New Visions Writers Showcase

If you’re looking for something in northeast, PA to do this weekend, then you should come to the New Visions Writers Showcase. It’s taking place this Saturday at 7 p.m. at New Visions Studio and Gallery, 201 Vine Street in Scranton. Here is a list of featured readers and their bios:

Barb Taylor completed her first novel, Provide Square, as a graduate creative writing student at Wilkes University. The book is set in her hometown of Scranton, PA, during the early 1900s, at the height of coal mining, Vaudeville and evangelism. Barb recently completed a draft of the second novel in her planned historical fiction trilogy. In September, she will begin her 26th year as a high school English teacher in the Pocono Mountain School District.


Kait Burrier has been a member of poetry and theatre communities in Scranton, Pittsburgh, and regionally in France. Kait’s drama has recently been staged at the Jason Miller Playwrights Project Invitational, Dyonisia ’12, and performed at Scranton’s Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces. Kait’s poetry has most recently been featured in the Voices from the Attic anthology and an e-chapbook, #GOODLitSwerveAutumn, released by the lit mag NAP. She completed her M.F.A. at Wilkes University.

Erin DeLaney teaches writing and literature courses at Misericordia University and other local colleges. She has her M.A. in creative writing from Wilkes University and is currently working on her first chapbook.

Marie Kane is the author of the chapbook Survivors in the Garden, published in 2012 by Big Table Publishing. Her poetry has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and has appeared in various journals including, Wordgathering, The Schuylkill Valley Journal, Hot Metal Press, the Delaware Valley Poets Anthology, The Poet’s Touchstone, The Meadowland Review, and the Belleview Literary Review. For twenty-eight years, Kane taught high school English in the Central Bucks (PA) School District. She has received an award from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts and from The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for teaching high school poets. Her poetry has won prizes in various competitions, including the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, Inglis House, and the Robert Frasier Poetry Contest. She has been a featured reader at the New Jersey State Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, the International House in Philadelphia, and at many universities, bookstores, and libraries. Currently, she enjoys being the final juror in two scholastic poetry contests: the regional Montgomery County (PA) competition, and the national Sarah Mook poetry contest. She is the 2006 Bucks County (PA) Poet Laureate and lives in Yardley, PA, with her husband, Stephen Millner, a photographer and mixed media artist.

A writing fellow at Elizabethtown College, Richard Fellinger won the 2011 Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award for his short story collection, They Hover Over Us. His short fiction has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and won the 2008 Flash Fiction Contest at Red Cedar Review, and his stories have appeared in many other journals such as Potomac Review, Epiphany, Willow Review and PANK. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, and he lives with his wife and son in Camp Hill, PA.

Like always, the event is free, though donations to the gallery will be accepted. This will be the last Writers Showcase for a while, at least until late March. There are a few reasons for that. I, along with Jason Lucarelli, the other co-host, have a lot going on in our lives right now that we need to take care of.  Furthermore, because we usually have a lot of published writers that come from other states or other parts of PA, we don’t want to schedule an event in the middle of winter. We’d rather do the next one in spring, when we can rely on safer traveling conditions.


New Visions Writers Showcase

If you read this blog and live in northeast, Pennsylvania, you should come out to the New Visions Writers Showcase taking place this Saturday at 7 p.m. at New Visions Studio Gallery, 201 Vine Street in Scranton.  This month’s readers include Chicago-based fiction writer Eugene Cross, poets Richard Aston and Scott Thomas, crime fiction writer Lauren Stahl, and Keystone College students Lisbeth Herr Gelatt and Jennifer Matarese. Below you can find bios of each reader. The reading is free, and authors will have books for sale.

Eugene Cross is the author of the short story collection Fires of Our Choosing, which was long listened for the Frank O’Connor International Short story Award. He was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania and received an M.F.A. from The University of Pittsburgh. His stories have appeared in Narrative Magazine (which named him one of “20 Best New Writers” and his story “Harvesters” a “Top Five Story of 2009-2010”), American Short Fiction, Story Quarterly, TriQuarterly, and Callaloo, among other publications.

His work was also listed among the 2010 Best American Short Stories’ 100 Distinguished Stories. He is the recipient of scholarships from the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, as well as a fellowship from the 2012 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He is the winner of the 2009 Dzanc Prize for Excellence in Literary Fiction and Community Service.

Scott Thomas has a B.A. in Literature from Bard College, a M.S. in Library Science from Columbia University, and a M.A. in English from the University of Scranton. He is currently employed as a librarian, specifically, Head of Information Technologies & Technical Services at the Scranton Public Library. His poems have appeared in Mankato Poetry Review, The Kentucky Poetry Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, Poem, Stirring: A Literary Collection, and other journals. Currently, he resides in Dunmore with his family.

Lisbeth Herr Gelatt is a student at Keystone College and was born in Los Angeles, but eventually moved to Pennsylvania to raise a family. Currently, she works for Wayne Country Transportation and is now the mother of three grown women, including a veteran of the Iraq war. Her most recent writing credits include Keystone College’s The Plume Literary Magazine,, and PANK. She is working on at least one urban fantasy novel, and she hopes to complete a chapbook of poems in the near future.

Jennifer Matarese is also a student at Keystone College and the author of the novel Heroine Addiction.

Richard  Aston has been a member of Mulberry Poets and Writers Association for over 30 years and has been active in the Wilkes-Barre /Scranton poetry scene generally. He has coordinated all of the poetry contests held by the Mulberry Poets. He has been publishing poetry for over 30 years, and has had his collection Valley Voices published by Foothills Publishing. He has also published technical textbooks and numerous professional engineering papers. He has three children and seven grandchildren.

A former prosecutor in Pennsylvania, Lauren Stahl is an avid reader and writer of the crime fiction genre. She is a graduate of Pennsylvania State Dickinson School of Law and received her M.F.A. from Wilkes University. Lauren’s first novel, Deadly Conviction, is currently represented by Union Literary in New York with the hopes of reaching publication. She is hard at work on her second novel, The Bottom Line.


Scranton ZineFest

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, you should stop at New Visions Studio and Gallery in Scranton Saturday for the second Scranton ZineFest. From noon-6, there will be tables filled with zines, journals, books, arts and crafts. This year, the vendors are coming from all along the East Coast, and there is even one coming from Canada. Following the tabling, there will be a poetry reading at 7 p.m. featuring Jason Lucarelli, Steve Keating, Rachael Goetzke, Alexis Czencz Belluzzi, Rich Howells, William James, and I. This poetry reading is unique because most of the work we share will be music-oriented.

For more info about ZineFest, click here. For more info about the readers, click here.

You can also check out the Weekender’s cover story on ZineFest here, and the article from Go Lackawanna here.

I have a feeling that this year’s festival will top last year’s, when we had to deal with gloomy weather and on and off rain that limited the number of participants that came, since we had the festival outside, on Center Street. We’re grateful that New Visions has opened its doors to us and has allowed us to host the festival indoors this year.

New Visions Writers Showcase Returns

After a very successful installment of the New Visions Writers Showcase in March, which featured slam poet William James, the Writers Showcase will return on Saturday, May 12 at 7 p.m. with a line-up of three prose writers and three poets. Once again, the event is free and will take place at New Visions Studio and Gallery, located at 201 Vine Street in Scranton.

The event will feature readings from Anne Henry, Gary Ryman, Bethany-Marie Gagas, David Elliott, Patricia Florio, and Tom Blomain.

Here is some more info about each reader:

Anne Henry recently completed her M.F.A. in creative writing from Wilkes University, and she is currently conducting a creative writing workshop for adults in a continuing education program and runs summer workshops for teens. As she searches for an agent for her memoir, she is also hard at work on her novel, Truth Be Told.

David Elliott is a professor of English at Keystone College, and a longtime member of the Mulberry Poets and Writers Association. He is the author of a book of haiku entitled Wind in the Trees, and the collection Passing Through. His work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies.

Gary Ryman is the second of three generations of firefighters, and the author of the book Fire Men: Stories From Three Generations of a Firefighting Family. He is a past chief of the Scott Fire Company in Lackawanna Count, and he is currently completing his MA in American History.

Bethany-Marie Gagas is currently finishing her Master’s of Teaching degree from Marywood University, and her poetry has appeared in local journals.

Patricia Florio is the author of the book My Two Mothers. She is also a travel writer for She graduated with an M.F.A. from Wilkes University, focusing on creative non-fiction. Currently, she lives on the Jersey Shore and conducts a reading series there. In 2012, she was a Normal Mailer Fellowship finalist.

Tom Blomain is the current president of the Mulberry Poets and Writers Association, He is the author of Gray Area and the forthcoming collection of poems Blues From Paradise (Foothills Publishing). He is producer of Graffiti, a poetry and music program on Electric City Television, for which organization he serves on the Board of Directors. A graduate of Keystone College and Dickinson College, he resides in the Hill Section, and is currently working on a collection of original songs with his group, Nobody Fancy.

Hope to see you there!

A Wonderful Weekend Reading

This weekend,  I hosted a mixed genre reading at New Visions Studio and Gallery in Scranton with my friend and fellow writer Jason Lucarelli.We launched the reading not only to showcase local writrs, but also to get people in  New Visions, a quaint space about two blocks down from Lackawanna College. The owners host music shows, comedy acts, and an array of art shows. But this was the first literary event they’ve had.

 Our other featured readers, Amye Archer, Tom Borthwick,Norma Bernstock, Alexis Czencz Belluzzi, and Steve Keating, all did a fantastic job, earning laughs and OOOs from folks in the audience.  The audience itself was also very receptive and attentive, and a wide range of different ages. I hope they continue to support the gallery and its various events.

Because the first event was successful, we decided to schedule another reading for Saturday, January 14 at 7 pm. We are currently in the process of booking the readers. Like the first showcase, the next one will feature a mix of genres.

Writers Showcase Event

This Saturday, Nov. 12, I’m co-hosting a writers showcase event at New Visions Studio and Gallery, located at 201 Vine Street in Scranton.  The event begins at 7 pm and is free, though donations to New Visions are encouraged. I’m co-hosting this with Jason Lucarelli, a fiction writer and M.F.A. student  I met a while ago at The Vintage Theater, another solid Scranton arts/music venue.

We had talked for a while about hosting a reading, and once we had the time, we finally planned and organized it. The other writers featured include Dawn Leas, Tom Borthwick, Alexis Czencz Belluzzi, Steve Keating, Amye Archer, and Norma Bernstock. This event will feature poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.

Go Lackawanna ran a preview article about the reading, which you can read here. The Abington Journal also did an article and published it today. Check it out here.

If this event goes well, Jason and I are considering organizing future readings at New Visions. We’d like to continue having a mix of genres and at least one undergraduate student per reading. So come out Saturday and show some support for our writing community here!

General Updates

Here’s a quick update of some fall events/readings I’m participating in.

This Friday, Sept. 23, I’ll be reading at the Vintage Theater with Amye Archer. Doors open at 6 p.m. There will also be art and music featured. Tickets are $10, and all money benefits the venue, which is located at 119 Penn Ave. in Scranton.

On Friday,  Oct. 14 at the Century Club in Scranton, I’m reading with other writers from the Mulberry Poets and Writers Association. The event starts at 6 pm.

On Saturday, Oct. 22 at Sellers Books in Jim Thorpe, I’m the featured reader for the evening. I’ll also share the stage with poet Dawn Leas.  The event starts at 7 pm. The bookstore is located at 101 Broadwy.

And on Saturday, Nov. 12, I’m reading and hosting an event for local writers at New Visions Art Gallery, located at 201 Vine Street in Scranton. I’m in the process now of finalizing the list of readers.

Finally, I also have a poem, “How She Hides Her Age,” in the new fall issue of  San Pedro River Review.  If interested, you can order a copy here.

So far, it’s shaping up to be a busy fall, and I like that!