River Styx's reading series continues its 40th season celebration with a double bill of Phong Nguyen and Shane Seely. Nguyen, the editor of Pleaides, just released his second collection of stories, Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History. In it he explores what would happen if history's movers and shakers had achieved their original goals -- say, if Columbus had actually found a direct western route to Asia. The book argues that the big names in history all failed to achieve their stated goals, but became notorious nonetheless. Seely is a poet who won the 2008 Philip Levine Prize for his collection The Snowbound House. His "Two Boys in the Woods" from that tome draws out with stark finality the events following the discovery of a rifle shell by a pair of brothers. Seely's forthcoming book is The Surface of the Lit World.
7:30 p.m. Mon., Mar. 16. Tavern of Fine Arts (313 Belt Avenue; www.riverstyx.org). $4 to $5.
Mon., March 16, 7:30 p.m., 2015