An Edited Literary Reading Series

Month: March, 2013

Pawnshops Got Owned


Last Thursday, Pawnshops Vs. The Future happened. Five delightful readers shared work with us that was at times painfully comic, humorously uncomfortable, and sometimes just painfully uncomfortable: a composer feeling adrift in her own little Alaska of an artist colony, a strange netherworld of possible, multiple Julian Assanges, the tedium of food factory work and the curious friendships it can forge, a woman trying to decide whether she needs something more or something less than a no strings attached sexual relationship, and a mother who accidentally fingers her severely disabled child.

We opened the night with this quote from Elissa Schappell, which we feel kind of sums up what The Disagreement is all about: “Oscar Wilde said, ‘If you want to tell people the truth make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.’ That’s all I want to do. Tell the truth and not die. My characters use humor for protection — to deflect pain, diffuse awkwardness, beat back their demons. They use it like a shield and a sword. It’s no different for me as a writer. I use the humor to protect and expose both my characters and the reader. I use it to disarm the reader into letting down their guard. The laughing reader doesn’t feel the knife until it’s in his chest. The reader who is laughing at something they don’t think they should be laughing at, but wants to, needs to laugh about, experiences a catharsis. I’d argue that’s more valuable than providing someone with an orgasm. It’s much harder to provide a catharsis for the reader. The ability to laugh in the face of terrible trauma and pain is empowering, and you know what, it’s human.”

Please come again for the Fucking Filthy vs. Fucking Pristine on May 9th, when Marie-Helene Bertino, Elizabeth L. Davis, Thaddeus Rutkowski, and a reader to be named later will entertain you with tales of the human body in all its ridiculous and foul glory.

photo-4 photo-1 photo-2 photo-3 photo_3-1 Photo Mar 14, 8 10 28 PM Photo Mar 14, 8 16 47 PM

From Top to Bottom: Katherine Carlson, Cliff Benston, Rebecca Bates, Reineke Hollander, and Kate Hill Cantrill.

Jump Ass First Into The Future With Us


Next Thursday, March 14th, The Disagreement presents our second installment, Pawnshops Vs. The Future*. Some wonderful writers are going to make you laugh and maybe even make you cry with work that is sad and funny and true (in both the literal and the more Herzogian ecstatic sense). Tales will be told about the no future of transient sexual encounters and permanent vegetative states, of imaginary lovers and the ghostly figments of people we might once have known, about the pawnshops of our memories and mementos from lives once lived, about an artist who longs for the genius she knows she can be, if only the right combination of influence is applied, about a young divorcee who turns a one night stand into a week-long stand and still manages to find the time to stalk the coffee-shop girl her husband left her for, and about a young woman who, stuck in the drudgery of a summer job, waits for her life to begin while hiding sarcastic cries for help inside packages of potato chips.

This work has been hand-selected by us for your entertainment because we know you will like it.

All this and more at Culturefix, 9 Clinton Street. We start at 7.


Kate Hill Cantrill‘s writing has appeared in literary publications such as Story Quarterly, Salt Hill, The Believer, Blackbird, QuickFiction, Mississippi Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Swink, Wigleaf and others. She has been awarded fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Jentel Artists Residency, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the James A. Michener Fund. She curates the Rabbit Tales Reading and Performance series in DUMBO, Brooklyn and she recently published her first story collection, Walk Back From Monkey School from Press 53.

Cliff Benston got his MFA from NYU in May 2012.  He’s had work published in Sleepingfish and The Fiddleback, and has completed a novel called Nixon in Love, which is about what it sounds like it’s about.

Rebecca Bates was born and raised in Houston, went to college in Memphis, and moved to New York for grad school at Fordham University, where she received a MA in English Literature. She is a former editor at Guernica Magazine, and now works on the website at Architectural Digest.

Katherine Carlson’s work has appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn and Fiction Writers Review. After four years in the editorial departments of St. Martin’s Press and Viking, she moved to the other side of the desk to earn an MFA in Fiction from the NYU Creative Writing Program. She now teaches in NYU’s Expository Writing Program and is wrapping up work on her first novel. She tweets about her love for Frank Ocean and George Saunders at @katcarl.

Reineke Hollander is a visual artist and writer who was born in the Netherlands and has lived in Brooklyn since 1986. She has worked as a translator, and as a journalist for the Dutch daily newspaper NRC-Handelsblad.  She recently completed a writing fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center.  She is currently working on a fictionalised memoir about growing up  in the Netherlands after World War II and in  the Sixties, tentatively titled Behaving Well in Times of War. Further information can be viewed at

* Click it. Go on, we dare you. You’re gonna like what you hear. Also, to give credit where it is due, that painting is by Ed Ruscha.