Tampa Bay Literary Events I Attended in May

I find that it is important to support and be involved in the local literary community. Fostering community in any art form helps spread awareness of the arts and makes creating art less isolating. Writing is a solitary activity, but it is meant to be shared with others.

I aim to be an avid participant in the local literary community to help achieve the goals stated above. Below, I will describe some of the events I attended this month (May 2023). Hopefully, reading about these will inspire you to attend some local art events, whether they be literary, visual art, dance, music, etc. Perhaps you’ll even get some ideas for events you’d want to attend in the future.

Poetry at the Dalí Museum

There is a monthly poetry reading in St. Petersburg called Poetry at the Dalí. It is organized by former St. Petersburg poet laureate Helen Pruitt Wallace and occurs every second Thursday at the beautiful Dalí Museum. It features 1-2 poets who read their poetry. They also hold a Q&A session at the end of the reading. This month was extra special as it featured the gold and silver medal winners of the 2022 Florida Book Award in Poetry, Kate Sweeney (gold medal) and Collin Callahan (silver medal), and it was hosted by special guest Sheree L. Greer. Here is a link to the recording of this event (they live stream every one if you cannot attend in person).

Read Herring

Alexander Cendrowski reads a short story at the May 2023 Read Herring.
Here I am introducing our first reader of the May 2023 event, Amaris Castillo.

This event is close to my heart as I am one of the coordinators and have been since 2019 (I’ll do a blog post about what it’s like running a literary series). It is a monthly reading series where we host three selected writers who read their words. In between readers, we play interactive audience trivia-like games. It is held at Corner Club in Tampa every third Wednesday and is casual and laid-back. The event was designed to be this way–our goal is to create an environment that makes literature accessible to the masses. We welcome writers and non-writers alike to attend our readings. Here is a link to our social media sites.

Sci-Fi Book Club at Tombolo Books

Credit: @tombolobooks Instagram

Tombolo Books in St. Petersburg is a wonderful bookstore that I highly recommend to everyone. They offer tons of events, such as book launches and author readings, along with book clubs in many different genres such as romance, crime travel, banned books, fantasy, horror, and queer comics. I attend the sci-fi book club that is held in their store every fourth Wednesday. This month, we read Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh (if you’re a sci-fi reader, I recommend this book!). I encourage anyone who is interested in joining a book club to check out Tombolo Books for their many book club offerings, especially if you’re trying to expand your literary horizons. I was never a sci-fi book reader, but I joined this book club two years ago to branch out with the genres I read.

Other Literary Organizations to Check Out

I recommend checking out the literary organizations Keep St. Pete Lit and Wordier Than Thou. These two organizations offer many literary events like author readings, workshops, and open mics. They are both active on social media where they post about upcoming events, so give them a follow.

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