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The KGB Bar was, once upon a time, a gathering spot for Ukrainian Socialists. To this day, a Communist flag hovers over the dozens of vodka brands resting on the bar, crimson curtains block all natural light, and propaganda ornaments the room like tchotchkes at a TGI Friday's. This would all be genuinely disconcerting if it weren't for the bar's current incarnation: a literary club. Sunday nights are for fiction, Monday nights are for poetry, and author readings are usually scheduled through Thursday. They even publish a lit journal! Nonetheless, the vodka-loaded bar is still highly functional. You, after two hours in this place, less so.
KGB brings fiction writers to the stage. Past authors include Said Sayrafiezadeh and Adam Mansbach.
This series started by poet David Lehman features the poet du jour at this respected drinking establishment.
A monthly series of readings from KGB Bar members.
A monthly reading of fiction and poetry from the MFA students at NYU.
Just in time for Yankees opening day, Chad Harbach, author of The Art of Fielding, a terrific book that centers on the players of a winning college-baseball team, will be at KGB Bar tonight for a reading. As you might recall, Harbach, a founding... More »
The ghosts of New York's once prominent public facilities mock us with their crumbling facades. Cafés actually want you to buy something before they let you even see the restrooms. And urinating on the street is just so '80s. Thankfully, due to an architectural oddity at the KGB BAR, you can pee for free any time. As the bathrooms are located in the hallway behind the bar, you can just walk up the steps, whiz without being seen, and then pop in for a mercy beer. More »
I only write for money, so it is the scribblers sitting at KGB BAR's tables--notepads open, eyes straining in the dark, their drinks, waiting to be sipped, sweating--who serve as my conduit to that wondrous world of authenticity, of feeling and motivation, of all that . . . jazz (dast I use such a word--such an irreverent word?) . . . Oh! Would that I were able to transform myself thusly, to peer into alternately dank and glowing places heretofore unseen, to make of them... More »
Personally, I'd avoid writers like the plague. Either they have no money and no social skills, or big advances and even bigger egos. But if you go for the authorial type, there's no better bar to cruise than KGB, an intimate upstairs boîte--all scarlet walls, photos of Lenin, and Soviet constructivist posters--that's been the hangout of New York's literary lights since 1993. Frequent readings pack them in, and there's always a lonely novelist or two downing scotch at the bar.... More »
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