May 21: The Root of it All
Boris Fishman, Memoirist and Novelist
Damian Barr, Novelist and Memoirist
Eve Ensler, Playwright
Kevin Young, Poet
Damian Barr is the author of Maggie & Me, which the Sunday Times named Memoir of the Year. He is Literary Ambassador for the Savoy in London where he hosts his Literary Salon, which been going for ten years with hundreds of prominent guests including Bret Easton Ellis, John Waters, Colm Tóibín, Jojo Moyes, David Mitchell, and Mary Beard. The Salon has partnered with the BBC Short Story Prize and the Man Booker, Hay, and the Windham-Campbell Prizes. Barr is also Literary Editor of the Soho House group and appears regularly on BBC Radio 4. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was 2013’s Stonewall Writer of the Year. He lives in Brighton, England. His debut novel You Will Be Safe Here will be published in May 2019.
Eve Ensler is a Tony-award winning playwright, author, performer, and activist. She is the author of the international phenomenon The Vagina Monologues, which won an Obie and has been published in 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. Eve wrote the New York Times bestseller, I Am An Emotional Creature: The Secret Life Of Girls Around The World. She then adapted it as a play which ran to critical acclaim in South Africa, Paris, Berkeley and Off-Broadway. She is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, which has raised more than 100 million dollars for grassroots organizations around the world.
Boris Fishman was born in Minsk, Belarus. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Travel + Leisure, the London Review of Books, New York magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, among other publications. He is the author of the novels A Replacement Life, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and winner of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the American Library Association’s Sophie Brody Medal, and Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo, which was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and his newest book Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and Dinner Table (A Memoir with Recipes).
Kevin Young is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and poetry editor for The New Yorker. He is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose, including Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, longlisted for the National Book Award; and Book of Hours, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Young's book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, a New York Times Notable Book, was longlisted for the National Book Award and appeared on many "best of" lists for 2017. His collection Jelly Roll: A Blues was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. His nonfiction book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open Book Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He is the editor of eight other collections and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.
Seriously Entertaining, New York’s premier literary cabaret series showcasing writers and their passions, is an intellectual roller-coaster of a show. The Wall Street Journal calls it “Think-y entertainment for New York’s book-loving crowd,” The New York Times says it’s “a literary mixtape [with] perfect flow and variety,” and CBS Local News adds: “You have never seen a cabaret quite like this…. The lineup includes some of the most brilliant minds in the literary and artistic worlds.”
Seriously Entertaining packs a big punch, regularly hosting talent such as Margo Jefferson, Amber Tamblyn, John Guare, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, PJ O'Rourke, Graham Moore, Steven Pinker, Emma Sky, and Irvine Welsh. The show asks each writer to riff on a given theme for fifteen minutes only. Whether the result leaves you howling with laughter or sorrow, it will be an evening you’re sure to remember.
Seriously Entertaining is the flagship show of House of SpeakEasy, a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to connecting writers and audiences in innovative and sustaining ways – in classrooms through our SpeakTogether writing workshops, in the community with our book truck, and at Joe’s Pub.
For more information please visit www.houseofspeakeasy.org @speakeasy_house #seriouslyentertaining