Thursday, October 10, 2019

Join Marian Frances Wolbers at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts November 7th, 2019

Berks Bards welcomes Marian Frances Wolbers to join us at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts to read selected poetry. Following his reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read what moves them.

When: November 7th, 2019 at 6 pm

Where: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Studio 420

201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601

Read Marian Frances Wolbers' Bio below:

Marian Frances Wolbers writes poetry, short stories, novels, and drama. Her work has appeared in The Southampton Review, Remarkable Doorways, and Westview, and she was a featured poet in the 100,000 Poets for Change Project in 2011. Her novel Rider was published by St. Martin’s Press, receiving favorable reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. As the recipient of a Berks Arts Council / PA Council of the Arts grant in 2018-19, she served as facilitator and producer of reading events for three writing groups locally, focusing on Writing through Trauma as healing modality. She teaches literature and writing courses at Albright College, where she is an administrator in the School of Professional Studies, for adult learners. She holds an M.A. in English Literature from Kutztown University and a B.A. in Japanese Studies from Bucknell University.


Below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

Insomnia

'Twixt the kiss
and the coffee
I barely slept last night.
Hereafter:
You may remind me
not to drink coffee
past 7 pm.
As to the other...
Well.
Perhaps there is no easy cure.

Learn more about Marian Frances Wolbers, by visiting http://www.marianwolbers.com

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

abel d'andrea performs & teaches poetry in berks county in celebrating september as national hispanic heritage month.

Berks Bards is proud to be one of several organizations sponsoring the visit of Abel D'Andrea to Berks County in September as National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Abel D'Andrea is a renowned and powerful Puerto Rico-based poet and performer. 

D'Andrea has toured the east coast as part of the spoken word poetry collective Ovejas Negras and has visited the City of Reading area twice, including a performance at the Olivet Boys and Girls Club.

His latest collection of poetry, Cronicas de una Tragicomedia Incompleta, tells of his painful, beautiful and comical personal experiences of surviving in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. His work is gripping, playful and unapologetic.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Join Eileen M. D’Angelo at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts October 3rd, 2019



Berks Bards welcomes Eileen M. D'Angelo to join us at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts to read selected poetry. Following his reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read what moves them.

When: October 3rd, 2019 at 6 pm

Where: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Studio 411

201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601

Read Eileen M. D'Angelo's Bio below:

Eileen M. D’Angelo, Director of Mad Poets Society and Editor of Mad Poets Review, has coordinated over 1500 special events in the tri-state area and was the subject of a Tribute by Philadelphia’s Moonstone Arts Center in 2018.  She has been published in Rattle, Manhattan Poetry Review, Paterson Literary Review, Drexel Online JournalWild River Review, Philadelphia Stories, Philadelphia Poets and others. A judge for the Philly area open auditions for the pilot program of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, she conducted workshops and performed original songs and poetry on WXPN’s World CafĂ© Live, at St. Joseph’s University, Rutgers, Rosemont College, Main Line Art Center, Delco Community College, Manayunk Art Center, Hedgerow Theatre, Montco Writers Conference, Walt Whitman at 200 celebration at City Hall, and other venues. Former Board Secretary of Musehouse:  A Literary Arts Center in Chestnut Hill, and former six-term President of the Philadelphia Writers Conference, Eileen is an advocate for domestic abuse awareness and Founder of Arts Against Abuse. She was named the 2017 Paralegal of the Year and was also the recipient of the 23rd Annual Victim Rights Award given by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office and the Domestic Abuse Project.


Below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

The Art of Getting Lost

It begins with an unbroken line bending out of sight. 
The road is unfamiliar, yet you pressure the pedal, 
confident you are on the right road.  No stops 
or bathroom breaks because you are making good time.

You never see it happening as you drum your fingers 
on the steering wheel to the sound of Radar Love,
leaving crowded beltways and choking smokestacks behind, 
oblivious to the subtle replacement of cities
by small towns.   Of small towns by trees.  
And you?  You are foolish enough to enjoy the ride, 
as you disappear into the wide mouth of open country.

There is no sign  Entering Nowhere - Population 1
to give you the option of turning the car around.
No warning that soon it will be only you 
and a handful of horses, the occasional silo, 
a pile of gray rocks from an old foundation.

The fields around you have never even dreamed 
of a gas station, let alone a rest stop, 
and as the car carries you into oblivion, you wonder:  
              Isn’t that the same bale of hay?  

There, in the heart of desolation, as though 
you alone survived the bomb . . .  
It is you and the sound of crickets, you
You and the surprised sound of your own voice:
              I’m in the middle of nowhere

And time slows down.

You fumble for road maps in the glove box, 
pull the car to the pebbly shoulder of the road. 
One crow on the wire above you 
throws back his head and laughs, as you spread a map
on the hood to the curious stare of cows, the car sheepish 
as if it should have known something.



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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Join Katy Comber at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts September 5th, 2019


Berks Bards welcomes Katy Comber to join us at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts to read selected poetry. Following his reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read what moves them.

When: September 5th, 2019 at 6 pm

Where: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Studio 238

201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601

Read Katy Comber's Bio below:

Katy Comber is the co-founder of Creative Light Factory Writers' Room (creativelightfactory.org), host of AC Presents Monthly Story Slam & Poetry Jam at Steel City Coffeehouse, and creator of Affinity CoLab Presents (affinitycolabpresents.org) online arts and lit magazine. Her work appears in Dreamers Creative Writing; Paragon Press, Lagom Journal; Meat for Tea Literary Review; Studio B's Wabi Sabi anthology; and Affinity CoLab Presents. Her first collection of poems 40 Portraits of a Family is available through Amazon.

Below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

Beckon the Wordsmiths 
By Katy Comber 

Beckon the wordsmiths
whose pens spear
creatures drawn out
toward false light

Beckon the musicians
whose notes drift steady
to carry us away
and embolden us to remain

Beckon the sculptors
the actors, the creators 
who translate 
the world with their hands

Beckon the mothers, the fathers,
the lovers who cradle
and nurture and know
the art of receiving and letting go

Beckon those who pray, wrestle,
dream; who build
and rest and deliver
the power to do right

Beckon heavy laden shepherds 
who know the world 
by its anchors and gears
called to serve, called to protect 

Beckon the curious and canny
who untangle mysteries divine
linguistic in the numerical 
tenaciously reverent in pursuit of fact

Beckon their beacons, reason; wonder
songs and theorems and paradoxical joy
gather all conceits of love, chaos, and woe 
to compose a world for the future we owe.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Join Grant Clauser at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts August 1st, 2019


Berks Bards welcomes Grant Clauser to join us at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts to read selected poetry. Following his reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read what moves them.

When: August 1st, 2019 at 6 pm

Where: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Studio 238

201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601

Read Grant Clauser's Bio below:

Grant Clauser lives in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. He is the author of the books Reckless Constellations (winner of the Cider Press Review Book Award), The Magician's Handbook, Necessary Myths (winner of the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize) and The Trouble with Rivers. Poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Cortland Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tar River Poetry and others. He writes and edits technology reviews for Wirecutter and teaches poetry workshops at Rosemont College.


Below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

Valiant
The car sat in the side yard
after a constable told my father
to get it off the street.
We mowed around its rust for years,
watched the tires sink
with spider cracks and the vinyl roof
peeled by a decade of squirrels
until a mullet head from Nazareth
pulled up in a Firebird,
gave us thirty bucks to take it away.
Said it would make a great target
at the demolition derby.
I went to watch it happen,
a hundred bucks to the driver
who could total my grandfather’s Valiant
now resurrected with bright paint,
a bull’s eye drawn on its side.
So with shouts from the bleachers
each driver sideswiped
another piece off the car.
One Malibu limped away
with a bumper caught
in the axle, then an El Camino
with eyes painted on the hood
came at it for the final finish,
and my grandfather’s ghost
straightened his back
like it was before the wheelchair,
put all his weight on the brakes
and let that prick know
he wasn't about to budge.

(published in Gulf Stream Magazine, 2018)

Learn more about Grant Clauser by visting: https://uniambic.com/

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Join Luke Stromberg at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts July 11th, 2019



Berks Bards welcomes Luke Stromberg to join us at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts to read selected poetry. Following his reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read what moves them.


When: July 11th, 2019 at 6 pm
Where: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Studio 420
201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601


Read Luke Stromberg's Bio below:


Luke Stromberg's work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New Criterion, The Hopkins Review, The Dark Horse, The Raintown Review, Think Journal, and several other venues. He works as an adjunct English instructor at Eastern University and La Salle University; helps organize the West Chester University Poetry Conference; serves as Associate Poetry Editor for the arts and culture blog E-Verse Radio; and co-hosts, along with Kevin Cutrer and Luke Bauerlein Works Cited: A Podcast About Poems. Luke lives in Upper Darby, PA.




Below is a sample poem from our featured poet:


The Mugging



I had the muzzle of a gun, or something,

Pressed against the small of my back. “Your wallet,”

A voice demanded: dry, succinct—like breathing

In my naked ear, unasked, a secret.



As much as the gun, the robbery, his lifting

out my wallet, himself, from my back pocket,

his hand’s invasion, was what was violating. 

After, the thought of that’s what made me vomit.



My private world lost its private affect.

Now even sitting in my kitchen alone

I fear I cannot live my life apart. 

For weeks, when walking from the El to home,

I’ve felt the condensation of his breath

on my earlobe in the newly pregnant dark.  


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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Join Michael Brown at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts June 6th, 2019



Berks Bards is excited to welcome Michael Brown! Join us at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts to hear selected poetry. Following his reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read what moves them.

When: June 6th, 2019 at 6 pm
Where: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Studio 238
201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601


Read Michael Brown's Bio below:


Michael R. Brown was born in Philadelphia, raised in Lancaster County, and went to college at the University of Scranton. He started teaching in inner-city Philly, then Bucks County, and left for the University of Michigan where he majored at the Ph.D. level in English and Education. His dissertation was a literary history of the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance directed by Robert Hayden. By then he had his own poetry published and had become expert in the teaching of writing. He left Ann Arbor to teach in East Texas, Central (Ohio) State, Western Michigan, and the University of Illinois. He taught in Chicago storefronts and community centers, then settled into Chicago State University as Director of Composition, with a two-year sojourn at Suwon University in South Korea. On his return to Chicago he became engaged in the Poetry Slam, and he and his wife Patricia Smith moved to Boston and established a slam that continues till this day. In 1992 he organized the third US National Poetry Slam, and in 1993 he led the US National Slam championship team in San Francisco. He also published travel articles, political columns, and short stories. While resident in Boston, Brown taught at the University of Rhode Island, Suffolk University, Clark University, and Mount Ida College where he became head of the Communications Program. Meanwhile, he had five books of poetry published: Falling Wallendas (Tia Chucha, 1994), The Man Who Makes Amusement Rides (Hanover Press, 2003), Susquehanna (Princeton, Ragged Sky, 2003), The Confidence Man (Princeton, Ragged Sky, 2007), and The Martin Bormann Dog Care Book (Robbinston, Maine: Resolute Bear Press, 2017). The last book is a collection of his political poems written over the past 50 years. Since 2007, he and his wife, the poet and editor Valerie Lawson, have lived in rural Down East Maine, where the edited the poetry quarterly, Off the Coast, from 2008 to 2017. They now own Resolute Bear Press, where she published the 3 Nations Anthology which won the 2017 Maine Publishers and Writers Award for the best anthology. They are currently work on bi-lingual books of Passamaquoddy tales and poetry.

Learn more about Michael by visiting: http://michael.brown.name/

Don't forget to join Michael at the Pagoda Writer's Circle the Saturday following this reading for a Ekphrastik Writing Workshop!

When: June 8th, 2019 at 1 pm
Where:
1840 Lorraine Road Reading PA 19604  
RSVP: via email ltjamesthepagoda@gmail.com  or via phone (610) 413-0373
 
Learn more about this workshop by visiting: https://pagodawriters.com

Below is a sample poem from our featured poet:
City of Night

In a strange land,
there are no cool nights in hot cities.
Light is always dusty gray, air gritty,
sounds loud and muffled, 
people warm and wary.
Love takes place among the ruins,
like trysts at the Coliseum,
sports cars left in the street,
girls in tank tops backed against stone blocks,
guys’ jeans hooked behind their knees,
cats watching from damp niches in the walls.

The most important things are said in other languages,
kisses laid on foreign tongues.
The antidote is a walk along a river to catch
a homeless artist pretending to work late
against the stone embankment by the Seine,
listen to young ghosts murmur behind Westminster,
watch the kids on holiday just off the big piazza
imitating colossal statues with dwarfed good humor.

In the morning I climb several flights of wooden steps,
sit in a straight chair under a low ceiling
at a cluttered table in a rented space,
blocking out the sound of someone else’s TV
and traffic that blows in airless rooms
filled with other people’s belongings.
I clear a notebook-sized space,
look out a window facing windows,
and write as though I’m in prison,

even though it’s just another cage with an open door.



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