Goodbye, Vintage Theater

Unfortunately, another all-ages art venue in Scranton is closing its doors. The Vintage Theater will officially close at the end of this month. A goodbye bash will be held on August 30 at 6 p.m. As a board member, I can’t even begin to express my disappointment and sorrow to see yet another venue close in the community. I can’t even begin to describe the importance of venues like The Vintage to communities like Scranton. When I was in high school, I found solace at another all-ages venue, Cafe Del Soul, which closed its doors during my senior year. It was there that I discovered the punk rock community, activism, poetry, and the broader art community. I am sure that The Vintage provided that for a lot of people in the greater Scranton/Wilkes-Barre community, and I can only hope another venue will open soon.

As a writer, The Vintage has been incredibly important to me. I had the book launch for Front Man there in the fall of 2010 and more recently, I had the release party for All That Remains there last fall. Conor and Theresa, the venue owners, were always there for the art community, and when New Visions Studio and Gallery closed last year, they were gracious enough to allow Jason Lucarelli and I to move the Writers’ Showcase there. We had two readings there, one last March and one in July. Both were well-attended, and all of the writers, especially the ones that came from our of town, had positive things to say about the venue and the greater Scranton community. Furthermore, the venue hosted a local writing group there each Saturday and had a monthly open mic for writers. All of this comes on top of the countless art, music, and theater events the venue had over the years.

If you’re in the area, or even if you moved out of the area, come say goodbye to the venue on August 30 at 6 p.m. and thank Conor and Theresa in person for the positive impact they had on the community.

Summer Writers’ Showcase

This Saturday, July 12 is the summer installment of the Writers’ Showcase at The Vintage in downtown Scranton, 326 Spruce St. There will be wine. There will be food. There will be engaging readings. The event starts at  7 p.m. Yours truly will be hosting, but I’m hoping Jason Lucarelli will be present, too, to say his goodbyes.

The cost is $5 and all of the money goes to support the Vintage. Check out the bios of our five featured readers:

Born and raised in Scranton, PA Bryne Lewis is a philosopher, poet, writer and teacher. Her poems have appeared in Janus Head: A Journal of Philosophy and Art, The Anglican Theological Journal and The Penwood Review. In 2010, her poem “Conjoined” won first prize in the “Love at the Mutter” poetry contest, sponsored by the Mutter Museum, Philadelphia, PA. Ms. Lewis is a regular contributor to the web journal “The Church and Postmodern Culture” at The Other Journal and works out her philosophical demons at www.brynelewis.com.

Paul Capoccia is a Dunmore native. He attended Holy Cross High School and graduated as Salutatorian of the class of 2012. He was also selected as a Scranton Times-Tribune Scholastic Superstar for the class of 2012. Paul currently attends Marywood University where he is working toward a Bachelor’s degree in English with minors of Writing and Mathematics. Paul has only recently begun writing as he spent three of his first four semesters at Marywood as a Math major.

You may have seen Charlotte Lewis hopping trains throughout the United States and Canada. You may have seen her living in redwoods stopping deforestation, marching against the war in Iraq, or playing fiddle in a whimsical puppet show about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing. Maybe you remember her from highschool as that bald girl yelling and playing trumpet in a punk band. But mostly, you may have seen the Scranton native Charlotte Lewis frequenting poetry readings in the area for the past nine years. She has helped host the Anthology New and Used Books poetry reading and now hosts her own reading, Kick Out the Bottom, every last Friday of the month, at Embassy Vinyl in downtown Scranton. She has produced her own zines such as Last Guerilla’s Poetic Tactics and Burn in the Memory of Burning.

Eric Wilson is a pipe fitter from the water industry who likes the sight of penguins more often than not. He has a glorious wife and two fantastic children who share his love for peanut butter and machine lubricants. His work has appeared relatively nowhere due to a debilitating fear of postage stamps, envelope glue, and technology. He is the president of the newly founded SwanDive Publishing Company, and cannot wait to meet you in person. You can follow him on Twitter @SwandiveEric.

Poet Bernadette McBride’s work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies nationally as well as in the UK, and on NPR’s “The Writer’s Almanac” with Garrison Keillor. A former Poet Laureate of Bucks County, PA, she has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, was second-place winner of the international Ray Bradbury writing award, and both a finalist and runner-up for the Robert Fraser poetry prize. She teaches writing and literature at Bucks County Community College, has taught Creative Writing at Temple University, and presents poetry and fiction writing workshops, often on the intersection of art and writing. In addition to directing the monthly Poets Reading Series at Farley’s Bookshop in New Hope, PA she reads her own work widely, including appearances on Public Television in New York City and PhillyCAM in Philadelphia. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Waiting for the Light to Change (Word Tech Editions) and Food, Wine, and Other Essential Considerations, forthcoming from Aldrich Press in September, 2014.

Writers’ Showcae at the Vintage

This Saturday, March 1, Jason Lucarelli and I will be hosting the Writers’ Showcase at The Vintage in downtown Scranton. The reading starts at 7, and I’m excited about our line-up! It should be  great night.  Our featured readers are Laura Duda, Jeff Rath, Emmalea Russo, Kevin McDonough, Amanda J. Bradley, and Le Hinton. Here is a list of their bios and here is a link to a feature story The Weekender just published on Le Hinton and the reading.

In addition to writing, Laura Duda’s creative outlets include a custom line of art called BarnYard Art where she utilizes recycled materials – old barn wood, barbed wire, saw blades, horse shoes, etc. – and natural elements to create art and jewelry.  She has also had gallery showings of her digital nature photography. She and her husband operate a horse drawn carriage business and reside on a small horse farm in Fell Township, Pennsylvania.  She an adjunct instructor in the humanities division at Lackawanna College, and co-chair of both the Creative Arts Club and First Friday Committee. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Southern New Hampshire University as an instructor in English composition and creative writing. Laura is a Spring 2013 graduate of the Wilkes University Creative Writing Master of Arts program where she focused on fiction and nonfiction.  She has had fiction published in the Osterhaut Library’s Word Fountain, and her non-fiction short story “Bonnie” was published in the Fall 2012 edition of the East Meets West American Writer’s Review; the story won honorable mention in the 2012 Fall Writer’s Contest.

Jeff Rath is the author of three collections of poetry: The Waiting Room at the End of the World (2007), In the Shooting Gallery of the Heart (2009) and Film Noir (2011), all published by Iris G. Press. His works have been published in a number of journals including Everyday Genius and Fledgling Rag. He is the 2007 R.E. Foundation Award winner and a Pushcart Prize nominee.

Emmalea Russo is a poet and visual artist making process-based works. Recent work has appeared in Two Serious Ladies and THE VOLTA. She is the author of they (an artist book made from thread and Gertrude Stein’s Stanzas in Meditation, GAUSS PDF, 2014), and the chapbooks book of southern and water (Poor Claudia, 2013) and CLEAR1NG (Dancing Girl Press, 2013). She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Kevin McDonough is a full-time Assistant Professor at Lackawanna College. He teaches a range of English and writing courses including College Writing, Introduction to Literature, Women’s Literature, American Literature to 1900, and Language, Literacy, and Play. Kevin also works as an adjunct professor for Marywood University’s English department, teaching Composition and Rhetoric, Children’s Literature, and Structured Linguistics. He spends his time outside of the classroom writing and performing original music—and working on short fiction. His New Year’s resolution for 2014 is to actually start submitting his stories.

Amanda J. Bradley has two books of poems out from NYQ Books: Hints and Allegations was released in 2009 and Oz at Night in 2011. She has published poetry and essays in many journals including Kin Poetry Journal, The Nervous Breakdown, The Best American Poetry Blog, Rattle, The New York Quarterly, and Poetry Bay. She was interviewed in The Huffington Post in April 2013. Amanda is a graduate of the MFA program at The New School, and she holds a PhD in English and American Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. She is an Assistant Professor at Keystone College.

Le Hinton is the author of four poetry collections including, most recently, Black on Most Days (Iris G. Press, 2008) and The God of Our Dreams (Iris G. Press, 2010). His work has been published in Gargoyle, Little Patuxent Review, Unshod Quills, Watershed, Off the Coast, and in the poetry anthology/cookbook, Cooking Up South. His poem “Epidemic” was the winner of the Baltimore Review’s 2013 Winter Issue contest. In 2012, his poem, “Our Ballpark,” was incorporated into Derek Parker’s sculpture Common Thread and installed at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as part of the Poetry Paths project.

Launch Day!

Well, today is the day! My first full-length book of poems, All That Remains, is out through Unbound Content. If you want a copy of the book, you can order it through the publisher by clicking here or through Amazon here.

To celebrate, I’m having a launch party tonight at The Vintage Theater, 326 Spruce Street in Scranton. The event starts at 7, and I’ll have books available. I’m also reading next week, Friday, Nov. 1, at the Seeley Memorial at Lackawanna College. That event starts at 6 p.m., and it is part of Scranton’s First Friday. There will also be student artwork, a student open mic following my reading, and live music.

Lit. Unraveled

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, check out the event Lit Unraveled, taking place this Friday at 7 p.m. at the new Vintage Theater, 326 Spruce Street in Scranton. The event will feature readings by Dawn Leas, Rich Howells, Jason Lucarelli, Amye Archer, and I. It will include a great mix of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Following the reading, there will be a Q and A session with the writers. The cost for this event is $3, and all of the money is going to the Vintage Theater, so they can continue to have art and cultural events that benefit the community. Lit Unraveled will also give you the chance to check out the Vintage’s new space and cafe, which includes several used books for sale.

For more info about this event, check out the article that appeared in The Weekender.