Fall Poetry Events

This week, I’m taking a brief pause from posting horror movie recommendations to share some upcoming poetry events that I’m partaking in with other writes. Check them out if you’re so inclined! One in particular is a special Halloween-themed reading.

Monday, October 21 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Lower Macnungie Library Coffee House

Reading and craft talk with Robb Fillman, David Bauman, Eric Chiles, and I.

Open mic to follow

Lower Macungie Library, 3450 Brookside Rd., Macungie, PA

Image may contain: 5 people, including David J. Bauman and Robb Fillman, beard and text

Tuesday, October 29 7-9 p.m.

Poems at the Pub

I will be the featured reader. An open mic will follow. Costumes are encouraged!

Dugan’s Pub, 385 Main Street, Luzerne, PA

Check out the FB event page for more details.

Saturday, November 16 7-9 p.m.

Writer’s Showcase at the Olde Brick Theater

I will be co-hosting this event with Dawn Leas. Featured readers include Dan Pape, Marcie Herman Riebe, Brianna Schunk, Chris Eibach, Tara Lynn Marta, and Robb Fillman.

126 W. Market Street, Scranton, PA

Writer’s Showcase: All-Female/Winter Edition

The next installment of the Writer’s Showcase at the Olde Brick Theater in Scranton will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. This one will be the annual all-female Showcase, featuring live readings of poetry and prose by Kimberly Boland, Aurora Bonner, Rachael Hughes, Laurel Radzieski, and Alyssa Waugh.

Writers  Showcase Winter 2019-page-001.jpg

 

Author bios:

Kimberly Boland writes poetry, prose, and drama. She is a recent graduate of Keystone College, where she received her bachelor’s of arts degree in Communication Arts and Humanities, and she’s continuing her studies at Gonzaga University where she has just begun her master’s of arts degree in Communication and Leadership Studies. She lives in North Abington Township in her beloved farmhouse home with her cherished, loving family, and her hobbies include tabletop board gaming, swing dancing, listening to audio dramas, and being active in her synagogue’s community. Her first prose poetry chapbook, titled Maybe This Is It, an analysis and reflection on overcoming destruction, told through a feminist lens, came out in 2017 and she hopes to follow it up with a sequel of equally autobiographical poems soon.

Aurora D. Bonner is an environmentally driven writer and artist living in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. She is a regular review contributor for the Colorado Review and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Brevity, Assay: Journal of Nonfiction, Under the Gum Tree, and Hippocampus Magazine. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. Follow her @aurora_bonner or aurorabonner.com for more information.

Rachael J. Hughes writes with retractable, comfort-grip PaperMate Ink Joy pens in groovy hues. She was founder of Word Fountain and earned her Creative Writing MFA at the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. She strives to make the world laugh, heal, and love books. She is the author of Us Girls: My Life Without a Uterus. She writes and resides in Central Pennsylvania with her family, including four cats. Check out her musical musings at: http://kindalikeapoet.wordpress.com.

Laurel Radzieski’s debut poetry collection, Red Mother, was published by NYQ Books in 2018. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and her BA from Keystone College. She has been a Writer-in-Residence at the Wormfarm Institute and is a poetry editor for Clockhouse. Laurel’s poems has appeared in The Golden Key, Really System, The Slag Review and elsewhere, including on roadsides in rural Wisconsin. She has worn many hats in the theatre and can often be found writing on-the-spot poems for strangers at local events. Laurel lives in Scranton with her husband and a fish named Buddy.

Alyssa Waugh is the editor of I AM STRENGTH: True Stories of Everyday Superwomen and the author of Hell’s Laughter and Other Spooky Tales. Her short stories have been published in Beyond Science Fiction Literary Magazine, her poetry has been featured on Writing in a Woman’s Voice, and she won first place in Inkitt’s Running Scared Horror Writing Contest. She is a manuscript reader for the James Jones Novel Writing Competition, a copy editor for Etruscan Press, and teaches creative writing classes at King’s College and fiction workshops at Wilkes University where she received her M.F.A. These days she spends most of her time as the Editor in Chief of Blind Faith Books and trying to write without her cats stealing her pens. You can learn more about her at alyssawaugh.com and blindfaithbooks.com.

Check out the Facebook event page for additional info.

In Defense Of…

Confession: for a few months, I pondered ending the reading series that I’ve been running for over five years, The Writers’ Showcase. The series has undergone a lot since its inception, including three venue changes and a co-host who moved to Philadelphia. However, after talking to writer friends from across the county, I’ve decided to keep it going. I’m grateful to them for sparking my motivation to keep doing this thing. We’ve had a lot of conversations about the Trump age and what this means for the arts, namely if the NEA and NHE are totally defunded, which has been proposed in the Trump budget. No matter the fate of those organizations, it is imperative that we keep these local reading series going as a means to give a voice to writers. Writers have always been a form of resistance, and we need to ensure that we have spaces and series to make their work available to the public. With that in mind, I am going to host another edition of the Writers’ Showcase in April, and we’re thrilled about the line-up, which is included on the flyer below. I am also committing myself to continue writing book reviews for other writers. My goal is to write 4-6 reviews a year, a schedule I’ve been able to keep up with over the last few years and one I think I can maintain. Here is a new review I wrote of Patrick T. Reardon’s book Requiem for David, which I highly recommend. I was not familiar with his work until the editor of At the Inkwell asked me if I wanted to review it. Another goal for me is to review books of authors I’m not familiar with, as a way to expose myself to work outside of my usual circle and do the same for others.

Let’s think about ways that we can continue supporting our local art scenes because we really need that right now.

The Writers  Showcase Spring 2017 (1)-page-001.jpg

When it gets closer to the date, I will post the bios of our featured writers for April.

Sometimes You Just Have to Say No

The nonfiction journal Brevity has a great blog post about ways to avoid overbooking yourself as a writer. The guest author, Lev Raphael, admits that most young writers say yes to everything for the exposure. However, there is  a danger to that because committing to so many engagements pulls a writer from the daily work schedule. Raphael shares some useful advice he learned from another writer during an engagement at a Jewish Community Center. “It’s not just the day you’re there, she (the other author) said, if it’s only a day.  It’s the day before, getting ready, and then at least one day of re-entry into your regular schedule, sometimes more, depending on how complicated your visit was.”

Raphael also notes that writers should consider whether or not the gig will be fun or challenging, and whether or not the compensation, if there is any, is worth it. Raphael’s post made me reflect upon all of the writing engagements and readings I’ve done in the last few years, which has probably neared 100 or so. More recently, most of them have been worth it and have led to book sales and networking with different writers and literary communities. However, when I first started doing this, I said yes to everything. I’ve driven a few hundred miles round trip to read before five or six people. Looking back, I would have said thanks, but no thanks to some of those engagements. Like Raphael advises, guard your time and worry about the work first and foremost.  Research the conference or reading series. Make sure the drive or air travel is worth it.