Scranton ZineFest

If you’re around the Scranton area this weekend, I recommend that you check out the annual Scranton Zine Fest, to be held at the Tripps Park Community Center on Saturday from 11-6. While the term “zine” may conjure up images of handmade, DIY magazines, the festival includes a host of other vendors besides zinesters. In past years, there was art, records, and movies for sale, among other items.  This year is unique because it will also feature an entire day’s worth of live music. You can check out the schedule of bands here.

While on the website, check out photos from past years to get a sense of what the festival is all about!

Scranton ZineFest

If you’re  around northeastern, PA this weekend, then I encourage you to come out to Scranton ZineFest. Since it’s creation a few years ago, the festival has grown to include more artists, zinesters, poets, and this year musicians. It has become an inclusive festival over the last few years that does its best to include a variety of art forms and media.  The free event will take place Saturday from 1-7 p.m. at the Tripps Park Community Center, 2000 Dorothy St. in Scranton. This year’s event features artists from all over the East Coast, including Maryland, Philadelphia, Richmond, DC, and artists from far away as Chicago. For a list of the artists and zinesters participating, click here.

There will also be live music throughout the day and a poetry reading at 2 p.m. I’ll be reading, along with Rich Howells, Alexis Belluzzi, Rachael Goetzke, and David J. Bauman. For a list of our bios, click here.

If you want more information about the festival, then check out this article The Weekender just published.

A big thank you to Jessica Meoni and her partners in crime for organizing this whole thing for yet another year.

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.

Some Updates

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years and developed some solid resolutions for 2012. I wanted to share some updates. The next Writers Showcase at New Visions Studio and Gallery will be held on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7 pm. The venue is located at 201 Vine Street, and there is free parking in front of the gallery. We had a wonderful turnout during the first event back in November, and I’m hoping for the same or even better this time. Next week, I’ll post a description of all of the readers involved. It will be a solid mix of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction.

I also want to mention that I have a poem, “How I Remember Her,” published in the new issue of Evening Street Review. This is a wonderful print journal published out of Ohio. Check it out here.

Finally, I want to share an update about ZineFest 2012. Last year, the organizers received a county grant that basically paid for the event. This year, the county received even more applications, and unfortunately, ZineFest did not secure any grant money. The organizers are trying to raise enough funds to secure the venue for a soon-to-be scheduled June date. They are seeking donations, and if you can help out, that would be much appreciated. Feel free to email them at Any support would be much appreciated. Last year’s event was a huge success and brought in writers, artists, and zinesters from across the East Coast, and I hope the event keeps going.

That’s all for now. Happy Writing, Happy New Year!

Scranton ZineFest 2012

In 2011, one of my favorite readings I took part in and hosted was part of Scranton’s first ever ZineFest. The event brought together zinesters, craft makers, and booksellers from Scranton, Philly and other pockets of the East Coast. The day featured an exchange of zines and crafts, and the reading was held in the evening at Anthology New and Used Books (this was actually the last ever reading held there, sadly).

I’m pleased to announce there will be a second ZineFest, to be held in June of 2012, at the Keyser Valley Community Center. This year, we won’t have to worry about any rain clouds lingering over the participants and tables because the venue will allow us to be indoors all day. The new venue also has a kitchen, so it will make it easier for us to cook and store food.

I met the other day with Jessica Meoni and Dana Marie Bloom, the two key organizers of the festival. I left the meeting feeling eager to be part of this event again. Soon, Jessica and Dana are going to send out letters inviting last year’s participants to partake in this year’s festival, and I am going to finish sending out invitations to writers we hope will participate in the evening reading. This year the reading will be different in the sense that we want the writers to share works that are music-themed, or have some type of socio/political undertone, to reflect zine culture. The reading should stand to be a good mix of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and we’ll have some of the readers back from last year, but also some new faces.

Once we finalize a date and line-up some of the zinesters and readers that will be attending, I’ll post more details here.

Some updates

I took a much-needed vacation over the last few days and camped at the historic beach town Cape May with my girlfriend, Jenna. After doing readings nearly every weekend since the fall and the release of Front Man, I needed to lounge on the beach and decompress.

But now that I’m back, I want to give a big thank you/shout ou to Jess Meoni, Dana Bloom, and everyone else involved with the first ever Scranton ZineFest. It was remarkable to see so many zinesters from the East Coast (Philly especially) come together to exchange ideas and publications. Also, everyone that read at Anthology that night killed it! I hope this will be an annual event in Scranton because it did indeed feel like something special.

I also want to announce that I’m now writing poetry book reviews for PANK, a national literary journal. My first review was just published, and you can read it here.  Also, I have a fairly new poem, “One Night,” published in the new issue of Pennsylvania Literary Journal.

I also have a few readings coming up.  On Tuesday, July 26, I’ll be reading at the KGB Bar in New York City with some other writers I know. More details to come soon. I’ll also be reading at the second Prose in Pubs series on Sunday, July 31 at Jack’s Draft House in Scranton with Matt Hinton, Jen Diskin, Mischelle Anthony.

One Last Post About ZineFest

Just a reminder that the first ever Scranton ZineFest is this Saturday! The tables of zines will be featured from noon-3 pm along Center Street. Zinesters are coming from Philly, Allentown, and all along the East Coast. You can read the full list of featured artists and zinesters by clicking here.  It’s now pretty extensive.

Following the table portion of the event, I will host the poetry reading from 4-6 pm at Outrageous Cafe/Pages and Places at Anthology, which is also at Center Street. The featured readers include Amye Archer, Rachael Goetzke, Alexis Czencz Belluzzi, Dale Wilsey Jr, and me. To read bios of the featured readers, click here.

The press has also been so kind to us, and there’s been write-ups in most of the major publications here. To read the Electric City article click here.  To read the Scranton  Times-Tribune article, click here. To read the Weekender article, click here.  To read the Go Lackawanna article, click here, and to hear the WVIA radio interview, click here.

And again, please come out to the event and support what Scranton is doing regarding the arts!

ZineFest Follow-Up

The other night, I met with Jess Meoni, the organizer of Scranton’s first ever ZineFest, and the writers who will take part in the reading portion of the festival from 4-6 pm on Saturday, June 11 at Pages and Places at Anthology (515 Center Street, Scranton).

The closer this event draws, the more excited I am about it, and I’m confident that the mix of people reading will sustain and maintain the audience’s interest. Everyone’s work is unique and different from each other’s. I wanted to take some time and share some basic info about the different writers.

Alexis Czencz Belluzi has a chapbook of poems out with the Boston-based press/publisher Big Table Publishing (These guys also put out my book, Front Man). Her book, Practicing Distance, was hailed as “teasingly original” and “a finely wrought chapbook of poems” by renowned poet Eric Tretheway, father of award-winning poet Natasha Tretheway.

Dale Wilsey Jr. is a friend and poet I’ve met over the last year. He has no qualms writing honest poems about sex and relationships, but I’ve also heard him read moving poems that explore  father/son relationships. You should check out his blog by clicking here.

Amye Barresse Archer is a friend I’ve made through the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program, where we both completed an M.A. and M.F.A.  in creative writing. She’s a witty, talented memoirist and poet. The latest collection of poems she’s working on is set to the 80s hair metal scene! How cool is that? She also just started a reading series in the Scranton area called Prose in Pubs. You should check out her blog here.

Rachael Goetzke is another friend I made through the Wilkes Program. She’s currently working on a memoir about the importance of music, especially Pearl Jam, in her life. Like her memoir, her poetry is also filled with references to music and pop culture. She is also a co-founder and editor of the literary journal Word Fountain. The new music-themed issue will be available at ZineFest. Check out her blog here.

I’ll also be reading at the event, and if you reading this blog, then you probably know my work. But if you just stumbled upon this blog, and want a sample of my stuff, check out my site here.

Also, if you are interested in showcasing your zine, poetry chapbook, jewelry, or art, there is still some time to sign up for a table. Just check the ZineFest website for more info. The cut-off date to get a table is Friday, May 27.

And before you come to the reading, make sure to check out all of the vender tables from noon-3 p.m. along Center Street.


Through Scranton may not be Manhattan, Baltimore, Philly, Boston, or any of the other big cities along the East Coast, I’ve always been surprised how strong of an art community this area has. If you don’t believe me, come to downtown Scranton during First Friday when the weather is warm, and you’ll see the art galleries packed.

Furthermore, this area has a pretty rich literary scene. I first discovered it when I moved back from the Philly area to attend graduate school at Wilkes University. I kept hearing about the monthly readings at Test Pattern, a venue that used to be on Adams Avenue, near the Bog. During the first reading I attended, I was impressed by the amount of poets who read, and how receptive the audience was. Once the venue closed, the reading series moved to Anthology New and Used Books. And I’m sure the poets who were part of that scene will find somewhere else to hold readings, now that Anthology is in different hands and restructuring its purpose somewhat.

One of the artists/writers I’ve met over the last few years is Jessica Meoni, a student at Marywood Univeristy. She runs a DIY publication called Ruthless Zine, which features a mix of political/social commentary, art, photography, and sometimes poetry.  Months ago, she told me about an event she’s launching called ZineFest, which will be held in downtown Scranton on Saturday, June 11, along Center Street.

She’s managed to book some editors/writers from zines along the East Coast to showcase their work at the all-day festival. I’m stoked about this festival for several reasons. First, as a former punk rock kid, I grew up going to shows where zines were as much a part of the subculture as the music.  In addition, I wrote for WonkaVision Magazine for a number of years, a music magazine based out of Philly. It started out as a small zine, but then grew into a large publication found in several different states. Zines always served as a great way to spread music, to support the indie/punk rock subculture, and to offer alternative, progressive viewpoints on a number of social/political issues. In the age of the Internet, it’s also nice to know that there are still people out there creating DIY print publications.

So, kudos to Jess Meoni for putting this together. I hope it enriches the  literary scene in this area, and I hope it becomes an annual event.

I’ll be hosting the reading portion of this event from 4-6 pm on June 11th at Pages and Places at Anthology, 515 Center Street. When the event is closer, I’m going to share some more info about the readers. Trust me, it’s a solid, entertaining mix! The rest of the festival will feature different tables along Center Street, right in front of Pages and Places at Anthology. The tables will feature different zines, arts, and crafts.

 To learn more about ZineFest, click here, and return to my blog for more updates about the event as it gets closer to the date! The website has more info about zome of the zines that will be at the event.

Pushing Forward to Summer

I LOVE the time of year when the NBA playoffs start, which is officially today. You’ll find me at home today, watching the Pacers face the Bulls, the Sixers face the Heat, and the Hawks face my favorite team, the Magic. Besides staying glued to my tv to watch playoff basketball, I enjoy this time of year because I know the spring semester is winding down, that I only have a few more papers to grade before I get a little break before I teach a few summer classes. My favorite season is only a mere few weeks away, and the lessened workload allows me to plan adventures, readings, and projects.

So far, I’m working on a poetry course I’ll be teaching at Keystone College second summer session, and my poetry workshop is also going to run at the Vintage Theater again. I’m also scheduling a lot more poetry readings.

Tomorrow, I’ll be reading at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC with members of the Mulberry Poets and Writers Association. The reading starts at 4 pm, and if you’re in the city, you should come! The venue is located between Bleeker and Houston Streets.

I’ve also booked a few other readings. On Saturday, June 4 at 3 p.m., I’ll be reading at RiverRead books in Binghamton, NY  with fellow Big Table Publishing poet Alexis Czencz Belluzi. After that reading, I have to book it to Allentown to see one of my favorite bands, Against Me!, play the Croc Rock.

On Saturday, June 11 from 4-6 p.m., I’m hosting a reading at Pages and Places at Anthology for ZineFest.   This will include readings by Amye Archer, Charlotte Lewis, Dale Wilsey Jr, Alexis Czencz Belluzi, Rachael Goetzke, and I.

I have some other readings in the works. I believe I’ll also be reading at the Honesdale Arts Festival the weekend of May 21-22, but I have to finalize the details Monday, and I’m also working on putting together a Big Table Publishing showcase/reading at the Vintage Theater on June 24. More details to come soon!

I also want to announce that my poetry chapbook, Front Man, is now for sale on Check it out here!