Past Readings

Digging Through is a reading series curated and hosted by Gessy Alvarez. It takes place on the second Tuesday of the month in The Red Room at KGB Bar. We aim to entertain and celebrate cultural omnivores by showcasing a diverse mix of writers, poets, and local musicians.

Past Readings

March 10, 2020 – 7 PM

Poet, storyteller, and essayist Roberto Carlos Garcia is a self-described “sancocho […] of provisions from the Harlem Renaissance, the Spanish Poets of 1929, the Black Arts Movement, the Nuyorican School, and the Modernists.” Garcia is rigorously interrogative of himself and the world around him, conveying “nakedness of emotion, intent, and experience,” and he writes extensively about the Afro-Latinx and Afro-diasporic experience. His second poetry collection, black / Maybe, is available from Willow Books.  Roberto’s first collection, Melancolía, is available from Červená Barva Press. His poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, The BreakBeat Poets Vol 4: LatiNEXT, Bettering American Poetry Vol. 3, The Root, Those People, Rigorous, Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Gawker, Barrelhouse, The Acentos Review, Lunch Ticket, and many others. He is founder of the cooperative press Get Fresh Books Publishing, A NonProfit Corp. A native New Yorker, Roberto holds an MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation from Drew University and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Summer J. Hart is an interdisciplinary artist from Maine, living in the Hudson Valley, New York. Her written and visual narratives are influenced by folklore, superstition, divination, and forgotten territories reclaimed by nature. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Northern New England Review, Third Point Press, South Broadway Ghost Society, blood orange: an experimental poetry tarot, Waxwing, and Post Ghost Press. Her mixed-media installations have been featured in galleries including Pen + Brush, NYC, Gitana Rosa Gallery at Paterson Art Factory, Paterson, NJ, LeMieux Galleries, New Orleans, LA, and The InLiquid Gallery, Philadelphia, PA. She is a member of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation.

Christine Sloan Stoddard is a Salvadoran-American writer and interdisciplinary artist. She is the founder of Quail Bell Magazine and the author of Desert Fox by the Sea (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), Belladonna Magic (Shanti Arts), Water for the Cactus Woman (Spuyten Duyvil), and other books. You can find her words, images, and videos in Ms. MagazineBustleThe Feminist WireThe Huffington PostYes! Magazine, and beyond. She has performed and presented creations at the New York Transit Museum, the Kennedy Center, the Broadway Comedy Club, the Queens Museum, FiveMyles Gallery, and elsewhere.


Mandy-Suzanne Wong’s duet of short stories, Awabi, was the 2018 winner of the Digging Press Chapbook Series Award. Her novel Drafts of a Suicide Note, published by Regal in 2019, was a finalist for American Book Fest’s Best Book Award, the Permafrost Book Prize, and the Eyelands Book Award as well as a Conium Review Book Prize semifinalist, SFWP Literary Award shortlistee, and PEN Open Book Award nominee. Launching in March 2020 is her nonfiction project Artificial Wilderness, winner of the Selcouth Station Environmental Chapbook Competition in London. Her essay collection Listen, we all bleed, a finalist for the Red Hen Press 2019 Women’s Prose Prize, will be published by New Rivers in 2021. She lives in Bermuda, where she was born. Photo by Heather Kettenis.

Click here for Facebook Event Page
Click here for the Red Room at KGB Bar


February 11, 2020 – 7 PM

Dorothy Barnhouse is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the MacDowell Colony. She holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University and has taught writing at Teachers College, New York University, Long Island University and in the New York City Public Schools.

C.S. Hanson is a playwright with off-Broadway and regional credits. Her ten-minute play STALK ME, BABY is a favorite on college campuses. PRICK PERFECT, commissioned and produced by Theater for the New City, won an EstroGenius Festival Choice Award. Her plays have been anthologized by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books and by Smith and Kraus. She is a four-time finalist for the prestigious Heideman Award. She began January 2020 as a resident artist at The Cell Theatre in NY, where her play I COULD NEVER LIVE HERE is being workshopped. Proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Rachel Horowitz graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and was a two-time writing fellow at the Breadloaf Writing Conference at Middlebury College in Vermont.  A lyrical poet and memoir writer, Rachel is working on her first collection.

Stacey Hughes is a fiction writer. She’s finished her first middle-grade book and is currently at work on a collection of humorous stories about the world of solar paneling.



Peter Oliver was born and raised in the Lower East Side. His first theater credit was actually across the street from here when he was like 13 or 14 in a 4+ hour adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov. So, yeah. Film and TV credits include Marriage Story, The Boy Downstairs, The Deuce, Blue Bloods, and Law & Order: SVU. He’s previously worked with Cynthia on her play TV In My Bones.

Susan Stires is a poet who taught writing and reading classes at the Graduate School of Education, Bank Street College and at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also worked as a literacy staff developer in New York City public schools. She is the author of numerous chapters and articles on literacy education, as well as a book With Promise. She is working on a poetry collection.

With Musical Performance By:

Adnan Sabir is a Pakistani-born Brooklyn-based musician who has been writing songs and playing music for over a decade in the New York City music scene. Having played some of the most famed venues the city has to offer (the Living Room, Rockwood Music Hall I & II) Adnan released his debut record, “The Gathering”, in 2012. Co-produced by Grammy Award-winning Malcolm Burn (Best Contemporary Folk Album, 2001), and Bryan Pugh, “The Gathering” features Sabir playing with some of the best musicians in New York. The record, like his journey, reflects his diversity and personal evolution. The rich mix of both Eastern and Western musical influences (from Lata Mangeshkar to Roy Orbison) allows the singer to craft simple, yet, catchy tunes. After taking a break from writing music to help record and produce other artists (most recently working with Food Will Win the War on their latest EP) Adnan plans to continue his own journey as a singer/songwriter and return to perform at some of his favorite NYC venues in the coming months. Listen to Adnan’s music here.

Click here for Facebook Event Page
Click here for the Red Room at KGB Bar

January 14, 2020 – 7 PM

Paul Beckman’s short story collection Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press), was a finalist for the 2019 Short Story Indie Book Awards. He had a story selected for the 2018 Norton Micro Fiction Anthology and was one of the winners of Best Small Fictions 2016. He won the Editor’s Choice Award in 2016 from Fiction Southeast and was in the Wigleaf Top 50. His stories have appeared in Spelk, Necessary Fiction, Litro, Pank, Playboy, Thrice Fiction, and The Lost Balloon. Paul earned his MFA in creative writing from Bennington College.

John Paul “JP” Infante is a teacher and writer who curates and hosts arts and culture events. He’s taught creative writing at CUNY’s Lehman College and writing workshops throughout New York City. He holds an MFA in fiction from the New School and is a contributing editor for Dominican Writers. His prose and poetry can be found in the Kweli Journal, Acentos Review, The Poetry Project, Rigorous Literary Journal, and other publications. He’s won the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, the Bernard L. Einbond Memorial Prize, the Aaron Hochberg Family Award, and DTM Magazine’s “Latino Identity in the U.S.” essay contest.

Christine Kendall’s short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals including the Kweli Journal and The Summerset Review and her debut novel Riding Chance (Scholastic), was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teens. Her second novel, The True Definition of Neva Beane, is forthcoming in the fall of 2020. Christine also serves as a juror for the New York City Book Awards. She currently lives in Philadelphia where she co-curates and hosts the award-winning reading series, Creative at the Cannery.

Hadley Moore’s collection Not Dead Yet and Other Stories won Autumn House Press’s 2018 fiction contest and was published in September 2019. Her fiction has appeared in McSweeney’sWitness, Amazon’s Day One, the Alaska Quarterly Review, the revived december, the Indiana ReviewMidwestern Gothic, and elsewhere. She is at work on a novel and another collection and is an alum of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She lives near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

tumblr_inline_p1ua3dRpal1qbit1o_500Joanna C. Valente is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015)  Marys of the Sea (The Operating System, 2017), Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016), Sexting Ghosts (Unknown Press, 2018), No(body) (Madhouse Press, 2019), and #Survivor (The Operating System, 2020). They are the editor of A Shadow Map: Writing By Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017), and received an MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the senior managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine, and a professional tarot reader. Joanna also teaches courses at Brooklyn Poets.

With Musical Performance By:

Tamar Eisenman is a guitarist, producer, and singer-songwriter. She’s released five official studio albums and received an Emmy nomination in Israel for the best original soundtrack in the documentary “The CGS.” On her Electric Solo and power trio concerts Tamar mixes meticulous yet live-feel production styles with a sensitive singer-songwriter ethic presenting a versatile musical attitude, she sounds equally at ease with the delicate acoustic ballads as she does with energetic guitar-driven songs. You can find out more about Tamar at (Photo by Dor Malka)

Click here for Facebook Event Page
Click here for the Red Room at KGB Bar