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The Belladonna* Reading Series

A reading series and independent press that promotes the work of women writers who are adventurous, experimental, politically involved, multi-form, multicultural, multi-gendered, impossible to define, delicious to talk about, unpredictable, and dangerous with language.

Belladonna* was founded as a reading and salon series by Rachel Levitsky at Bluestocking's Women's Bookstore on New York City's Lower East Side in 1999. In 2000, in collaboration with Boog Literature, Belladonna* began to publish commemorative 'chaplets' of the readers' work. erica kaufman joined Levitsky as co-curator/editor in 2002. Then in 2005, the series moved its events to the downtown performance venue, Dixon Place. Since 2010, the group has operated as the Belladonna* Collaborative, a ten-woman editorial board. The bulk of the group's NYC activity is coordinated by Emily Skillings and Krystal Languell. A list of the entire board can be found here.


August 16, 2018: Pamela Sneed reading from Sweet Dreams at the Matthew Gallery

Introduction by James Loop
In collaboration with Montez Press Radio

Complete recording (42:09): MP3

May 14, 2018: And/With: Aditi Machado and Iman Mersal reading from Belladonna* chaplets at the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Art, New York

Reading by Aditi Machado and Iman Mersal (56:21): MP3

Q&A moderated by Omar Berrada (43:50): MP3

April 10, 2018: And/With: Abdellah Taïa reading from his Belladonna* chaplet and in conversation with Meena Alexander

Presented in conjunction with the Asian American Writers' Workshop, at the Brooklyn Public Library.

Full Recording [recorded by the Asian American Writers' Workshop] (1:22:15): MP3

March 19, 2018: Belladonna* Staff Reading at Queens College

  1. Introduction (5:06): MP3
  2. Javier Zamora (25:00): MP3
  3. Aracelis Girmay (22:01): MP3
  4. Q&A moderated by Christine Ramkarran (26:20): MP3

March 1, 2018: Belladonna* Intern and Staff Reading, Out-Of-Office, at Brooklyn Art Library