Nightcap Readers

May 31, 2023, Julie Metz and Beth Lisick

Julie Metz is the New York Times bestselling author of Perfection and a new memoir Eva and Eve: A Search for My Mother’s Lost Childhood and What a War Left Behind. She has written for publications including the New York Times, Salon, Dame, Catapult, Oldster, Tablet, and Mr Beller’s Neighborhood. She has been a guest on podcasts including Dear Sugar Radio with host Cheryl Strayed and Women of the Hour with host Lena Dunham. Julie has received fellowships to The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. A born and raised New Yorker, Julie now lives with her family and two cats in the Hudson Valley.

Beth Lisick is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller Everybody Into the Pool and the recent novel Edie on the Green Screen. She is also an actor and founder of the Porchlight Storytelling Series, now in its 21st year. Her current projects include writing the libretto for the serial podcast opera The Electronic Lover and working as a dementia caregiver. 

June 7, 2023, David Santos Donaldson and Jai Chakrabarti

David Santos Donaldson is the author of the novel Greenland, a finalist for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and the 2023 Publishing Triangle Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. He was raised in Nassau, Bahamas, and has lived in India, Spain, and the United States. Donaldson attended Wesleyan University and the Drama Division of the Juilliard School. His plays have been commissioned by the Public Theater and he was a finalist for the Urban Stages Emerging Playwright Award. He is currently a practicing psychotherapist and divides his time between Brooklyn, New York and Seville, Spain. Donaldson’s writing has appeared in various magazines including Poets & Writers, Literary Hub, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, and the German literary magazine Geistesblüten.

Jai Chakrabarti is the author of the novel A Play for the End of the World (Knopf ’21), which won the National Jewish Book Award, was the Association of Jewish Libraries Honor Book, was short-listed for the Rabindranath Tagore Prize, and was long-listed for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He is also the author of the story collection A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness (Knopf ’23), which was a Good Housekeeping Book of the Month and which the NYTimes described as an “exquisite collection”. His short fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, Electric Literature, A Public Space, Conjunctions, and elsewhere and has been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Short Stories, and awarded a Pushcart Prize and also performed on Selected Shorts by Symphony Space. His nonfiction has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Writer’s Digest, Berfrois, and LitHub. He was an Emerging Writer Fellow with A Public Space and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College and is a trained computer scientist. Born in Kolkata, India, he now lives in New York with his family. 

May 17, 2023, Sari Botton, Vanessa Mártir, Lucy Sante, and Laurie Stone at Mama Roux, 96 Broadway, Newburgh, NY. 7pm

Sari Botton is the author of the memoir in essays, And You May Find Yourself…Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen-X Weirdo. She is a contributing editor at Catapult, and the former Essays Editor for Longreads. She edited the bestselling anthologies Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York and Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for New York. She teaches creative nonfiction at Catapult, Bay Path University and Kingston Writers’ Studio. She publishes Oldster Magazine, Memoir Monday, and Adventures in Journalism. She is the Writer-in-Residence in the creative writing program at SUNY New Paltz for the spring of 2023.

Vanessa Mártir is the founder of the Writing Our Lives Workshop and the Writing the Mother Wound Movement. She is a 2021 Letras Boricuas fellow, and her work has been widely published, including in The NY Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Longreads, The Rumpus, and the numerous anthologies including Not That Bad, edited by Roxane Gay. When she’s not writing or teaching, you can find Vanessa hiking an old growth forest or squealing at the sight of vegetables and flowers growing in her garden. For more, visit

Lucy Sante is the author of Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, Kill All Your Darlings, Folk Photography, The Other Paris, Maybe the People Would Be the Times, and Nineteen Reservoirs, and editor and translator of Novels in Three Lines. Her memoir I Heard Her Call My Name will be published in February. Her awards include a Whiting Writers Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Grammy (for album notes), an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, and Guggenheim and Cullman fellowships. She is retiring after 24 years teaching writing and the history of photography at Bard College.

Laurie Stone is the author of six books. She writes the “Notes from Another New Life” column in Oldster Magazine and the Substack Everything is Personal. 

May 3, 2023, Rob Spillman and Elissa Schappell at Mama Roux, 96 Broadway, Newburgh, NY.

Elissa Schappell is the author of two books of fiction, Use Me, a finalist for the PEN Hemingway Award, a New York Times “Notable Book” and a Los Angeles Times “Best Book of the Year”
and Blueprints for Building Better Girls, which was chosen as one of the “Best Books of the Year” by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek. She is co-editor with Jenny Offill of two anthologies, The Friend Who Got Away and Money Changes Everything. Her fiction, essays, interviews and non-fiction have appeared in numerous publications including The Paris Review, The New York Times Book Review, McSweeney’s and SPIN and anthologies such as The Mrs. Dalloway Reader, In Their Lives, and Indelible in the Hippocampus. She is a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair, a former Senior Editor of The Paris Review and was a Founding-editor and Editor-at-Large of Tin House. She teaches and lives in Catskill, NY

Rob Spillman is a writer, editor, teacher, and literary citizen. He co-founded and edited the seminal literary magazine Tin House, which published from 1999-2019, is the recipient PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing, the Vido Award, presented by VIDA, Women in Literary Arts, and the CLMP Energizer Award for Acts of Outstanding Literary Citizenship. His writing has appeared in BookForum, the Boston Review, Connoisseur, Details, GQ, Guernica, Nerve, the New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, Salon, Spin, Sports Illustrated, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue, among other magazines, newspapers, and essay collections. His memoir, All Tomorrow’s  Parties, was published by Grove Press in 2016.

April 19, 2023 at 7pm, Helene Stapinski and Bonnie Siegler

Marilyn Monroe! Superman! Nazis! The American Way is a sprawling story that touches on the Broadway Mob, the rise of pulp magazines, the origins of Superman, the Hollywood production code, Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak and much more.

The American Way tells the story of Siegler’s immigrant grandfather — who happened on the movie star while she was filming “The Seven Year Itch” — while delving into other colorful mid-20th-century American characters.

Helene Stapinski received her B.A. in journalism from New York University in 1987 and her MFA from Columbia in 1995. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Free admission. Food and drink available throughout the event. Author books available for purchase and autographing via Split Rock Books.

Curated by Ken Foster and Julie Chibbaro

AT Mama Roux, 96 Broadway, Newburgh, NY.

Terese Svoboda and Edwin Torres, April 5, 2023 at 7pm

Terese Svoboda is the award-winning author of twenty books of poetry, prose, memoir, biography, and translation, including the novel Bohemian Girl (Nebraska, 2011), the memoir Black Glasses Like Clark Kent, and a forthcoming novel, Roxy and Coco.

Edwin Torres is a poet, performer, sound/text artist, educator, and editor. Previous books include The Animal’s Perception of Earth (DoubleCross Press), XOETEOX: THE INFINITE WORD OBJECT (Wave Books, 2018), Ameriscopia (University of Arizona Press), Onamalingua: noise songs and poetry (Rattapallax e-book), and THE BODY IN LANGUAGE: AN ANTHOLOGY (Counterpath Press-editor, 2019). He grew up in New York City.

In fall of 2022, Ken Foster started Nightcap Readings. Below are his first readers.