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.

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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.

Writers Showcase All-Female Edition

Last year, the Writers Showcase Reading Series in Scranton featured an all-female line-up, and we’re doing the same again this year. The event takes place this Saturday at 7 p.m. Here is a flyer with more details. I also posted the bios of all of the featured readers. If you’re in NEPA, I encourage you to come out, hear these women read, and support the local literary scene.

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Jenette Kiesendahl is an English instructor and the Writing Center Director at Lackawanna College. She earned a Masters of Fine Arts from Hofstra University in 2012 where she was the recipient of the Judith A. Jedlicka Endowed Scholarship. She is the editor for both Something Savage Animation Studio and Woodloch Pines Resort. While her most recent publication for the Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Educators is an academic one, her essay entitled “Misconception” can be found in the Narrateur, and she has published several smaller pieces through local publications on Long Island.

Marcie Herman Riebe is a bilingual case worker by day, a university ESL adjunct by night, and an aspiring writer at times in between. An import to northeastern Pennsylvania, she has been active in the arts for many years in theatre, forensics and music. Her interest in the arts continues as founder of Ink, an area writer’s group, a founding member of Voce Angeli (NEPA’s only all-female chamber choir), as a board member of Arcadia Chorale, a part of the Diva Theater Productions family, and as a member of the Northeast PA Creative Writers. She writes online as a scribe for the Rolling the Dice blog, a contributor to Project Wednesday (a self-development blog), and as the columnist of “The Writer’s Edge” for Thirty-Third Wheel. She loves all things Pittsburgh, particularly the University of Pittsburgh where she earned her Master of Arts degree in Linguistics. She lives in Scranton with her hilarious husband, Pete, and their horde of cats:  Napoleon, Gimli, King Ajax, Sam and Dean.

Samantha Patterson is a fiction and poetry writer born and raised in Larksville, Pennsylvania. Her work has been published in online journals, and she is completing her first full-length manuscript as a student in Wilkes University’s Graduate Creative Writing Program. When she is not writing, Samantha spends her time as a soccer coach for Lackawanna College, while pursuing her journey as a registered yoga instructor.

Rachel Luann Strayer is a produced playwright and aspiring novelist with an M.A. and MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. Her original play Drowning Ophelia received its World Premiere production in San Francisco, followed by East Coast productions in Scranton and Philadelphia. Her short plays have been performed locally by Gaslight Theatre Company and Diva Theater. Rachel works at Keystone College as the Director of Theatre and an Assistant Professor of Communication Arts. She is a co-founder of the local theatre company Ghostlight Productions where she serves as an actor, director, and playwright. Rachel and her husband, Jonathan, live in Clarks Summit, Pa.

Emily Vogel’s poetry, reviews, essays, and translations have most recently been published in The North American Review, Omniverse, The Paterson Literary Review, Lips, City Lit Rag, Luna Luna, Maggy, Lyre Lyre, The Comstock Review, The Broome Review, Tiferet, The San Pedro River Review2 Bridges Review, and PEN, among several others. She is the author of five chapbooks, and a full-length collection, The Philosopher’s Wife, published in 2011 by Chester River Press, a collaborative book of poetry, West of Home, with her husband Joe Weil (Blast Press), First Words(NYQ Books), and recently, Dante’s Unintended Flight (NYQ Books). She has work forthcoming in The Boston Review and Fiolet & Wing: An Anthology of Domestic Fabulism. She teaches writing at SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College and is married to the poet, Joe Weil.

Buy the man a beer, or something

Three years ago,  Jason Lucarelli and I met to discuss creating a new reading series in northeast, Pennsylvania, one that would include featured readers only, no open mic, and combine poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Out of those initial meetings came the Writers Showcase Reading Series, which was held at the now defunct New Visions Studio and Gallery in Scranton and then the Vintage Theater this past year. We wanted to showcase the work of our friends, and since then, we’ve hosted over 100 writers, some local and some from far away as Chicago.

Jason has been an instrumental part of this reading series. He has invited several poets and prose writers to our area, connections he’s made through his  low-res M.F.A. program in Vermont.  Furthermore, once I started the Ph.D. program, took on a full-time teaching job, and released a new book, he took on the press duties  and has succeeded in ensuring our readings got publicity in the weekly arts papers.  So far (fingers crossed) we’ve never had a low turnout for any of the readings, and that is because of Jason’s hard work getting the word out.

All of this said, Jason will be moving away to Philly for a new job. I wish him the best of luck. We ran this series for three years, and it’s been a great run. It will continue, at least for July and November, dates we confirmed a long time ago with the Vintage. Our next reading will be Saturday, July 12 at 7 p.m., and it will feature Bryne and Charlotte Lewis, Paul Capoccia, Eric Wilson, and Bernadette McBride. Here is the Facebook event page.

When it’s a little closer to the date, I’ll post more info about July’s featured writers, including their bios, and post some articles from the local arts papers. It’s unclear now whether or not Jason will still be in town to co-host the reading, but if he is there, give him a thank you for co-organizing this series over the last three years. Buy the man a beer when we all go out to a bar afterwards.

Here’s a picture from the first reading at New Visions. The featured readers were Norma Bernstock, Amye Archer, Steve Keating, Alexis Belluzzi, Tom Borthwick, Jason, and I. In the meantime, keep supporting the other readings in the area, both the open mics and featured readers series. Other people like Jason put a lot of time and energy into sustaining this local literary community, and they deserve support.

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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!