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New Reading Series Aims to Invigorate Kew Gardens Literature Scene

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | February 27, 2013 2:09pm

QUEENS — A new reading series coming to a coffee shop in Kew Gardens aims to create “communities of story tellers and poets” in a neighborhood there are many literature aficionados but no bookstores to host readings, the organizers said.

The series, called REZ, initiated by Sullivan Street Press, an e-book publisher based in Kew Gardens, will kick off at Odradeks Coffee House on March 7.

“Our community is filled with book lovers, poets, fiction writers, musicians and artists who want to share their interests with each other,” said Deborah Emin, founder of Sullivan Street Press.

Emin started the series in 2007, in the basement of the Church of the Resurrection on 118th Street in Kew Gardens.

The series was eventually discontinued but she kept the name, which refers to the church.

Emin said it was hard to find a venue in the area that would have the ability to serve food and drinks during the readings. Odradeks, which opened last year and is known for organizing artistic events, allowed Emin to re-launch the series, she said.

The events will be held monthly. The first one will showcase local writers. “We have a few writers from here reading about 5 minutes each,” said Emin, a writer herself, who will also read. The writers will include Aida Zilelian, Audrey Dimola, Aaron Adler, Liza Charlesworth, Justin Martin, Vickie Byron, Alissa Heyman, Enrique Flores-Galbis and Mandy Gor.

Future readings, Emin said, will focus on one published writer who will invite a circle of writing friends who will also give a reading.

“As long as we can find people to read and people to listen, we’ll keep going,” said the owner of Odradeks, Jacob Ganz.

Odradeks Coffee House is located at 82-60 Austin St., near the Kew Gardens LIRR station. The first REZ series reading will be held on Thursday, March 7, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.