Yes, binge-watching eight hours of a documentary about the legal travails of cat-torturing ne’er-do-well is tempting, but it’s also more than a little depressing. Fight the urge to hole up on the couch and marathon through all those miscarriages of justice this week with these engaging endeavors, none of which will cost you much more than using your parents’ Netflix password.
Indie Publisher Night
7:30 p.m. Tuesday
The Wild Detectives
Here’s a mystery for you: how do American publishers mine through zillions of foreign books to identify that one gem perfect for translation into English? It’s a fascinating process—and editors from four of the most innovative indie presses out there give their insight and anecdotes related to this publishing niche. Join Declan Spring of New Directions, Kendall Storey of Archipelago, Chad Post of Open Letter, and Will Evans of Deep Vellum as they discuss their favorite international literary finds.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Bryant Hall, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd
Not a documentary, to be sure—but Second Thought Theater does capture a cultural zeitgeist as it plays off the ongoing dialogue about religious fundamentalism in the metaphoric Martyr, Marius von Mayenburg’s play about a young man dangerously obsessed with the Old Testament. Its subject, Ben—played by Garrett Storms—uses his religious obsession to battle that which makes him feel most uncomfortable, setting up a narrative arc that puts its audience on the spot.
First Hearing: David Searcy
7 p.m., Thursday
The Wild Detectives
The Wild Detectives and WordSpace offer another calendar entry this week that will inspire a little binge-reading. Dallas author David Searcy’s newest book is a collection of expansive and haunting pieces on ordinary objects and extraordinary encounters that’ll quickly make its way onto your straining bookshelf. He’ll read selections and share anecdotes teased out by his friend, Ben Fountain—the author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
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Poets on X+ Soapbox
8 p.m., Friday January 15
Lucky Dog Books
It’s a crime to keep all those rhyme schemes and verses you’ve been working on under wraps. Let your poetry see the light of day at the Poets on X+ Soapbox, where you’ll be in the company of local poets, writers, musicians, and artists who take turns putting it all out there. The event, which will be broken down into five- or ten-minute slots, is the perfect place to debut a finished product, or test out a work in progress. To perform, RSVP at facebook.com/events/553559664820677.
Hot Chocolate Scooter Ride
9:15 a.m. Sunday
White Rock Coffee
The ultimate in wind-in-your-hair, off-the-couch excursions: gas up your scooter and head out for an exhilarating spin through the streets of Dallas. Wind through East Dallas, through Downtown and into Oak Cliff—stopping at eateries along the way, and ending with a walking tour of the Bishop Arts district. Bring funds for beverages and food, and see this site for more details.