Raise a Glass to the Local Lit Scene at DC’s Literary Pub Crawl

DC’s literary scene is booming before our eyes. To support the growing movement, The Writer’s Center in Montgomery County and DC literary magazine Barrelhouse are joining forces to launch the first annual DC Literary Pub Crawl on August 27.

“The pub crawl is the opportunity to really help bring nine great writers and spoken word artists into the community,” says Joe Callahan, Executive Director of The Writer’s Center. “The idea is that we can have a fun and entertaining literary event at bars.”

The Petworth-based pub crawl starts at Walters Sports Bar, continues at The Twisted Horn and wraps up at Upshur Street Books. Each venue has a playful quirkiness. Walters Sports Bar holds baseball-oriented happy hours, including a late happy hour for those who support West Coast teams. The Twisted Horn is a medieval-themed cocktail bar offering specialty drinks and food options, and Upshur Street Books hosts a variety of literary events on a monthly basis.

Petworth Citizen is the apropos location for the event’s after party. The neighborhood literary bar is also home to the Reading Room, where more than 3,000 color-coordinated books line the shelves and craft bartender Chantal Tseng leads a weekend cocktail program featuring literary-themed libations. Callahan says the lineup of bars provides a more intimate, participatory opportunity for both the featured writers and those attending the event.

“We knew the venues were the right size, there would be good crowds and it would be easier to get from bar to bar versus some other neighborhoods,” he says. “We’re excited to [host the event] in Petworth because I think, given all of the bars and the bookstore, it really made for a natural partnership.”

At each stop on the crawl, three writers will participate in an hour-long reading. The Writer’s Center and Barrelhouse handpicked each writer, from “The Lady Gaga of Poetry,” Regie Cabico, whose work has been showcased in over 30 anthologies, to Tafisha A. Edwards, author of The Bloodlet, which won Phantom Books’ Breitling Chapbook Prize in 2016.

“We wanted writers who brought diversity [to] DC’s literary voices,” Callahan says.

The DC Literary Pub Crawl runs from 4-7 p.m. on August 27, followed by an after party at Petworth Citizen. Tickets are $10-$15 and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com. Each writer’s published works will be available for purchase at Upshur Street Books during the crawl.

The DC Literary Pub Crawl: Starts at Walters Sports Bar (3632 Georgia Ave. NW, DC); www.dcliterarypubcrawl.eventbrite.com


Dory Jackson

Dory Jackson is a former intern, now contributing writer, for On Tap Magazine. She covers lifestyle, entertainment, beauty, and fashion news. In addition to OTM, her work has appeared in Celebuzz, Celeb Secrets, Press Pass LA, and other digital platforms nationwide.