Literary Tailgate 2013

Presented by MAKE Literary Productions

Hosted by

On Sunday, September 22 from 7 pm-10 pm, MAKE and Wakefield Media/Uncubed present an Official Brookyn Book Festival Bookend event, the 2nd Annual Literary Tailgate—a SpArts mash-up combining football and literature at the Brooklyn Brewery.

Two teams of writers will compete to gain yards and score touchdowns with their original work.

The referee, poet Matthew Rohrer, will determine if the player wins or loses yards, based on criteria invented on the spot: a player might lose ten yards for referencing vampires in a poem. Or gain ten yards for explaining how Dennis Miller came to be an NFL commentator. 

The roster features Sarah Jean Alexander, Guy Cimbalo, Stephen Elliott, Mira Gonzalez, Damian Lanigan, Dorothea Lasky, Amy Shearn, and Christopher Stackhouse.

The $15 cover includes Brooklyn Brewery beer and Williamsburg Pizza slices! And, of course, readings from New York's finest writers.

In addition to our wonderful sponsors and literary partners, the following businesses have contributed merchandise and gift certificates to the Booster Club raffle: Beer Street, Nitehawk Cinema, Root Hill Cafe, and Three Letters Restaurant.

Click here for the Facebook event page. 

More on Literary Tailgate...



Last year’s Literary Tailgate was such a success, we’re calling the players back to the field. In 2012, Chicago’s MAKE Literary Productions teamed up with Baltimore’s Publishing Genius, Beer Street, and Superchief Gallery to produce an  event around the spectacle of “SpArts.” For the first time ever, poets and prose writers were invited to unite their love of literature with a love (or disdain) for football.

Two competing teams of New York-based writers read short pieces and the suited-up referee, Tom Roberge of New Directions Books, determined how many yards were gained or lost. Colorful commentators shouted from the sidelines and coaches playfully challenged calls. The audience got exposed to talented writers in an innovative (and sporty) format.

Last year’s writers included Lauren Belski, Melissa Broder, Arthur Jones, Kendra Grant Malone, Steve Roggenbuck, Alvaro Enrigue, Paige Taggart, Molly Tolsky and more, coached by Sasha Fletcher and John Belitsky.

So...we're back. 


      • Sarah Jean Alexander
      • Sarah Jean Alexander edits Parlor, an online magazine for exquisite corpse poetry. She is the poetry editor of Shabby Doll House and has work published at Hobart, Spork, Pangur Ban Party, Thought Catalog, Pop Serial, Keep This Bag Away From Children, and HOUSEFIRE. Sarah Jean lives in Brooklyn with her orange cat.

      • Guy Cimbalo
      • Guy Cimbalo is the editor of Wakefield, a resource for and about the startup world. His writing has appeared in Playboy, Maxim, BlackBook, and elsewhere. @gvcimbalo

      • Stephen Elliott
      • Stephen Elliott is the the author of seven books including the novel Happy Baby (McSweeney's 2004; Picador, 2005) and The Adderall Diaries (Graywolf Press, 2010). His writing has been featured in His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Esquire, GQ, McSweeney's, and Best American Non-Required Reading. In 2012, he directed the film About Cherry, based on a script written by Lorelei Lee and himself and is currently in production on the film version of Happy Baby. He is the founding editor of the popular online literary magazine The Rumpus.

      • Mira Gonzalez
      • Mira Gonzalez [b. 1992] is from Los Angeles, California. She is the author of I Will Never Be Beautiful Enough to Make Us Beautiful Together (Sorry House, 2012). She is widely published in print and online at Thought Catalog, Muumuu House, Metazen, Pop Serial and others.

      • Damian Lanigan
      • Damian Lanigan is a British writer. He has written two novels - Stretch 29 (HarperCollins, 2000) and The Chancers (HarperCollins, 2004).He is the writer and series creator of BBC Three sitcom “Massive.” He wrote the play Dissonance, which debuted at the Williamstown Theater Festival in 2007 before being premiered in New York at the Bay Street Theater, Sag Harbor in 2010.

      • Dorothea Lasky
      • Dorothea Lasky was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She earned a BA at Washington University and an MFA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has published three collections of poetry, AWE (Wave Books, 2007), and Black Life (Wave Books, 2010), and Thunderbird (2012), as well as several chapbooks, including the polemical Poetry Is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). Her poems have appeared in a number of prominent publications, including A Public Space, the New Yorker, Paris Review, MAKE, and American Poetry Review. Lasky was awarded a Bagley Wright Fellowship in 2013, and she is an assistant professor of poetry at Columbia University.        

      • Matthew Rohrer
      • REFEREE
      • In 1970, Matthew Rohrer was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in Oklahoma. He earned a BA from the University of Michigan and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Poetry from the University of Iowa. He’s received the Hopwood Award for poetry and a Pushcart prize; he was selected as a National Poetry Series winner and was shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize. He has participated in residencies/performances at the Henry Art Gallery (Seattle, 2009) and the Museum of Modern Art (New York City, 2010). Rohrer's poetry collections include A Plate of Chicken (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009) and Destroyer and Preserver (Wave Books, 2011). His poems are known for their surreal imagery, imagination, and sharp humor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and teaches at New York University.



      • Amy Shearn
      • Amy Shearn was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1979. She studied in New Mexico, Chicago, and Iowa, before receiving her MFA from the University of Minnesota.​ She is the author of How Far Is the Ocean from Here (Crown Books, 2008) and The Mermaid of Brooklyn (Touchstone, 2013). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, The Millions, Poets & Writers, TheL Magazine, Opium, Five Chapters, and elsewhere. She writes regularly for and She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

      • Christopher Stackhouse
      • SAFETY
      • Christopher Stackhouse is a writer, curator, and visual artist. He is the author of Plural (Counterpath, 2012), Slip (Corollary Press, 2005) and is the co-author of an image/text collaboration with writer and translator John Keene, Seismosis (1913 Press, 2006), which features Stackhouse’s drawings in philosophical discourse with Keene’s texts. Fellowships and awards include Cave Canem Writer Fellow (1997, 1999, 2003); Fellow in Poetry, New York Foundation for the Arts (2005); Pocantico Residency at the Marcel Breuer House, Rockefeller Brothers Fund For The Arts (2009). He is an advisory board member at Fence Magazine, a contributing editor at Bomb Magazine, and a contributing poetry editor at Vanitas Magazine.

      • Babe Parker
      • Babe Parker is a writer / comedian and produces a comedy variety show "Show & Tell" in the East Village. She performs all over the city and make sure you follow her on twitter @BabeParker.

      • Luke Meginsky
      • An improviser-turned-standup, he can be found in poorly attended open mics throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn talking about his hippie parents and marjijuana-induced culinary masterpieces in front of many sad unemployed comics. He can also be found creeping out children with his man/boy beard at a public school in south Brooklyn.

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Get complimentary beer from Brooklyn Brewery and pizza from Williamsburg Pizza.

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