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

NEPA Horror Film Festival Needs Your Help

Image result for nepa horror film festival

Typically, I don’t post any type of call for money on my blog, but in the spirit of this horror blog, community, and independent film making, I want to note that the NEPA Horror Film Festival needs to raise the necessary funds to make the event possible this October.

There are a few different ways that you can help. You can make a donation here, buy tickets here, or purchase a sponsorship package here. The festival will be held at the Circle Drive-in Theater on Sunday Oct. 13 at 7 pm. Along with showcasing short films from national and international filmmakers, the event will feature vendors and special guests, including Felissa Rose (Angela from Sleepaway Camp), Kevin Van Hentenryck (Kevin from Basket Case), and Frank Henenlotter (director/writer of Basket Case).

For a closer look at the festival, check out this NEPA Scene podcast from last year featuring the event’s organizer/founder Bobby Keller.

Please consider supporting this event!

Last Literary Events of the Year

I’m closing out the remaining weeks of 2016 by doing a few more readings for Waiting for the Dead to Speak, before I take a break for a few weeks to celebrate the holidays and gear up for the new year. Here is a list of upcoming events. Special note: the 5-year anniversary of the Writers’ Showcase Reading Series in Scranton will happen this Saturday!

Sunday, November 27 2016 3-5 p.m.

MRAC Reading

419 Green Lane (Rear) Havertown, PA 19128

Thursday, December 1, 2016 7- 9 p.m.

Farley’s First Thursday Poetry Reading

Farley’s Bookstore, 44 S. Main Street, New Hope, PA.

Friday, December 2 2016 6 p.m.

First Friday Poetry Reading

Library Express, Steamtown Mall Scranton

Saturday, December 3 2016 7-9 p.m.

Writers’ Showcase

Olde Brick Theater, 126 W. Market Street, Scranton, PA

Featured readers include Stanton Hancock, Alexis Belluzzi, Daryl Sznyter, and  Jaimee Wriston Colbert. Admission is $4.


Thinking of NEPA, Thinking of Its Poets

Thursday evening was a celebration of the northeast, Pennsylvania literary community. The evening marked the release of an anthology I had opportunity to co-edit, Down the Dog Hole: 11 Poets on Northeast PennsylvaniaWe gathered at Keystone College in La Plume to read from the book, but also to mark the relaunch of Nightshade Press. An English professor at Lackawanna College, I was happy to see folks from other local colleges present, including Penn State Worthington-Scranton and Wilkes University. My hope is to continue to see this community grow among the colleges because we do far better when we support each other.

I’ve always struggled with my identity as it pertains to NEPA. As a teen, I couldn’t wait to get out of here, especially when the punk rock venues I hung out in  high school closed. They were my only refuge in the area, places I could go where I didn’t feel like an outcast. They got me interested in writing, music, and art. I escaped to college outside Philly and spent most of my weekends hanging in the city, record shopping, book shopping, and reading some of my first poems (very bad drafts) at the Philly area open mics. I cut my teeth in the poetry community in Philly and still keep close connections to that area today. Graduate school brought me back here, and I stayed. At this point, I’m grateful for the chance to teach what I love at Lackawanna College and to help foster the growing literary community here.

As I listened to nine other poets read from the anthology the other night, I was reminded how much there is to mine in this area. One of the poems in the book references John Mitchell, the labor leader who lead mining strikes in the early 20th century and met with Teddy Roosevelt for labor negotiations. Other poems celebrate the natural beauty of this area. Now that I’m older, I’m more comfortable with my place as a poet as it pertains to my native area. As I joined friends the other evening to celebrate this literary community, I was reminded how much has yet to be written about this area. The anthology is a nice start.









Down the Dog Hole We Go!

I have been sitting on this news for weeks and weeks now, but I am happy to announce that Scranton-based poet Tom Blomain and I recently edited an anthology called Down the Dog Hole, featuring 11-NEPA based poet writing about the greater Scranton region. The book will be out in the coming weeks through Nightshade Press of Keystone College. On Sept. 22, we will have a book launch at Keystone College, and we have a scheduled Scranton launch for Oct. 14 at the Library Express.

The featured poets include: David Elliott, Dawn Leas, Craig Czury, Erin Delaney, Jane Honchell, Susan Luckstone Jaffer, Nancy Dymond, Laurel Radzieski, Amanda J. Bradley, Tom Blomain, and I.

Here is a picture of the front cover. I will post a pic of the back cover, too, once I have a high res copy.

down_dog_hole_cover_highres (1).jpg

November Edition of The Writer’s Showcase

If you’re in the Scranton area this weekend and looking for a literary event, then come to the November installment of The Writer’s Showcase, held at the Old Brick Theatre in North Scranton.  To learn more about our featured authors, check out the bios I have posted below. The event runs from 7-9 p.m.

Author bios:

Ali Pica is a local writer for the arts and entertainment site, NEPA Scene. She also has her own advice column in NEPA Scene, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Ali.” Ali also has been a featured reader in venues such as the Vintage Theater and AfA Gallery. Ali has performed with several local jazz musicians in the Northeastern PA and New York City. Currently, Ali is working on a short fiction series and is an Adjunct Professor at Keystone College.

Maggie Gilbertson writes and performs poetry. She’s competed at the Brave New Voices competition and many local slams. She is a junior at Dallas High School, and she loves to read and climb trees.

Joan Hanna has published poetry, creative nonfiction, book reviews and essays in various online and print journals. Her forthcoming chapbook, The Miracle of Mercury, is available for order at Finishing Line Press. Hanna’s first chapbook, Threads, also published by Finishing Line Press, was named a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She teaches creative writing at Rowan University and is also Assistant Managing Editor for River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative and Assistant Editor, Nonfiction/Poetry for r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal. Hanna holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Ashland University. Follow her at her personal blog Writing Through Quicksand. (www.writingthroughquicksand.blogspot.com)

Poet and songwriter Tom Blomain is the author of Gray Area (Nightshade Press) and Blues From Paradise (Foothills Publishing).

The Old Brick Theatre is located at 126 W. Market Street. Admission is $4.