New Visions

Scranton has lost another all-ages art venue, this time New Visions Studio and Gallery, which will close this month. Tonight is the venue’s final First Friday art exhibit, and the gallery is having a few more events until mid-month. New Visions joins a long list of all-ages venue in northeastern, Pennsylvania that have closed in the last several years, including Test Pattern, Café Del Soul, Homebase, Café Metropolis, and others. This place was especially important to me because during the last two years I hosted a reading series there with my friend and fellow writer Jason Lucarelli. New Visions provided a place for dozens of local and national writers to share their work. We hosted poets, novelists, and memoirists, and all of them only had positive things to say about the venue and Scranton’s literary scene.

With yet another local art venue closing its doors, its important to support the venues that remain, especially the Vintage Theater, AFA Gallery, and other all-ages venues that host a wide array of events. I doubt I would have ever become a poet if I didn’t have venues like New Visions when I was in high school and then in college. Such places allowed me to cut my teeth at open mics and find a community of writers. For now, we bid goodbye to another venue, but the New Visions reading series will continue. We are currently working on billing writers for a November reading and finding a new venue. Stay tuned, and many thanks to Adam and Mel, the owners of New Visions, for running a wonderful gallery!

New Visions Writers Showcase

As promised, here is some more info about the New Visions Writers Showcase. It will take place this Saturday at 7 pm at New Visions Studio and Gallery, located at 201 Vine Street in Scranton. Jason Lucarelli and I will host it, and we have a wonderful line-up of readers this month. You can read an article about the event here.

Here is some info about the readers.

Lisbeth Herr Gelatt is an undergraduate student at Keystone College who has taken community poetry workshops in Scranton and creative writing classes at Keystone. I’ve had her in class a few times, and she’s a great reader.

Rich Howells is an award-winning journalist, longtime blogger, and short fiction writer. In addition to his daily work for Scranton newspaper Go Lackawanna, his articles are also regularly published in The Times Leader, The Abington Journal, and The Weekender. Online, he maintains two main blogs and several smaller websites, and he is currently working on expanding into comic book writing. A good sampling of his portfolio can be found at www.RichHowells.net.

Trica Kinney is a senior at Keystone College. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Word Fountain, WritingRaw.com, and Indigo Rising Magazine.

Dawn Leas is the author of the chapbook I Know When to Keep Quiet, published by Finishing Line Press.  Her work has appeared online, in print and in buses including goldwakepress.org, Willows Wept ReviewLiterary Mama, Interstice, and Poetry in Transit.  Currently, Dawn Leas teaches middle-school English at Wyoming Seminary. Visit her at www.dawnleas.com.

Frank Sabina has taught English at Keystone College. (We are actually still waiting for his full blurb to come in!)

Jennifer Bokal lives in Upstate New York with her husband, John, and their three daughters. Originally, a romance writer, Jennifer switched her focus to young adult novels while pursuing a degree in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. When not writing, Jennifer can be found practicing yoga, having lunch with friends or shopping for shoes. King’s Crossing is her first novel for young adults.

Bridget McIntyre is a GLBT writer who holds her MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University.  Currently, she teaches in the English department at Marywood University and is working on her first novel, Stonewall Girl.

We also have one other writer on the list, Beth Burke. Jason has the blurb for her. This Writers Showcase is unique in the sense we have a broader range of genres compared to the last showcase, which was poetry heavy. I’m confident all of the writers will do a wonderful job, so come on out and enjoy the work of local and regional writers! The event is free, though donations to the gallery are encouraged.