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Writers Read presents a free lunchtime performance of 5-minute true personal stories at Bryant Park

June 19, 12:30 pm4:30 pm.
In Celebration of Summer, Writers Read presents a free lunchtime performance of 5-minute true personal stories at Bryant Park NYC
NEW YORK, June 5, 2024—Writers Steven Lewis, Kathy Curto, and Sarah Bracey White will lead a cast of nine reading their original five-minute stories during a one-hour lunchtime event in Bryant Park on Wednesday, June 19 at 12:30 PM. This performance is part of Bryant Park’s popular and long-running Summer Reading Series.
The writers’ personal stories have been selected from hundreds performed and recorded at previous Writers Read live shows. Themes of the stories include “The Great Outdoors,” “Tales of New York,” and “Coming of Age.” Much of the work featured in this lineup was originally performed at Writers Read signature events in association with Carnegie Hall, the National Arts Club, and City Winery NYC.
“When the venue is Bryant Park, it feels like the whole world is your stage,” says Writers Read founder and host Edward McCann. “This lunchtime event marks our fourth return to the Summer Reading Series, and we’re proud to help continue Bryant Park’s great tradition of engaging public readings.”
The outdoor reading room offers gentle breezes and dappled light beneath the park’s tall linden trees, creating for writers and guests an oasis of calm surrounded by the sounds and bustling energy of New York City. This public event is free and handicap accessible, but seating is limited and early arrival is advised.
Writers Read
Founded in 2014 and once described as “the true story version of Selected Shorts,” Writers Read is a literary nonprofit organization that creates performance opportunities for established and emerging writers. Live events and podcasts celebrate the spoken word with broad topics like “High School,” “Cooking,” and “Money.” Weekend matinees at City Winery’s New York flagship location on Pier 57 present a dozen 5-minute stories presented in two acts, followed by a reception. Presentation partners include Carnegie Hall, Bryant Park, and The National Arts Club. Now in its fourth year, the podcast is available on all major podcast platforms.
The Bryant Park Reading Room
Established in 1935 by the New York Public Library, the Bryant Park Reading Room hosts dozens of programs weekly and has received numerous awards for enhancing New York City’s quality of life. The outdoor reading room enables visitors to read while relaxing in a space defined by six specially-designed carts. In addition to magazines and 18 newspapers, one cart features work by authors who have participated in the Bryant Park literary series; another is filled to the brim with a complete “Classics” collection, and another is dedicated to children’s books. The park is located between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown.


The Cast
Kathy Curto teaches at Sarah Lawrence College/The Writing Institute and Montclair State University as well as several nonprofit organizations and writing centers in the metropolitan area. She is the author of Not for Nothing-Glimpses into a Jersey Girlhood. Kathy’s column Words on the Street, Revisited is featured biweekly in Write or Die Magazine. Her piece, “Still Cooking Side by Side” considered a “Modern Love in miniature” by The New York Times, was included in The Best of Tiny Love Stories in August 2021. Kathy lives in the Hudson Valley with her family and can be found in her front yard, on most mornings, replenishing her Little Free Library with donated books. This practice has become one of her daily delights.


Hunter Klein is a Brooklyn-based writer, producer, teacher, improviser, former little league umpire, and hopelessly romantic New York Jets supporter. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics, Hunter realized he knew virtually nothing about economics, so he pursued his other passions — teaching, writing, and comedy. With compatriots at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and the People’s Improv Theater, he’s performed throughout New York City and recently wrote, directed, and acted in a musical fiction podcast series entitled “The Story of Heidelberg,” which earned him a Silver Award at the National Audio Theater Festival.
Beth Kwon is a writer and editor based in New York City; she has served as a communications director at Columbia University and Barnard College and is currently a speechwriter at NYU. A former journalist, she was an editor and writer at Women’s Wear Daily and Newsweek, and her work has appeared in Allure, Time Out New York, The Village Voice, and Fortune, among other outlets. Beth also publishes a personal zine, called BKNY.
Steve Lewis is a husband-father-grandfather first, then, in short order, writer, mentor, editor, swinger of birches. His work has been published widely, from the notable to the beyond obscure … The New York Times to the Road Apple Review, which includes a biblically long list of parenting publications (7 kids, 17 grandkids). His recent books include a novel, The Lights Around the Shore, and a poetry collection titled Fire in Paradise, co-authored with his daughter Elizabeth Bayou-Funk. Steve and his wife Patti live under the shadow of Bonticou Crag in New Paltz, NY.
David Masello moved here from Evanston, Illinois, and has made his living as a writer and editor for more than thirty-five years, beginning his career as a nonfiction book editor at Simon and Schuster. He then held senior editorial positions at many magazines, including Travel & Leisure, Art and Antiques, and Town and Country. He’s currently executive editor of Milieu, a magazine about design and architecture. He’s a widely published essayist, poet, and playwright, with work appearing in the New York Times, Best American Essays, numerous literary and art magazines and small theatre companies. He has written three books about art and architecture, yet still wonders when he will write that book he was meant to. To get off his feet after his long City walks, David happily takes a seat at Lincoln Center to enjoy classical music.
Edward McCann, an award-winning writer and producer, is the founder of Writers Read, which creates performance opportunities for writers and celebrates the spoken word five minutes at a time. For a decade, Ed and a team of dedicated volunteers have worked to present hundreds of stories at dozens of carefully curated, high-quality events in association with partners like Vassar College, the National Arts Club and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Today, Writers Read engages audiences with regular live shows here at City Winery’s flagship location in New York, and with the regular half hour podcast he launched in association with Carnegie Hall. Ed’s own writing has appeared in many journals and magazines, including Country Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, The Irish Echo, and The Sun, and he’s a regular contributor to Milieu, a magazine about design.


Cari Pattison, a native of Kansas City, has been the Pastor of The Woodstock Reformed Church in Woodstock, New York for the past four years. Prior to that, she served for a year as Clergy in Residence at the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York, and 12 years as Associate Pastor at The Reformed Church of Bronxville in southern Westchester. Along the way, she’s backpacked 1800 miles of the Appalachian Trail, worked two years in Nairobi, Kenya, and adopted a rescue dog named Ollie. When not hiking or teaching yoga, she’s working on a memoir about thru-hiking the A.T., breaking a few bones, and discovering more about life’s falls, fractures, and unlikely friendships.
Sarah Bracey White and her husband live in Ossining NY, but in her heart and through her pen she is a southern storyteller.  She mines her life for poems, essays, and stories. In 2021 her memoir Primary Lessons, transformed into an immersive, dramatic musical, debuted live at the Paramount Theater in Peekskill with Sarah in a starring role. Other literary work includes The Wanderlust: A South Carolina Folk Tale, and Feelings Brought to Surface, a poetry collection. Her work has been collected in several anthologies and has also appeared in the New York Times, the Baltimore Afro American Newspaper, the Scarsdale Inquirer, and the Journal News.
Rhonda Zangwill has long flirted with the literary life, writing, editing, teaching and rabble-rousing for New York Writers Coalition, Read650, PEN Prison Program and The Moth. She now runs writing workshops for the Educational Alliance and Sirovich Senior Center. Her published work is in print journals such as Calyx, Natural Bridge and Hoi Polloi. She reads around town, including at the National Arts Club, the NYC Poetry Festival, NYPL, and thanks to Fahrenheit Open Mic, in some of the East Village’s most charming community gardens.


6th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Street
New York City, 10018