Literary Events Around Indiana – October 2023

Updated 10/6/22

There are many great literary events around Indiana. Looking for something to do?  Below are just a few ideas.

Many events are virtual. Please confirm with the venue for scheduled events listed here.

To be featured in our “Literary Events Around Indiana” monthly events blog, email the details to

John Green at The Indianapolis Public Library

We’re excited to kick off national Banned Books Week with a discussion with #1 New York Times bestselling author and Indianapolis resident John Green on October 2 at 6 p.m. at Central Library’s Clowes Auditorium. Green will participate in a moderated conversation about banned and challenged books and intellectual freedom with former Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) educator and Indiana State Senator Andrea Hunley (District 46).

Tickets to the event are free to the public and will be available starting Tuesday, September 26. Check back on our social channels and website ( on Tuesday for more info!

Butler’s Visiting Writers Series: Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Father’s Day (Copper Canyon, 2019), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, as well as two books of prose: Why Poetry (Ecco, 2017) and Story of a Poem (Unnamed, 2023). He is editor at large at Wave Books, where he edits contemporary poetry, prose, and translations. From 2016-7 he held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine, and was the Editor of Best American Poetry 2022. He has received a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, a William Carlos Williams Award, a May Sarton Award from the Academy of American Arts and Sciences, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship in Marfa, TX. He teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Zapruder will take the stage on Monday, October 2 @ 7:30PM at Butler University’s Shelton Auditorium. An audience Q&A and book signing will follow the reading.

The event and parking are free to the public with no ticket required. Visit our website for additional information.

IndyReads: Poetry Showcase & Open Mic

Join us as our poetry writing participants share their creations with a community open mic to follow.

The Event

Indy Reads is excited to host our first poetry writing showcase during National Arts and Humanities month! Our September participants of the Indy Reads Writing Series – Family Hour & Teen/Young Adults will be invited to share their work on our stage.

We will follow up this showcase with a public open mic. Public open mic sign-ups will be accepted at the Indy Reads bookstore starting at 6pm, on October 4.

We welcome poets of all ages . This event is family-friendly – no explicit language will be permitted.

This event is Pay What You Can — Here’s what your Suggested Donation can do for the Indy Reads community:

FREE – This ticket is for attendees that would like to attend this event and are unable to purchase a ticket. Indy Reads values our community and facilitators. We are proud to provide programming to all. Thank you for being a part of our community!

$10 – This donation covers the cost of one attendee to this event. Indy Reads strives to bring the very best programming to Fountain Square and all Hoosiers. Thank you for helping us to keep our quality programs accessible for all!

$20 – This donation covers the cost of two attendees to this event. If you are attending as an individual, your ticket at this level makes it possible for another who cannot afford a ticket to attend. It is only through the generosity of our community that we are able to support programs that enrich the lives of all Hoosiers. Thank you for your support!

Other – “Pay What You Can” really does mean pay what you can. Indy Reads appreciates that every one of our community members is able to support our vision of 100% literacy for all in different ways. Whether you can pay $5 or $50, we are so excited to see you – and thank you for your support!

For more information, please email

Tomorrow Bookstore: Poets of Tomorrow

Saturday Oct 7, 7 – 9:30 PM

Get Tickets!

Thomas Kneeland: award-winning poet, educator, speaker, humanitarian, and visual artist. He is the author of We Be Walkin’ Blackly in the Deep (Marian University), and a 2022 Frontier Poetry Global Poetry Prize finalist, representing the continent of Africa

Lisa Low: poet and essayist from Maryland. Author of Crown for the Girl Inside (YesYes Books, 2023). Her poems have appeared in Copper Nickel, Ecotone, The Massachusetts Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, and elsewhere, and her essay “How to Apologize” won the 2020 Gulf Coast Nonfiction Prize

Nate Logan: author of Wrong Horse (Moria Books, fall of 2023) and Inside the Golden Days of Missing You (Magic Helicopter Press, 2019). His poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including Dream Pop Journal, EVENT (Canada), Forklift, Ohio, The Indianapolis Review, Sink Review, and the tiny among others.

Emily Mellentine: Queer writer, college student, swiftie, and cat mom based in Indianapolis. Author of “Her Bitter Sweet Truths” and “Her Inner Depths”. She currently works in communications for the Indiana Humanities.

IWC: Spotlight Partner with Indiana Repertory Theater for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

adapted by David Catlin
OneAmerica Mainstage

Join a memorable gathering of literary giants on a dark and eerie evening as Mary Shelley stitches together her grisly Gothic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his terrifying creation. This galvanic adaptation of the classic novel thrills and enthralls as it experiments with love, grief, horror, and the power to create—or destroy—life. There’s a little monster in all of us.

Spotlight Partner tickets are available exclusively for October 10, 2023.

Use Promo Code: IWC23 to support IWC’s mission while enjoying this mesmerizing production. 50% of code proceeds benefit IWC. Learn more about IRT’s production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein here
Get Tickets for October 10

Tomorrow Bookstore and Old Iron Press: Book Launch

October 10, 7 – 8:30 PM
Get Tickets

Brittany Means is a Chicana writer and editor living in Albuquerque, NM. A graduate of Iowa’s MFA Nonfiction Writing Program, Means has worked with Inara Verzemnieks and Kiese Laymon. She has received several awards for her work, including the Magdalena Award, the Geneva Fellowship, the Grace Paley Fellowship, and the Herodotus Award.

Brittany will be launching her memoir, “Hell If We Don’t Change Our Ways” and will have a moderated author conversation with Eliza Tudor, the founder of Indianapolis-based Old Iron Press.

Kellogg Writers Series: Sarah Layden

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023
7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Schwitzer Student Center, UIndy Hall A
Fiction Reading
LP Credit

Free and open to the public!

The Kellogg Writers Series brings writers of distinction to the University of Indianapolis campus for classroom discussions and free public readings.

Sarah Layden is the author of Imagine Your Life Like This (University of Wisconsin Press, 2023), The Story I Tell Myself About Myself, winner of the 2017 Sonder Press Chapbook Competition, and Trip Through Your Wires (Engine Books, 2015), a novel. She is co-author with Bryan Furuness of The Invisible Art of Literary Editing. Her short fiction can be found in Boston ReviewStone CanoeBlackbirdMcSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the anthologies Best Microfiction 2020Welcome to the Neighborhood, and Sudden Flash Youth, and elsewhere. Her recent nonfiction work has appeared in The Washington PostNewsweekPoets & WritersSalonRiver TeethThe MillionsThe Humanist, and Indianapolis Monthly

She earned a B.S. in journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and an MFA in fiction writing from Purdue University. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“Open this book and you’ll want to stay forever in Sarah Layden’s imagined world. Appealing characters with interesting conundrums act right up to the limits of possibility. Layden has an ear for the absurdity in fraught moments that turn out to plumb depths. These stories can bring you to tears even as you laugh out loud.”—Sharon Solwitz, author of Once, in Lourdes

Tomorrow Bookstore: Book Launch

Saturday Oct 14, 7- 9:30 PM

Get Tickets!

Join Tomorrow Bookstore for a book launch reception for Agata Brewer’s “The Hunger Book”. This will be a casual reception-style event, including a reading from the author.

In The Hunger Book, Agata Izabela Brewer evokes her Polish childhood under Communism, where the warmth of her grandparents’ love and the scent of mushrooms drying in a tiny apartment are as potent as the deprivations and traumas of life with a terrifyingly unstable, alcoholic single mother. Brewer indelibly renders stories of foraging for food, homemade potato vodka (one of the Eastern Bloc’s more viable currencies), blood sausage, sparrows plucked and fried with linseed oil, and the respite of a country garden plot, all amid Stalinist-era apartment buildings, food shortages, martial law, and nuclear disaster in nearby Ukraine.

Brewer reflects on all of this from her immigrant’s vantage point, as she wryly tries to convince her children to enjoy the mushrooms she gathers from a roadside and grieves when they choose to go by Americanized versions of their Polish names. Hunting mushrooms, like her childhood, carried both reward and mortal peril. The Hunger Book, which includes recipes, is an unforgettable meditation on motherhood and addiction, resilience and love.

Butler Visiting Writers Series: Dantiel Moniz

Dantiel Moniz is the recipient of a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Award, a Pushcart Prize, a MacDowell Fellowship, the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction, and a “Writer to Watch” by Publishers Weekly. Her debut collection, Milk Blood Heat, is the winner of a Florida Book Award, and was a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award, the PEN/ Robert W. Bingham Prize, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, as well as longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Milk Blood Heat was hailed as “must-read” by TIME, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Elle, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others.

Her writing has appeared in the Paris Review, Harper’s Bazaar, American Short Fiction, Tin House, Ploughsahres, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. Moniz is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches fiction.

Moniz grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and received her BA in English from Florida

VOCAB (Monthly)

Hosted by Cory Ewing & Januarie York with sounds by DJ Cleopatra

Door 8pm, Show 9pm General Admission *$10 at the door / advance tickets here

White Rabbit Cabaret, 1116 Prospect Street, Indianapolis, United States

Spoken Word ELEVATED: Black Excellence


Rhythm & Poetry Open Mic at PHIRI Art Gallery (Weekly)

Come Experience the Ultimate Vibe with LIVE performances by some of your favorite artists! RHYTHM & POETRY THURSDAYS is also an awesome way to network with like-minded creatives and business professionals from around the city, so be ready to connect with other amazing individuals!



* Discounts on Photoshoots*

*Discounts on venue rentals

* Discounts on Upcoming Events at Phiri

* Discounts on all services at PHIRI

INFO 404.759.0530 ** 120 East Market Street, Indianapolis

An Evening with the Authors (Monthly)

Every first Thursday of the month

*Fake Authors. Fake Books. Real Funny.

Where literary satire meets sketch comedy.

Comedians take the stage posing as accomplished authors reading from their most recent works.

Featuring: Sam Griswold, Pauline Shypula, Jonathan Pfendler, Stephen Vincent Giles, Gwen Sunkel, Eric Sablan, Mariah Davison and guests

White Rabbit Cabaret 1116 Prospect Street Indianapolis, IN 46203

Tea’s the Artist Youth Open Mic Night (Monthly)

Thurs Dec 16 (every third Friday)

Our 3rd Friday is BACCCKKKKK!!! You won’t want to miss the Open Mic night centered around youth & teens and very family centric!!

Calling all youth, teenagers and adults to the stage to share your talents with us. From singing to dancing. Poetry to Spoken Word. Piano to Saxophone. Whatever your talent is, AS LONG AS IT’S FAMILY appropriate, we want YOU!

Tea’s Me Cafe Indy (140 E. 22nd Street, Ste. B, Indianapolis, IN 46214)

Writers Helping Writers (Monthly)

Hancock County Public Library has a writing group that meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Join us!

Brick Street Poetry (monthly)

Off the Bricks, a Poetry on Brick Street Podcast

Poetry on Brick Street Series

We meet the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm at Sullivan Munce Cultural Center, 225 West Hawthorne Street, Zionsville, IN 46077.

The next month’s Guest Poet: Poets from the Haiku for Hikers anthology reading with accompanying PowerPoint.

Margarita Mondays Open Mic

Welcome to Margarita Mondays Open Mic Night where you too can be a star

ILLUSIONS 3661 W 86th st

We welcome all comedians rappers poets and singers. Doors open at 8pm

Admission is free. Hosted by Aisha the Comedian and Mic Shaw.

Irving Theater Weekly Poetry Open Mic

Every Thursday night
7:00p – 9:00 PM EST

A completely nonjudgmental and safe space to share poetry! Every Thursday on the deck at the Irving Theater in the Summer, inside all Winter. Performances are broadcast live on our Facebook page (link below). Come enjoy original poetry and readings from local and regional artists, or present your own poetry.

This event is free.

For more information, visit the Irving Theater’s website

Books & Brews Open Mic

9402 Uptown Dr Suite 1400
Indianapolis, IN 46256
phone: (317) 288-5136

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