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.

Writer’s Showcase: August Edition!

I just want to give a quick shout-out to the fine folks at Electric/Diamond City for the wonderful write-up on the August edition of the Writer’s Showcase at the Old Brick Theater in Scranton. I’m thrilled we got to sit down with them for an interview and photo shoot. This reading series continues to grow, and I couldn’t be more proud. Check out the article here.

The reading will take place this Saturday from 7-9 p.m. Admission is $4. The Old Brick Theater is located at 126 W. Market Street in Scranton. I couldn’t be more excited about this edition’s line-up! Check out their bios:

Carrie Reilly is a genderqueer poet from Philadelphia and host of Wild Mischief: A Reading Series & Literary Gathering. Carrie earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University and has had poems published in Apiary Magazine and My Favorite Bullet, as well as the collective chapbook, “Bodies of Fire,” with poets Julia C. Alter and Julia Perch.

Raymond P. Hammond served over twenty-five years as a law enforcement officer at the National Park Service. He is editor-in-chief of The New York Quarterly Foundation and the author of Poetic Amusement, a book of literary criticism. He is also an adjunct professor at Keystone College and is the faculty advisor for Keystone College Press.

William Black’s short fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, Threepenny Review, Crazyhorse, The Sun Magazine, Harvard Review, and more than twenty other journals and magazines, and a collection of stories, Inheritances, came out in the spring of 2015. He lives in Scranton and teaches creative writing and world literature at the Johns Hopkins University.

Sarah Zane Lewis is a poet and science geek from Scranton, PA. She is the recipient of the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Writing Prize in Poetry, the J. Harold Brislin Medal for Distinction in Creative Writing, the Sister M. Charitas Loftus Medal for Excellence in Poetry, and a National Science Foundation Research Experience in biochemistry. The author of two chapbooks and several limited edition graphic poems, her work has also appeared in Pulp, and the recent SwanDive Press anthology, Everyday Escape Poems. Sarah Zane founded Seattle’s Word of Mouth poetry series, and featured at the Seattle Poetry Festival, the Seattle Poetry Slam, the National Poetry Slam, the Bumbershoot Music Festival and was the 2001 Bumberslam Champion. Sarah Zane served as Scoring Director for the National Poetry Slam, has coached a youth slam team at Brave New Voices, and mentored young writers through the Emerging Voice program. She holds a B.S. in Biotechnology and a lifetime membership to Trapeze School New York.

Kaylie Jones is the author of the acclaimed memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me (2009). Her novels include A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, which was released as a Merchant Ivory Film in 1998; Celeste Ascending (2001); and Speak Now (2004). She is the author of numerous book reviews and articles, which have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the Paris Review, the Washington Post, Confrontation Magazine, and others. She is the editor of the anthology Long Island Noir (2012). Her latest novel, The Anger Meridian, was published in July 2015. Kaylie has been teaching for more than 25 years, including at Southampton College’s MFA Program in Writing, and in the low residency MFA Program in Professional Writing at Wilkes University. She co-chairs the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, which awards $10,000 yearly to an unpublished first novel. Her latest endeavor is her imprint with Akashic Books, Kaylie Jones Books, a writer’s collective in which the authors play a fundamental part in their own publishing process.

The Writer’s Showcase Reading Series Returns!

A few years ago, I started a reading series in Scranton, Pennsylvania with my friend and fellow writer, Jason Lucarelli. We wanted to showcase the work of local, regional, and national writers. Our series ran for about two and a half years at a few different venues. In that time, we had over 100 readers, including some from as far away as Boston and Chicago. Due to venue closures in the last year and the fact my co-host moved out of the area, the reading series went on hiatus. However, I’m happy to announce that it’s back! We’re making our return this Saturday, June 27 at 7 p.m., at a new location, the Old Brick Theatre in Scranton. There is also a new co-host, the wonderfully talented poet, Dawn Leas!

For our return, we have five featured readers. Check out their bios below:

Mischelle Anthony is Associate Professor of English at Wilkes University, specializing in poetry and eighteenth-century literature.  Her scholarly edition of an 1807 memoir, Lucinda; Or, The Mountain Mourner is available from Syracuse University Press.    She is founder and coordinator of Luzerne County’s Poetry in Transit program that places local writing and visual art on public buses. Foothills Press published Mischelle’s own poetry collection, [Line].  She has also published work in Calyx, Nimrod, Found Poetry Review, and Slush Pile, and is currently at work on a second collection, about living in and away from Oklahoma, titled Barbed Wire. 

Barbara J. Taylor was born and raised in Scranton and teaches English in the Pocono Mountain School District. She has an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University. She still resides in the “Electric City,” two blocks away from where she grew up. Her first novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, was named a “Top Summer Read for 2014” by Publishers Weekly. She is currently working on the sequel, All Waiting is Long, due to be released in June/July, 2016.

Bill Landauer  is the author of the novel We Are All Crew (Kaylie Jones Books). He has been a journalist for the past two decades, most recently with The Morning Call in Allentown. He lives in Bethlehem, PA.

Macaulay Glynn earned a Bachelor’s of Communications Arts and Humanities from Keystone College, where she served as editor-in-chief of the literary magazine, The Plume, and is a three-time recipient of the Edward M. Cameron IV American Academy of Poets prize. She is an associate editor for New York Quarterly, and hopes to attend graduate school.

Christian W. Thiede earned a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College in 2009 and is the primary host of Poetry Thursdays, the Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel’s weekly open mic in Harrisburg. He has performed in venues all across the country, including Boston, New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Harrisburg, Montpelier, Minneapolis, Madison, Boulder, Hilo, and Anchorage. His work can be found in the Pitkin Review, Aquila Review, Cerebral Catalyst, Zygote in My Coffee, Bent Pin Quarterly, Fledgling Rag, and numerous other publications and anthologies. He has authored books in both poetry—Gazing Behind My Eyes, Random Poems Now With Homes, Confluenza, and Little Buffalo Rumblings—and fiction—Death and Deception Shake Hands and Holden Resurrected.

We will have one more showcase this summer, at the end of August. Details about that will be posted here when the reading is closer.

school.graduateschool for English and Creative Writing. Her first chapbook of poetry, Good Girl, can be found in the trunk of her car.

Upcoming Events

Here’s some info about upcoming readings I’m taking part in over the next week:

On Monday, Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m., I’m reading with Amye Archer and Rick Priebe at the Hoyt Library in Kingston. I will have copies of my new poetry collection, All That Remains, for sale. The event will also include a limited open mic.

On Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m., I’m co-hosting the Writers’ Showcase at the Vintage Theater in downtown Scranton. This reading series used to be held at New Visions Studio and Gallery, until that venue closed its doors over the summer. We’re thrilled to continue this series and have it at the Vintage. This month’s featured readers include Marissa Phillips, Dale Wilsey Jr., Matt Hinton, Kate Senecal, and special guest Jeffery Condran. Condran’s fiction has been published in the Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, and other journals. He is the author of the short story collection A Fingerprint Repeated and the novel Prague Summer, set to be published in 2014. He is an Assistant Professor of English at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the co-founder of Braddock Avenue Books.

If you’re in the area, please come out to these events! I have several other readings booked late in the year into 2014, including readings in NJ, NYC, Harrisburg, and Doylestown, and I will post more info about them as they draw closer.

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, CowboyPoetry.com, 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.

 

New Visions Recap

I want to thank everyone who came out to the New Visions Writers Showcase on Saturday. We had a packed house and a very attentive audience. Our featured readers, Rachael Goetzke, Charlie O’Donnell, Reena Ranells, Sandee Gretz Umbach, and William James, did a fantastic job. William concluded the night with some of his SLAM pieces, and he blew the roof off, drawing raucus applause at the end of his set.

We plan to keep this reading series going for as long as we can, especially since the audience for it keeps growing and growing. We do indeed have a wonderful, supportive writing community here, and I hope it only continues to grow. Here are some pics of the event, courtesy of Sandee Gertz Umbach.

Rachael reading from her memoir

Sandee reading from her collection, The Pattern Maker’s Daugther

Me reading bios of the readers

William James getting us started with an opening poem

 

Our next New Visions Writers Showcase will be in May. We already have most of the readers lined up, and I promise they will not disappointment. I will write about the event more when it’s closer.

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!