“A literary mixtape with perfect flow and variety”
— The New York Times
Watch our livestream shows here.
From College Readiness programs in East Harlem to storytelling workshop in Atlanta, Georgia, SpeakEasy serves youth where they live.
The SpeakEasy Podcast
Co-founders Amanda Foreman & Lucas Wittmann host a Seriously Entertaining program featuring some of today’s most dynamic storytellers
SpeakTogether in the Schools
Storytelling performances, spoken word workshops, after-school mentoring, and College Readiness sessions for teens
The SpeakEasy Bookmobile
Bringing books to readers in New York City and beyond, from plazas in The Bronx to the Boys & Girls Club in Jackson, Mississippi
Inspiring talks by authors for teens and teachers around the country, sharing the power of storytelling with books and educational toolkits
IN SCHOOLS: If you are an educator or know someone who works with teens, please invite them to join our Teacher Network here.
ON THE STREETS: Our Bookmobile delivers free books to “book deserts” in New York City and beyond. Want to partner? Get in touch!
Our June edition of Seriously Entertaining wrapped up our spring season live on stage at Joe’s Pub, at The Public Theater in New York City.
On June 7, Pulitzer-Prize and Tony Award-nominated playwright and writer Sarah Ruhl, author and essayist Zakiya Dalila Harris,writer and creative director Jen Winston, and debut novelist David Santos Donaldson shared heartfelt and compelling stories tied to the evening’s theme “Being and Becoming.”
Purchase copies of the performers’ books through our storefront on Bookshop.org. (A portion of proceeds from book sales goes to support our work in schools and communities.)
ON THE STREETS: The SpeakEasy Bookmobile
The SpeakEasy Bookmobile returns to the streets of New York City! We are working with the Department of Transportation, the New York City Housing Authority, and a range of literacy partners to help families building their own at-home libraries. We are providing free books to visitors in public plazas and cultural hubs as well as residents in housing developments in The Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. Swing by, say hello, select a free book of your choice, or grab one for a booklover in your family. Watch a short video here about the impact our Bookmobile had during the pandemic, and stay tuned for additional dates and partnership programs scheduled for this summer.
- When: Saturday, June 18: In partnership with ArtBridge and NYCHA, 12 PM-4 PM
- What: A Juneteenth celebration of art installations with food, games, art activities, free books, and music by DJ Swan
- Where: Adams Houses in The Bronx: E. 152nd St. & Wales Ave.
- When: Sunday, June 19: In partnership with ArtsConnection & Culture Connected, 2 PM -6 PM
- What: Brooklyn Museum’s Honoring Juneteenth, a day of FREE family activities from community partners in celebration of Black liberation, creativity, community, and joy! Click here for the schedule.
- Where: The Brooklyn Museum (Biergarten/Sculpture Garden), 200 Eastern Pkwy.
- When: Saturday, July 9: In partnership with Weeksville Heritage Center, 11 AM – 4 PM
- What: A 5th of July gathering of contemplation, community and Black history.
- Where: Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Ave.
Episode #2: The Razor’s Edge
Featuring three storytellers living at “The Razor’s Edge”: Man Booker Prize–shortlisted Madeleine Thien showing us both sides of the blade; poet and Pulitzer Prize–finalist Elizabeth Alexander giving us “The Light of the World;” and bestselling author James Rebanks sharing a love letter to his father from The Shepherd’s View.
Thank you to our partners, supporters & donors
Watch a short video about our impact during the pandemic from co-founders, Amanda Foreman & Lucas Wittmann. As House of SpeakEasy approaches its tenth anniversary, we are grateful for the support of our donors and partners. With your help, we made an even deeper impact in the communities we serve.
We count on your support. Please continue to help by making a tax-deductible donation today.
Become a Member
Join today to receive perks like discounted tickets to Seriously Entertaining shows at Joe’s Pub, special invitations to V.I.P. events, access to premium content, signed books, free totes, and more. Your membership dues make it possible for us to connect authors with students in under-resourced schools and ensure that they receive free copies of authors’ books via the SpeakEasy Bookmobile.
SpeakTogether in the Schools
“Kids need to know how much you care before they care about how much you know.” Middle grade teacher and longtime friend of SpeakEasy Torrey Maldonado is the author of the YA novels Tight and What Lane? Torrey performed on stage at Joe’s Pub in the fall of 2019 as well as outdoor readings with the Bookmobile in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. In 2019-2020, he led multiple after-school workshops for teens at Union Settlement’s College Readiness program in East Harlem, part of House of SpeakEasy’s “SpeakTogether in the Schools” initiative.
Watch a short video with Torrey about the magic of storytelling.
Inspired by our Seriously Entertaining cabaret shows at Joe’s Pub in the East Village, our Student Matinees use the same storytelling model to bring dynamic speakers into schools and classrooms across New York City to inspire teens to imagine how they can be the authors of their own stories. Since 2017, House of SpeakEasy has been featuring acclaimed writers speaking on a range of themes that are relevant to students’ experience, from “The Road Less Travelled” to “You Only Live Once” to “Being and Becoming.”
Watch a short video about what this means for writers who perform in our programs.
Join our Teacher Network
Our “SpeakTogether” program empowers high school students by connecting them directly with authors to help find their voices and share their stories. We complement existing curricula with creative arts toolkits inspired by our in-person student matinees and storytelling workshops.literary arts programs.
“The stories the authors share with students are full of heart, imagination, and transformative action. Those ideas get translated into the toolkits and become a topic of classroom conversation.” — NK Iguh, Manager of Education & Equity
Join our Teacher Network to learn more and access our educational enrichment materials, including audio & video recordings, writing prompts & activities, and recommendations for further reading.
Help us continue to deliver our programs to those who need them most. 100% of our donations go directly toward serving our mission of connecting authors and audiences, students and communities.
SERIOUSLY ENTERTAINING: Through the Years
Seriously Entertaining is taking a break for the summer, but we invite you to watch highlights from past editions of our flagship program, which The New York Times calls “a literary mixtape [with] perfect flow and variety.” Our monthly cabaret series features authors taking the stage and screen to riff and ruminate informally, dinner-theater-style, on the evening’s theme.
House of SpeakEasy Blog
The SpeakEasy Storefront on Bookshop.org
House is SpeakEasy is proud to participate in the #BlackoutBestsellerList & #BlackPublishingPower campaigns by highlighting books by Black writers, poets, and illustrators, many of whom have participated in our programs. Read more about the campaign here.
Visit our storefront on Bookshop.org to view the list of titles by past and upcoming SpeakEasy performers.
The SpeakEasy Bookmobile has delivered over 15,000 free, book bags, and school supplies to communities across New York City in partnership with NYC Department of Housing and the Department of Transportation. Our regular visits to Fordham Plaza in The Bronx, Corona Plaza in Queens, and Myrtle-Wykoff in Brooklyn and beyond have allowed us to help families to build their own home libraries.
Check out some of the most popular titles on Bookshop.org and purchase your own copies to help support our work in the streets!