Tampa Bay's weekly literary happenings

LGBT book club launches at Mirror Lake, local writers share their angsty teen writing at Teenage Wasteland II and Inkwood hosts two authors.


WELL-VERSED: St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in St. Pete hosts its bi-monthly Poetry & Open Mic Night on Wednesday, June 4.
  • WELL-VERSED: St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in St. Pete hosts its bi-monthly Poetry & Open Mic Night on Wednesday, June 4.

Come out for the launch party of debut YA author Lisa O'Kane, whose novel Essence follows 16-year-old Autumn Grace as she navigates the interior workings of a cult of outsiders in Yosemite National Park. O’Kane will be at Inkwood Books in Tampa on Tuesday, June 3, 7 p.m. Part survival story, part psychological thriller, 100 percent page turner, the book is inspired by the author’s own experience camping out at Yosemite for an entire summer.

Share your poetry, stories and songs at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church’s bi-monthly Poetry & Open Mic Night, Wednesday, June 4. The evening kicks off with a potluck at 6:30 p.m. So get there early to sign in and snack; readings and performances begin promptly at 7 p.m. The church is located at 3747 34th St. S, St. Pete. Call (727) 452-2369 for more information.

Inkwood welcomes back author John Brandon, who just released Further Joy, a new collection of 13 short stories published by McSweeney’s, on Friday, June 6, 7 p.m. In Further Joy, Brandon gives us a stunning assortment of men and women at the edge of — gamblers and psychics, assassins and priests, all of them on the verge of finding out what they can get away with, and what they can't. Ranging from ruined paradises to forgotten islands, from haunted deserts to alligator-filled swamps, these are stories of foul luck and strange visitations, delivered with deadpan humor by an unforgettable voice. Read an interview with author who grew up in New Port Richey in CL this week.

In line with Mayor Rick Kriseman’s new vision of full equality for all residents, St. Petersburg’s Mirror Lake Library will launch its LGBT Book Club Saturday, June 7 at 9:30 a.m. The first book will be Death in Venice by Thomas Mann. The group will make future selections and choose a regular meeting time from there.

The Friends of Mirror Lake will also be hosting the library’s annual summer Book Sale Blowout that same day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cash, checks and credits cards will be accepted. Special discounts will be announced every hour.


Local writers share their angsty and often hilarious adolescent writings — diaries, letters, poetry and more — at Smells Like Teen Lit: Teenage Wasteland II this weekend. The event is set for Saturday June 7, 7 p.m., at Planet Retro Gallery in St. Pete. Readers include John Henry Fleming (whose high school photo is pictured right), Gina Vivinetto, Jeremy Gloff, Julie Garisto, Thomas Hallock, Sandra Lolo, Lisa Rose, Juliana Torres and Shae Krispinsky. Bands Permanent Makeup, Y Los Dos Pistoles and Glow Low will perform, and the event will feature the art of Mike Rozak. Suggested $7 donation at the door or bring a new copy of your favorite children’s or YA book to donate to Eckerd Youth Alternatives. This event is presented by literary consultant Heather Jones, Wordier Than Thou and Planet Retro.

USF instructor/writer Anda Peterson will host her first Mindful Writing Workshop Sunday, June 8, 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Panera Bread, 112 Westshore Blvd., Tampa. Cost is $15 suggested, or pay what you can. Email Peterson for more information.

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