Brooke Ellsworth’s Serenade // Launch Party

November 30, 2017 @ 12:00 am – 2:00 am

Come and celebrate the release of SERENADE (Octopus Books)! There will be readings by Roberto Montes and Christine Shan Shan Hou. There will be beverages and snacks (plz bring cash!). Doors are at 6pm.

About the readers:

ROBERTO MONTES is the author of I DON’T KNOW DO YOU, named one of the Best Books of 2014 by NPR and a finalist for the 2014 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry from The Publishing Triangle. His poetry has appeared in The Lambda Literary Spotlight, Guernica, PEN America Poetry Series, and elsewhere. A new chapbook, GRIEVANCES, is now available from the Atlas Review TAR chapbook series.

CHRISTINE SHAN SHAN HOU is a poet and artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Publications include Community Garden for Lonely Girls (Gramma 2017),“I’m Sunlight” (The Song Cave 2016), C O N C R E T E S O U N D (2011) a collaborative artists’ book with artist Audra Wolowiec, and Accumulations (Publication Studio 2010) featuring drawings by artist Hannah Rawe. Her poems have been featured in No, Dear Magazine, Powder Keg Magazine, Poetry Society of America, Gramma, Sixth Finch, Poor Claudia, Fanzine, and Elderly amongst others.


“Brooke Ellsworth grabs the detritus and heartache of our age and squeezes hard. Of course a lot escapes between her fingers, it’s the poems. Sometimes they feel like elegies for people who don’t know they’re dead: “the stupidest question you get / is if you’re lonely.” You wonder whether SERENADE is coming from ghosts or the newsfeed or Mina Loy or punk rock or what – you don’t always know who’s singing, or if singing’s all it is, but there’s a cut-off ear listening in the grass.” -Mark Bibbins

Brooke Ellsworth’s first full-length collection takes on the question of what poetic expression — “where sentences come from” — looks like if we reject the sources of oppression that pre-exist it. Taking their cue sometimes from haibun, other times from ekphrasis, the poems in SERENADE are formally restless and multi-modal — but sustained by a feminism that defines itself by rage that is collective and private, mythological and feral. SERENADE is a book that feels chewed out by the political and ecological “turnstile event of monstrosity,” and whose authority lies in its nuanced vulnerability: “My authority, reader, is that I am illegible like an oil shale mine spreading its shaky legs.”

About the space:

Bessie’s is a private artist studio/salon hosting art, community, literary and acoustic music events. We offer refreshments and snacks, some wicked vinyl and a ever growing reading room focusing on small presses and writers, living and working in the Brooklyn/NYC area. PM Bessie’s for address. We are located on Broadway, at the intersection of Ditmars and Brdwy, two blocks east of JMZ Myrtle/Brdway stop ++WE OFFER: Refreshments and Snacks, Respect, Love, Art, Books, Reading, Live Acoustic Music, Vinyl, Green things, Air Conditioning, Safe Place

Tuesdays – Fridays 10-5pm,
Wednesdays & Saturdays 6-9pm,
Sundays 12-4 & 6-9pm.
CLOSED Mondays, 11/9-11/11 & Thanksgiving
By appointment, please email

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