NEPA Literary Events

Local writer Harold Jenkins has been doing a wonderful job keeping up with all of the literary events happening in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, and on the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writer’s Collective blog, he posted a list of events happening throughout the rest of February. I thought I’d share because the more people that hear about these events, the better. I also want to note that I’m doing a featured reading on Friday, Feb. 28 at The Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock. I’ll be reading some new poems and from my latest collection, All That Remains. There’s an open mic, too. Sign-ups start at 6:30, and the event begins at 7.

Here’s a list of the other events:

Thursday, February 20 – Scranton
Third Thursday Open Mic Poetry Night at the Vintage, 326 Spruce Street, sponsored by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers Collective! Sign-ups begin at 8:00, poetry at 8:30, hosted by K.K. Gordan. This is a free event, but donations to support the Vintage are encouraged and appreciated.

Friday, February 21 – Wilkes-Barre
Third Friday Spoken Word Event W. Featured Performers MOCK SUN! at Art Seen On The Square, 21 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Open Mic plus special musical feature Mock Sun, hosted by Special Guest M.C. Alex Devirgilis. Sign-ups begin at 7:30, readings begin at 8:00.

Sunday, February 16 and Sunday, February 23 – Stroudsburg
Every Sunday features the Open Mic at the Living Room, 522 Main Street in Stroudsburg, next to the Sherman Theater. Sign-ups begin at 6:30, performances at 7:00.

Friday, February 28 – Scranton
The fifth edition of Kick Out the Bottom Open Voice Poetry Reading at Embassy Vinyl in Scranton, hosted by Charwonica Dziwozony. Limited to thirteen readers, signups begin at 6:45, poetry begins at 7:00. The event is BYOC – Bring Your Own Chair.

Friday, February 28 – Tunkhannock
Open Mic Night at the Dietrich Theater, 60 E Tioga Street, Tunkhannock. Featuring Brian Fanelli. Sign-ups begin at 6:30, performances at 7:00. Open to audiences and performers of all types. Poet Brian Fanelli will be reading from his new book All That Remains. Call the Dietrich at 570-996-1500 for details. Hosted by Laurel Radzieski.

Saturday, March 1 – Scranton

Writers’ Showcase at the Vintage, 7 p.m., featuring Laura Duda, Jeff Rath, Kevin McDonough, Amanda J. Bradley, and Le Hinton. Free, but donations to The Vintage encouraged and appreciated. Hosted by Brian Fanelli and Jason Lucarelli.

Upcoming Readings

My summer has mostly been spent reading and working on new material, but there are a few events coming up I want to share. This Friday, July 26, I will be the featured reader at the Dietrich Theater, located at 60 E. Tioga Street in Tunkhannock. This is a wonderful venue and a great reading series, so I’m thrilled to be a part of it. There will be an open mic from 7-8 p.m., and then I will take the stage at 8:15. I am going to read some poems from my forthcoming book, All That Remains, and a few even newer poems, as well as some oldies. Please come out if you can!

I also wanted to share information about a new reading series at the Hoyt Library in Kingston. The reading will take place this Thursday, starting at 6:30. The featured readers include my friends Lauren Stahl and Scott Thomas. There will be an open mic as well, and I hope this will turn into a long-running series.

Meanwhile, I am in the process of booking some readings in the fall surrounding the release of my new book. I already have some readings scheduled in Doylestown and Reading. I will post more info about upcoming readings as they draw closer.

It’s been a while since I’ve sat in an audience and just listened to another poet or musician perform without worrying about also having to read my work. But tonight, I attended the Fourth Friday Open Mic series at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock just to listen and enjoy the entertainment. I was especially impressed by the number of high schoolers that got up there and read their work. That takes a lot of guts and courage, and I doubt at that age I would have been able to do it. I didn’t read at my first open mic until college. Several of the students that read are part of the Breaking Ground Poets organization, led by Tunkhannock High School teacher Katie Wisnosky. The organization has held various poetry slams over the last year at different venues around northeastern, PA. I respect and admire Katie’s energy as a teacher and the way she has inspired her students to care about the art of writing poetry, or creating music. I wish more schools had similar support for the arts, or more teachers willing to create organizations similar to the Breaking Ground Poets.

If you want to see these students in action, then come by the Dietrich Theater this Sunday at 5 p.m. The students will compete in a poetry slam. The cost is $5 per ticket, and the money goes towards their trip to Chicago to compete in a national poetry slam. You should also check out the next open mic on June 28, which is free. It starts at 7, but get there earlier if you want to sign up to perform. I will be filling in for Laurel Radzieski as the emcee. and my friend Dave Hage will be the musical feature.

Shout-out to Two Open Mics

For budding writers living in northeast, PA, there is a chance to share your work with a broader audience through two newish open mics in the area.  The first open mic I want to mention takes place the fourth Wednesday of every month at Library Express in the Steamtown Mall at Scranton. I used to host this, but my teaching schedule prevented me from continuing to do so. However, local poet Scott Thomas has stepped in and revived it, so make sure to check it out. The next one will be in April.

The other open mic I want to mention takes place the fourth Friday of each month at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock. Unlike the Library Express open mic, this one also features music. Participants are encouraged to get there by 6:30 if you want to sign up for one of the open performance slots. They fill up fast! The series is run by Laurel Radzieski, a Keystone College alum who is currently working on her M.F.A. at Goddard. In June, I will be stepping in and hosting the series for one night, and I will be the featured poet July 26.

Plenty of opportunities are available in the area for young writers. Make sure to make use of them.