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


January 14 - Mia Alvar, Sara Novic and Tracy O'Neill

January 28 - James Hannaham and Sigal Samuel

February 11 - Rachel Glaser and Robert Lopez

February 25—Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars featuring Matt Gallagher, Mariette Kalinowski, Paul Wolfe and Jacob Siegel

March 10 - Belinda McKeon, Tony Thulathimutte and Sunil Yapa

March 24 - Rachel Cantor and Sara Majka

April 7 - Kaitlyn Greenidge and Maxwell Neely Cohen

April 21 - Robin Beth Schaer, Nancy Hightower and Leah Umansky

May 5 - Stephen O'Connor and Angela Flournoy

May 19 - Rob Spillman, Lori Jakiela, and Daniel Nester

June 2 - Helen Phillips, Rebecca Schiff and Christine Jessica Reilly

June 16 - Kristopher Jansma and Naomi Jackson




January 14

Mia Alvar lives in New York City and is a recent Writer-in Residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She has received support from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the Blue Mountain Center for the Arts and the Sarah Lawrence Seminar for Writers. Mia's work has been cited for distinction in The Best American Short Stories and twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Born in the Philippines and raised in Bahrain and the United States, she graduated from Harvard College and the School of the Arts at Columbia University.

Sara Novic was born in 1987 and has lived in the United States and Croatia. She recently graduated from the MFA program at Columbia University, where she studied fiction and literary translation. She is the fiction editor at Blunderbuss Magazine and teaches writing at Columbia University and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She lives in Queens. Girl At War, her first novel, is out from Random House and Little, Brown UK.

Tracy O'Neill is the author of The Hopeful, for which she was named to the National Book Foundation's 5 under 35 and long-listed for the Flaherty- Dunnan Prize. In 2012, she was awarded the Center for Fiction's Emerging Writer's Fellowship. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, Lithub, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Literarian and Guernica. She has published nonfiction online for The Atlantic, New Yorker, Bookforum, and Rolling Stone; in Grantland; and in the San Francisco Chronicle. She currently teaches at the City College of New York and is pursuing a PhD at Columbia University.


January 28

James Hannaham's stories have appeared in The Literary Review, Open City and Nerve, Significant Objects, and One Story. He has also written reviews and profiles for The Village Voice, Spin, Blender, Out, Us, New York, The Barnes & Noble Review, and The New York Times Magazine. He teaches creative writing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and lives near there. His first novel, God Says No,came out through McSweeney's Books in late May of 2009, and his new novel, Delicious Foods, is just out in paperback.


Sigal Samuel is an award-winning fiction writer, journalist, essayist, and playwright. Currently a writer and editor for the Forward, she has also published work in the Daily Beast, the Rumpus, BuzzFeed, Electric Literature and the Walrus. She has appeared on NPR, BBC, and Huffington Post Live. Her six plays have been produced in theaters from Vancouver to New York. Originally from Montreal, she now lives and writes in Brooklyn. The Mystics of Mile End is her first novel. 


February 11

Rachel B. Glaser received a BFA in Painting from RISD, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Umass-Amherst. She is the author of the short story collection "Pee On Water" and a poetry collection called "MOODS" (Factory Hollow Press), and the novel "Paulina And Fran" (Harper Perennial) and forthcoming from Grant Books in the U.K. in 2016.

Robert Lopez is the author of two novels, Part of the World and Kamby Bolongo Mean River, and two story collections, Asunder and Good People. Among other places, his fiction has appeared in theAmerican ReaderBOMBBrooklyn RailHobartIndiana ReviewLiterarianNerveNew York Tyrant,Vice, and the Norton anthology Sudden Fiction Latino. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches fiction writing at The New School, Pratt Institute, Columbia University, and the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College.


February 25

Matt Gallagher is the author of the debut novel Youngblood, to be published in February by Atria/Simon & Schuster. A former US Army captain, he also authored the acclaimed Iraq war memoir Kaboom, based on the popular and controversial blog he kept while deployed. He holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia and has written for the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Daily Beast, and Playboy, among others. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn.

Mariette Kalinowski served in the US Marine Corps from 2002 through 2010, including two tours in Iraq. She earned her MFA from Hunter College in 2014, and is working on her first novel.

Jacob Siegel is a writer still living in Brooklyn. He was a reporter at the Daily Beast before leaving to take work as a freelancer. The forthcoming Baghdad Noir, the latest installment in Akashic's long running series, will feature his short story.

Paul Wolfe graduated from West Point in 2000 and spent six years serving as a US Army officer. Paul subsequently earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University and worked in financial services. He now resides in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn with his wife and three kids and is working on his debut novel, The Revival of James Cartwright. Published works include “Little Black Box”, featured in the Spring 2014 edition of Veoir Magazine.


March 10


Belinda McKeon’s debut novel Solace won the 2011 Faber Prize and was voted Irish Book of the Year, as well as being shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her second novel, Tender, was published by Picador in June 2015, and was shortlisted for Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. It was just published inthe US. Her essays and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, the Paris Review, the Guardian, A Public Space and elsewhere. As a playwright, she has had work produced in Dublin and New York, and is currently under commission to the Abbey Theatre. She lives in Brooklyn and is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Creative Writing at Rutgers University. 

Tony Tulathimutte has written for VICE, N+1, AGNI, Salon, The New Yorker online, Threepenny Review, and others. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has received an O. Henry Award, a Truman Capote fellowship, a MacDowell Colony fellowship, and the Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award.

Sunil Yapa holds a bachelor’s degree in economic geography from Penn State University and an MFA from Hunter College. The biracial son of a Sri Lankan father and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived around the world, including time in Greece, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, China, and India, as well as London, Montreal, and New York City.


March 24


RACHEL CANTOR was raised in Rome and Connecticut. She is the author of the acclaimed novel A Highly Unlikely Scenario, and her short stories have appeared in The Paris Review, One Story, Ninth Letter, and The Kenyon Review, among other publications. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and elsewhere, and has been a scholar at the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Wesleyan writing conferences. She lives in Brooklyn.


When she was young, SARA MAJKA’s family moved along the New England shoreline with the Coast Guard, living in Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Cuttyhunk, northern Maine, and even for a time in a lighthouse. She went on to get graduate degrees in writing from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst and Bennington College and was awarded a fiction fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in A Public Space, PEN America, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Guernica. After years of moving and traveling, she now lives in Queens, New York with her young son. Cities I’ve Never Lived In is her first book.


April 7


Kaitlyn Greenidge received her MFA from Hunter College, where she studied with Nathan Englander and Peter Carey, and was Colson Whitehead’s writing assistant as part of the Hertog Research Fellowship. Greenidge was the recipient of the Bernard Cohen Short Story Prize. She was a Bread Loaf scholar, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace artist-in-residence, and a Johnson State College visiting emerging writer. Her work has appeared in the Believer, the Feminist Wire, At Length, Fortnight Journal, Green Mountains Review, Afrobeat Journal, the Tottenville Review, and American Short Fiction. Originally from Boston, she now lives in Brooklyn.

Maxwell Neely-Cohen was born and raised in Washington D.C., where he spent his teenage years skateboarding and DJing. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, he lives in New York City. Echo of the Boom is his first novel. He has contributed to The AtlanticThe New Republic, and The Millions among other places, and is Senior Advisor to the non-profit Words After War. 


April 21


Robin Beth Schaer is the author of the poetry collection Shipbreaking (Anhinga 2015). Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Paris Review, and Guernica, among others. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, Djerassi, Saltonstall, Vermont Studio Center, and VCCA. She teaches writing in New York City and worked as a deckhand aboard the Tall Ship Bounty, a 180-foot ship lost in Hurricane Sandy. 

Leah Umansky is a poet, collagist, and teacher in New York City. Her dystopian-themed chapbook, Straight Away the Emptied World¸ will be out this spring with Kattywompus Press. She is also the author of the Mad Men inspired chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream (2014), and the full-length collection, Domestic Uncertainties (Blazevox 2012). Her poems can be found in such places as Poetry Magazine, Thrush Poetry Journal, Barrow Street and Faerie Magazine. Some of her Game of Thrones inspired poems have been translated into Norwegian by Beijing Trondheim.

Nancy Hightower has published short fiction and poetry in journals such as The New York Quarterly, storySouth, Gargoyle, Word Riot, Sundog Lit, and Prick of the Spindle. Her debut novel Elementarí Rising, an eco-fantasy, came out from Pink Narcissus Press in September 2013, received a starred review in Library Journal, and was named Debut of the Month. Her first collection of poetry, The Acolyte (Port Yonder Press, 2015) explores myth and ritual through a surreal, feminist interpretation of Biblical stories. "A Virtuous Woman," from the collection, was a finalist for the 2014 Rhysling Award. Currently, she reviews science fiction and fantasy for The Washington Post and resides in New York City.


May 5 


STEPHEN O’CONNOR is the author of the novel, Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings, forthcoming from Viking-Penguin, as well as two collections of short fiction, Here Comes Another Lesson and Rescue, and of two works of nonfiction, Will My Name Be Shouted Out?, a memoir, and Orphan Trains; The Story of Charles Loring Brace and the Children He Saved and Failed, biography/history. His fiction and poetry have appeared in The New Yorker, Conjunctions, One Story, The Missouri Review, Poetry Magazine, Electric Literature, Agni, Threepenny Review, The Quarterly, Partisan Review, among many other places.

ANGELA FLOURY is the author of The Turner House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times notable book of the year. The novel was also a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and nominated for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and an NCAAP Image Award. She is a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Honoree for 2015. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New York Times, The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.


May 19


Rob Spillman is the author of the memoir All Tomorrow's Parties. He is also the editor and cofounder of Tin House, a bicoastal literary magazine, executive editor of Tin House Books, and cofounder of the Tin House Literary Festival. Last year, he was awarded the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing, and the VIDO award from VIDA. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, and Salon, among others.

Lori Jakiela is the author of the memoirs Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe (Atticus 2015); The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious (C&R Press/WPA Press 2013); and Miss New York Has Everything (Hatchette 2006). She also has a poetry collection -- Spot the Terrorist (Turning Point 2012) -- about the years she spent as an international flight attendant based in New York. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, the writer Dave Newman, and their two children. She is a professor of Creative and Professional Writing at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg and teaches in the MFA program at Chatham University. She co-directs the summer writers festival at Chautauqua Institution.

Daniel Nester is the author of Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects (99: The Press 2015). Previous books include How to Be Inappropriate (Soft Skull, 2010), God Save My Queen I and II (Soft Skull, 2003 and 2004), and The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody, 2014), which he edited. He teaches writing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.


June 2


Helen Phillips is the author of the novel THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT and the forthcoming short story collection SOME POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS, among other titles. She has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, and The Iowa Review Nonfiction Award. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Electric Literature, and BOMB, among others. She is a professor at Brooklyn College and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two young children.

 REBECCA SCHIFF graduated from Columbia University’s MFA program, where she received a Berg Fellowship and a Henfield Prize. She lives in Brooklyn. Her stories have appeared in The American Reader, Electric Literature, Fence, Guernica, and n+1.

Christine Reilly lives in New York City. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the Dalton School, and Collegiate School. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and her Master’s degree in writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday is her first novel.


June 16

Kristopher Jansma received his B.A. in The Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University. His critically-acclaimed debut novel, THE UNCHANGEABLE SPOTS OF LEOPARDS, was published by Viking/Penguin in 2013. In 2014, he won the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Electric Literature, The Believer, The Millions, and other places, and he teaches at SUNY New Paltz. His new novel is WHY WE CAME TO THE CITY.

Naomi Jackson, named a "Writer to Watch" by Publishers Weekly, is the author of the acclaimed novel The Star Side of Bird Hill, which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and selected for the American Booksellers Association’s Indies Introduce and Indies Next List programs. Jackson studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town, and is a graduate of Williams College. She lives in Brooklyn, where she was born and raised by West Indian parents