Reading Recap

Over the last few months, I’ve done several readings to promote Front Man, and I’ve crisscrossed various venues in the tri-state area to get the work out there. I’ve enjoyed all of the readings so far, but I think my favorite reading  occurred Friday evening, at Anthology New and Used Books. As I had mentioned in a previous post, there have been readings at that venue since it opened a few years ago. Dozens of people squeezed into the venue Friday, and I appreciate the fact that so many of my students, fellow writers, and friends showed up. I like that venue so much for its intimacy and the fact it’s the only used bookstore we have around here.

Furthermore, the crowd there is always respectful. When a featured reader is up there, people aren’t texting or talking to their boyfriends or girlfriends. They’re paying attention and often stay around for a little while after the reading to socialize and make connections. I’ve been to readings where people don’t pay attention or leave in droves after the main reader, but that usually never happens at the Anthology events.

Friday’s reading also meant a lot because my friend and former co-owner/co-manager of the venue, Andrea Talarcio, has stepped down.  I wish her luck in whatever she does now. We were lucky to have her in the community to host these readings. I’m glad Anthology is staying open and the various writing workshops, book clubs, and readings will continue, as long as people shop at the store and help keep it open. We’re lucky to have it in our community.

Bringing it all back home

Over the last few months, I’ve done a lot of readings for my poetry chapbook Front Man. The mini reading tour started up in the Boston area with a reading at Borders that featured other poets from the Big Table Publishing community. I’ve also read all over Pennsylvania and parts of NY. This Friday, I’m doing a reading in my hometown of Scranton, PA at Anthology New and Used Books.  Out of all the readings I’ve done, I’m most excited about this one. Since it opened a few years ago, this bookstore has been a real bright spot for the local art community. The venue has housed poetry readings, writing workshops, and book clubs. It’s been a place for local activist and philosophical clubs to meet on a weekly basis.

I’m also happy to come back home and do this reading because a lot of the poems in Front Man were first read at Anthology, at the poetry open mic nights the fourth Friday of every month. These readings gave me the chance to test some of the poems in public and learn what lines worked and didn’t work. Anthology played a crucial role in putting the book together. Furthermore, most of the poetry collections I read while writing the book I ordered through Anthology. Because of the store, I was able to obtain a lot of collections by new voices in contemporary poetry. You don’t find many of these collections at the local Borders or Barnes & Noble stores.

So, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, come out to the reading on Friday. It begins at 7 p.m. I’ll sign some books and read some poems. A limited open mic will follow. Anthology is located at 515 Center Street, above Outrageous Jewelry.

more readings!

This month, I’m doing several readings to promote Front Man even more, and I’m especially excited about these events because of the other poets on the bill.

On Friday, January 21 at 7 p.m., I’m going to read with Dawn Leas, author of the chapbook I Know When to Keep Quiet, available from Finishing Line Press. The reading will be held at the Barnes & Noble in downtown Wilkes-Barre (7 S. Main Street). Dawn holds an M.F.A. from the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program, and her work has appeared in a variety of journals, including, Willows Wept Review, and Writers’ Bloc.

On Friday, January 28 at 7 p.m., I’m the featured reader at Anthology New and Used Books in Scranton (515 Center Street). I’ll read for about 20 minutes, and then a limited open mic will follow.

On Saturday, January 29 at 6:30 p.m., I’m heading up to Ithaca, NY to read with two wonderful poets. The poets I’m sharing the stage with are  Jaime Warburton, an associate professor of writing at Ithaca College and author of the chapbook Note That They Cannot Live Happily, and Charles G. James, who lives in Elmira, NY and does all of his work on a typewriter. How cool is that? The reading will be held at the Owl Cafe,  located on the second floor of the Autumn Leaves Bookstore in the Ithaca Commons.

More info about the Ithaca reading is available by clicking on the link to the flyer below! All of these events are free.