30pm

Curated and hosted by Jillian Capewell and Brian Gresko

Over the course of 15 years, Pete's Reading Series has earned a reputation as Brooklyn's premier reading series, where today's literary icons and tomorrow's stars take the stage regularly.

The most intimate reading space in Brooklyn. Think of a fine pre-war dining car with an endless supply of booze.
— Gary Shetyngart - author, Little Failure and Super Sad True Love Story
Pete’s Candy Store Reading Series is by far the best series in Brooklyn, at the best bar. It’s the KGB of Brooklyn!
— Joanna Yas - Editor, Open City Magazine and Books
It has never been clear to me who Pete is, but there is no finer place to give - or hear - a reading in this city.
— Robert Polito - author, Savage Art


Colum McCann, Jonathan Ames, Tom Beller, Lan Samantha Chang, Jennifer Egan, Hari Kunzru, David Lehman, Sam Lipsyte, Francine Prose, Said Sayrafiezadeh, Gary Shetyngart, Colm Toibin, Justin Torres, Hannah Tinti



Thursday, September 20

Anca Szilágyi, Daughters of the Air

Chelsea Hodson, Tonight I'm Someone Else

Leslie Jamison, The Recovering

Lucas Mann, Captive Audience: on Love and Reality TV


Thursday, October 18

Heather Abel, The Optimistic Decade

Michael J Seidlinger, My Pet Serial Killer

Daniel Torday, Boomer1


November 15

Jennifer Baker, Everyday People: The Color of Life (short story anthology)

Anita Felicelli, Love Songs for a Lost Continent

Laura June, Now My Heart Is Full

Laura Esther Wolfson, For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors


December 20

A collaboration with Kundiman, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature. Featuring:

Tanaïs, Bright Lines

Lucy Tan, What We Were Promised

Crystal Hana Kim, If You Leave Me

Swati Khurana, The Book of Curses




September 20th

Chelsea Hodson is the author of the book of essays Tonight I'm Someone Else and the chapbook Pity the Animal. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Bennington College and has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell Colony and PEN Center USA Emerging Voices. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times MagazineFrieze MagazineBlack Warrior Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at Catapult in New York and at Mors Tua Vita Mea in Sezze Romano, Italy. 


Leslie Jamison is the author of The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath, as well as the novel The Gin Closet, and a collection of essays, The Empathy Exams. Her work has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Oxford American, A Public Space, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Believer. She teaches in the Columbia University MFA Program, and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Anca L. Szilágyi is a Brooklynite living in Seattle. Her fiction appears in Lilith Magazine, Confrontation, Fairy Tale Review, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction appears in Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from Made at Hugo House, Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4Culture, and Artist Trust. She is the author of Daughters of the Air, which Shelf Awarenesscalled “a striking debut from a writer to watch” and The Seattle Review of Books called “a creation of unearthly talents.”


Lucas Mann's latest book is Captive Audience: On Love and Reality Television. He is also the author of Lord Fear: A Memoir, and Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere. His essays have appeared in Guernica, BuzzFeed, Slate, Barrelhouse, TriQuarterly, and The Kenyon Review, among others. He has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, the United States Artists Foundation, The Wesleyan Writers Conference, and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He teaches creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife.


October 18th

Heather Abel’s debut novel is The Optimistic Decade, out from Algonquin Books. Her writing has appeared in the New York TimesSlate, the Los Angeles Times, and the online Paris Review among other places. She received an MFA in fiction writing from the New School University, and she’s taught writing at the New School, UMass Amherst, and Smith College. Raised in Santa Monica, she now lives in Northampton, MA with her husband and two daughters, and she dreams of the Colorado high desert.


Michael J Seidlinger is an Asian American author of a number of books including Standard Loneliness PackageMy Pet Serial Killer, and The Fun We’ve Had. He serves as Library and Academic Marketing Manager at Melville House, Editor-at-Large for Electric Literature, and is a member of The Accomplices. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he never sleeps and is forever searching for the next best cup of coffee.

Daniel Torday is the author of the novel The Last Flight of Poxl West, a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, and an International Dublin Literary Award nominee. Torday's work has appeared in The New York Times, NPR, The Paris Review Daily and Tin House, and has been honored in both the Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays series. A two-time National Jewish Book Awardee and winner the 2017 Sami Rohr Choice Prize, he is Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College. His second novel, Boomer1, is out from St. Martin's Press in September 2018.



November 15th

Jennifer Baker is a publishing professional, creator/host of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, and contributing editor to Electric Literature. She has done social media for Sackett Street Writers' Workshop, the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books (where she was also a panel organizer), and presently for the I, Too Arts Collective. She has lead writing courses in fiction and nonfiction for Sackett Street; I, Too Arts; and independently. In 2017, she was awarded a NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship & Queens Council on the Arts New Work Grant (as well as their award for Artistic Excellence) for Nonfiction Literature. Jennifer is the editor of the short story anthology Everyday People: The Color of Life with Atria Books publishing in August. Her writing has appeared in Newtown Literary (for which her short story "The Pursuit of Happiness" was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize), Boston Literary Magazine, Eclectic Flash, The OffingPoets & Writers, The Other Stories podcast, Kweli Journal, and The Female Complaint anthology from Shade Mountain Press. She has also contributed to, LitHub, The Billfold, School Library Journal, and Bustle among other online publications. Her website is


Anita Felicelli is the author of the children's book Izzy and Poe, a novel, Sparks Off You, the poetry collection, Letters to an Albatross, and the short story collection Love Songs for a Lost Continent. Her short stories have appeared in The Normal School, Joyland, Kweli Journal, Eckleburg, Strangelet Journal, and Stockholm Review, and have been finalists for the Glimmer Train awards thrice. She's contributed essays and reviews to the New York Times (Modern Love), Salon, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Review of Books, The Rumpus,and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Puffin Foundation grant for poetry and two Greater Bay Area Journalism awards. Born in South India, she lives in Northern California with her family.


Laura June is the author of Now My Heart Is Full, a memoir. was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her writing has appeared on The AwlBuzzfeedCosmopolitanJezebelNew York Magazine, The Outline, and The Washington Post. She was previously a staff writer at New York Magazine’s The Cut and is a contributing writer at The Outline


Laura Esther Wolfson’s debut essay collection, For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors, was awarded the 2017 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction. Her writing has been honored with the 2017 Notting Hill Essay Prize, published in leading literary venues on both sides of the Atlantic, and cited in The Best American Essays. She is a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony (2018) and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2017). She served for many years as the interpreter for Russian-speaking authors at the PEN World Voices Festival and as a PEN prison writing mentor, and translated Stalin’s Secret Pogrom, which went on to win the National Jewish Book Award for Eastern European history.



December 20th

Pete's is thrilled to be collaborating with Kundiman, a national organization dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian American creative writing.

Tanaïs is the New York based author of the critically-acclaimed novel BRIGHT LINES (Penguin 2015), which was a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, the Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize, and was the inaugural selection of the First Lady of NYC's Gracie Book Club, as well as Bustle's American Woman Book Club.

Her work is multi-disciplinary, dynamic, intersectional and feminist. Over the course of her career, she has worked as a community organizer, a domestic violence court advocate, a probations intake officer, and youth arts educator. While researching her debut novel, BRIGHT LINES, she studied perfumery, amassing a library of 500 fragrant raw materials, which led to the creation of Hi Wildflower, independent beauty & fragrance house.

Lucy Tan grew up in New Jersey and has spent much of her adult life in New York and Shanghai. She received her B.A. from New York University and her M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was awarded the 2016 August Derleth Prize and currently serves as the James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow. Lucy's work has been published in journals such as Asia Literary Review and Ploughshares, where she was winner of the 2015 Emerging Writer's Contest. What We Were Promised is her first novel.

Crystal Hana Kim’s debut novel If You Leave Me was published in August 2018. She was a 2017 PEN America Dau Short Story Prize winner and has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Hedgebrook, Jentel, among others. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from The Washington Post, Elle Magazine, The Paris Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor at Apogee Journal and is the Director of Writing Instruction at Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband. Photo Credit: Nina Subin

Swati Khurana is an artist and writer. Her work has been supported by fellowships and residencies from New York Foundation for the Arts, Center for Fiction, Jerome Foundation, Bronx Arts Council, Center for Books Arts, Cooper Union, and Vermont Studio Center. She has been published in The New York Times, Guernica, Chicago Quarterly Review, Massachusetts Review, The Offing, The Rumpus, The Margins, Asian American Literary Review, and in the Good Girls Marry Doctors anthology. Through the Freya Project's Meret Grant, she is developing a podcast, “TBR: Tarot Books Radio” that uses the format of a Tarot reading to have conversations, centering women of color artists, writers, and activists.