Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Join Larew & Czarnecki at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts December 6th, 2018


Berks Bards is excited to welcome Hiram Larew and Michael Czarnecki! Join us at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts to hear selected poetry. Following their reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read anything that moves them.


When: December 6th, 2018 at 6 pm
Where: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Studio 420
201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601


Read Hiram Larew's Bio below: 

Larew's work has appeared most recently in Little Patuxent Review, Contemporary American Voices, FORTH, vox poetica, Poetry Super Highway, Poets & Artists, Every Day Poems, Lunaris Review (Nigeria), Amsterdam Quarterly, and The Wild Word.  His fourth collection is due out this year from Foothills Publishing House.  He’s been nominated for four Pushcarts, is a member of the Shakespeare Folger Library’s poetry board, and organizes several events in Prince George’s County, MD and beyond including Poetry X Hunger and The Poetry Poster Project. He is a global hunger specialist, and lives in Upper Marlboro, MD … and he’s very, very short.  On Facebook at Hiram Larew, Poet.


Read a sample poem from Hiram Larew below:

ACHILL SOUND


When the roads curve like sound
And dip as if lifting to bow
Whenever all thoughts round or cluster
Or when hearts call down
Is Ireland


And as rich when poor was
Or as wise as bare heads in snow seemed
And as twigs so frail broke into song
Ans as true as any blight could be
Was Ireland


So when sand laps the senses
Or salt drips the edges as dreams
Whenever hope streams through such heavens
And moss comes home
Or hearts beam down
Is Ireland.


- Hiram Larew




Read Michael Czarnecki's Bio below:

Michael Czarnecki is a poet, oral memoirist and small press publisher originally from Buffalo, NY. He founded FootHills Publishing in 1986 and since then FootHills has released over 400 chapbooks and books of poetry. In 1994 Michael gave up other work to devote his time and life to poetry. Since then he has made his living solely through the creative word. In the last 25 years he has given hundreds of featured readings throughout the country. His Poems Across America Tour in 2013, a 14-week journey, featured a reading in each of the 48 contiguous states.

Michael has published 17 books, the two most recent being YOU and Ten Days in Huntington Wildlife Forest. When not out on the poetic road Michael lives on a 50-acre homestead in the northwest portion of the Susquehanna Watershed in NY.
More information about Michael can be found on his website: www.foothillspublishing.com/poetguy/index.html


He also posts a new photograph and new spontaneous poem everyday on his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/michael.czarnecki.35


Read a sample poem from Michael Czarnecki below:

What’s Next


next step


             just follows


last step
            it can't be


                            otherwise


step with gratitude


               step with light


                              step with love


in doing so


             next step


                        will be exactly


                                             right step
- Michael Czarnecki

Monday, October 15, 2018

Join Cat Mahony at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts November 1st, 2018



Berks Bards is excited to welcome Cat Mahony! Join us at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts to hear selected poetry. Following her reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read anything that moves them.

When: November 1st, 2018 at 6 pm
Where: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Studio 420
201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601

Learn more about Cat Mahony before our event by reading more below:

Catherine Mahony, a writer of multiple genres, holds a Bachelor’s degree in professional writing from Kutztown University, and Associate’s degrees in communications and liberal arts from Reading Area Community College. Mahony is the winner of RACC’s Creative Writing Award for academic excellence for 2013 and 2014; her first chap book, Prior Restraints, was published that same year. You can also read Mahony’s award-winning poetry and fiction in “Lehigh Valley VanguardAgony and Ecstasy:Reflections of our LivesLayers of Language” “Legacy” and “Shoofly.” Her creative nonfiction has been published in “Rag Queen Periodical.” Mahony has facilitated creative writing workshops in Studio B, Boyertown PA; Pagoda Writer’s Workshop; Reading, PA; Caron Treatment Center, Wernersville, PA; and Berks County Prison, Leesport, PA. She is currently establishing her creative writing program, Ebonybloodletting76, which brings creative writing lessons with a therapeutic twist to the under-served community. Mahony believes writing saved her life. She was diagnosed with Bipolar as well as Borderline Personality Disorder by the age of 16, and is a recovering heroin addict. By exposing her vulnerabilities through brutally honest writing, Mahony hopes she can help others who also may be struggling. She currently lives in Eastern, PA. With her son Alex.
Visit https://cmaho582.wixsite.com/ebonybloodletting76/blog/ to learn more!

Below is a sample of Cat Mahony's poetry:

Sewn Shut

By Cat Mahony
Such a familiar face,
Lips and eyes sewn shut.
Such familiar hands,
Crossed politely over a still chest.
Her skin
as taut as an African drum.
Her dress
something she would not be caught dead in.
She is silenced.
She is flawless.
She is beautiful.
The viewers can’t see from my vantage point.
My back pressed against ceiling tile.
My hair entwined in lighting fixtures.
Their words echo in her mind,
Words like;
Lost, hopeless, and tragedy.
Such a familiar face.
Lips quivering and eyes kaleidoscopes of tears.
Such familiar hands,
Fidgeting nervously in pockets.
Her skin
As white as a water lily.
Her dress
Something she would not be caught dead in.
She is silent.
She is innocent.
She is a mirror.
The viewers can’t see from her vantage point.
Her back to the wall as medics hurried in.
Her hair matted to wet cheeks.
Words echo in her mind,
Words like;
Orphan, motherless, and tragedy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Join Carl Kaucher at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts October 4th, 2018



Berks Bards is excited to welcome Carl Kaucher! 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 anything that moves them. 


When: October 4th, 2018 at 6 pm 
Where: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Studio 420
201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601

Learn more about Carl Kaucher before our event by reading more below:

Carl Kaucher of Temple, Pa has been previously published in “Big Hammer” – “Street Value” – “Mad Poets Review” – “Wavelength 14” – “Blue Collar Review” – 
Old Red Kimono” – North of Oxford – Duanespoetree and others. His new book Sideways Blues – Irish Mountain and beyond explores his experiences wandering urban spaces near his home and throughout Pennsylvania. The work reflects the amazing diversity of events that are happening all around us if only we slow down long enough to observe. Through his photography and writing, Carl exposes the miraculous beauty of the ordinary. He is photographing the overlooked places and documenting the chance occurrences that happen to him and by doing so gives us the opportunity to reflect upon those similar things happening in our lives also. He presents the work in hopes that it might inspire us to explore that dynamic world out side and beyond the touch screen.

Below is a sample of Carl Kaucher's poetry:



I am a Temple of free will and love creative entanglement and pale moon light. 

I have a spiritual flashlight and extra batteries if needed. 
My altar is alternative form meditated since before I was born. 
Sometimes I dream of silence and pray for it's return. 
Life is far simpler than I know when I let go of my self. 
Drifting on an empty street I am hoping to be filled with lost. 
In giving away, I am not taking. 
In living my way, I am not faking. 
My path abounds in the sounds of dissonance and syncopation as an alternating current spontaneously conducting me wild. 
It is the energy of my awakening from which I shall construct a lifestyle of rebellion based on feedback and distortion in a spiritual contortion like noise. 
I am a free spirited activist of roam and wander getting lost in the Alpha and Omega and through the prism of my style I shall wander for a while amidst the forgotten spaces to document the moments between memory and madness serenity and the still sweet compassionate chime of the sublime.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Join J.C. Todd at the GoggleWorks September 6th,2018




Berks Bards is excited to welcome J.C. Todd! Join us at the GoggleWorks to hear selected poetry. Following her reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read anything that moves them. Learn more about J.C. Todd before our event by reading more below:

J. C. Todd, a Pew Fellow in the Arts and winner of the Rita Dove Poetry Prize is author of The Damages of Morning (Moonstone Press, 2018), What Space This Body (Wind Publications, 2008), and the artist books On Foot/By Hand and FUBAR (Lucia Press, 2018, 2016), both in collaboration with MaryAnn L. Miller. Her current work is concerned with the violence and displacement of war and intolerance. She has received fellowships and awards from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the New Jersey State Arts Council, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Ucross, Ragdale and Leeway foundations and was a 2016 writer-in-residence at Humboldt University in Berlin. She has taught in the Creative Writing Program at Bryn Mawr College and is on the faculty of the MFA Program at Rosemont College. 

Below is a sample of J.C. Todd's poetry:

Reading With Students About Death Camps
What escapes into you. Don't hide it. 
C├ęsar Vallejo

The evidence,
their eyes filling to
with it, mine too,
memory's char curling
the edges of pages,
photographs, maps,
the sear of witness real as innards
twisting open the tropes
of bread crusts,
catalogued shoes, barrels
of gold from teeth.

Not our lives, but lives
of the dead, escaped
into us. Grave,
we open to them.


When: September 6th, 2018 at 6:45pm 
Where: The GoggleWorks Studio 411
201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601

Friday, July 13, 2018

Poetry With Marilyn - A Three Part Poetry Workshop Series in August 2018

Join Marilyn Klimcho at the Oley Valley Community Library for a Three Part Poetry Workshop Series!

Learn more about Marilyn before the events by reading more below:
Marilyn LT Klimcho is the author of Steeped in the Ceremony of Great Age, a book of poetry. She is also the author of a short story, Lost Gems, which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been published in the Schuylkill Valley Journal and by Studio B in Boyertown as well as in the anthologies: Bird Song and US20, produced by Foothills Publishing.


When: August 9th, 16th, and 23rd from 5:30 - 7 pm
Where: The Oley Valley Community Library
339 Main Street Oley PA 19547

Find us on Facebook and Twitter or join our Mailing List for more information

Monday, July 9, 2018

Join Ryan Rettew at the GoggleWorks August 2nd, 2018!


Berks Bards is excited to welcome Ryan Rettew! Join us at the GoggleWorks to hear her music and poetry. Following the performance, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read anything that moves them. Learn more about Ryan before our event by reading more below:

Ryan Rettew grew up in Berks County and is a 2004 graduate of Twin Valley High School. After high school, Ryan followed her love of reading and writing to study English at Clarion University where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2008.

While studying at Clarion University, Ryan received recognition for her poetry. Her work was published in the school's literary magazine, Tobeco. She also earned a scholarship to attend the Chautauqua Writer's Festival. Ryan discovered her unique poetic style when she began putting her words to music. Songwriting has become Ryan's primary means of poetic expression. She has given performances at several locations in and around Berks County, including Boyertown's Turning Leaf Festival, The Other Farm Brewing Company (now known as The Other Farm & Forge), and Chaplin's Music Cafe.


In her early twenties, Ryan came up against drug addiction and depression. She has continued to write throughout her journey in recovery from these challenges. She began a career in teaching in 2012. She now lives in Lancaster County with her husband, Jim and many pets. She is a stay-at-home mom to their daughter, Robin, and has plans to return to teaching soon.

Below is a sample of Ryan Rettew's work:

Lyrics to “Map of Faces”

There's a lake where I forget.
You can come forget there, too.
The map I drew
looks like faces of the people that you knew.
It's the only way
to reach that lake.

Loneliness is a killer.
Ears and eyes are traitors to the soul.
Forgetfulness is better.
It's just a natural part of getting old.

O prophets spoke
of you.
I swear
I knew you once.
Your name
escapes me now but since
we're here
let's go somewhere.

There's a lake where I forget.
You can come forget there, too.
The face I drew
looks like maps of all the places that you knew.
It's the only way
to reach that lake.

Loneliness is a killer.
Ears and eyes are traitors from the start.
Forgetfulness is better.
It's just a certain stillness of the heart.

O prophets spoke
of you.
I swear

I knew you once.


When: August 2nd, 2018 at 6pm 
Where: The GoggleWorks
201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601


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Monday, June 11, 2018

Join Patrick Klimcho at the GoggleWorks July 5th 2018!


Berks Bards is excited to welcome Patrick Klimcho! Join us at the GoggleWorks to hear his poetry. Following the reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read anything that moves them. Learn more about Pat before our event by reading more below:

Patrick Klimcho, Biography
The sad part about biographies, is that at the end the protagonist always dies. So let's call this a biography in progress. Actually, there's not much to tell. I was born in a small multi-ethnic steel town in Southeast Pennsylvania during the early Fifties and educated above my station in life by the nuns of a parochial school located in the tough, North Side of town. I goofed off through High School, where my life was saved by a particular English teacher. I got a job, worked my way through college, got married, raised a family and retired to live happily ever after. Then things got interesting. Most of this is pretty well documented by the poems in this collection; the story of an average, befuddled male trying to navigate a path through the ever changing riddle of gender roles and expectations


Read a sample poem from Patrick Klimcho below:

Two Wheeler

"You sure you're ready?"
His little face scrunches up. 
"No need to rush it,
We can put them back on."
With a shake of his head
He climbs aboard.  
I hold him upright
And we're off, his feet on the pedals.
Once, twice around the court
Neighbors out on their stoops
Witness the rite of passage. 
I start to huff a little
As he picks up the pace.
Releasing my hold
Running beside him.
One more lap peddling along
Engrossed in concentration.
He glances over at me
As I hold up both hands, grinning.
The neighbors applaud.
He laughs out loud
Grips the handlebars 
And rides away from me.
A fledgling
On his first flight
Free. 

Pat Klimcho, January 2009 



When: July 5th, 2018 at 6pm 
Where: The GoggleWorks
201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601

Find us on Facebook and Twitter or join our Mailing List for more information