Wednesday, December 24, 2014

First Thursday January 8, 2015 6-8 p.m. at the GoggleWorks in Reading featuring an open mic on the theme of RESOLUTION

Bring your poems, bring your friends, bring your friend's poems to an open mic on January 8, 2015 beginning at 6 p.m. at the cafe on the first floor of the GoggleWorks.

The theme of the evening is RESOLUTION which every poet should feel free to interpret.

This event is free and open to the public.

Change in the date of the first Planning Meeting

The first Planning Meeting for Bard Fest 2015 has moved from Sunday, January 4, 2015 to 3 p.m. Sunday, January 11, 2015.

If you'd like to participate, please contact for details.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Planning Sessions for Bard Fest 2015, beginning January 4 at 3 p.m. in Reading

Have you longed to participate in those famed pot luck planning sessions for Bard Fest?

Here's your opportunity to help out with Bard Fest 2015!

Contribute your ideas and apply your efforts at a planning session on Sunday January 4 at 3 p.m. at the home of Elizabeth Stanley.

If you'd like to join in please email Marilyn at for details.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

December 4, 2014 6-8 p.m. at the GoggleWorks featuring Le Hinton and Daina Savage

Join Berks Bards for First Thursday Poetry at the GoggleWorks

Thursday, December 4, 2014, at 6:00 pm

Featured poets are Le Hinton and Daina Savage

Open Mic.

Liz Stanley
~Berks Bards

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the GoggleWorks featuring poet Anthony Orozco

Please put your hands together and welcome a new poet to First Thursday Poetry!

November 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm

The GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe'


Open Mic

This event is free and open to the public.  Sponsored by Berks Bards and supported
in part with a grant from the PA Partners in the Arts, and from members and volunteers
in the Berks Bards poetry group. 

Liz Stanley
~Berks Bards


Anthony Orozco is a 26-year-old journalist, reverend, performer and
poet. In poetry, Anthony is also known by his pen name, Glyph Pneumatic.
The pseudonym Glyph alludes to an elemental and perhaps equivocal
literary symbol which represents a concept, thought or idea. Pneumatic
not only nods to the breath exerted from the recitation of his poetry,
but also to the pneumatics of Gnosticism, who are recognized in the mythos as metaphysically transcendental beings. Glyph Pnuematic may be interpreted as the spiritual spoken word.  Glyph hails
from the vibrant and diverse poetry scene of Cincinnati, Ohio. He has lived and performed in Reading for little more than 2 years.  Glyph’s poetry explores the paradoxical, evanescent, ineffable aspects of his own nature and the world around him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Congratulations to the new 2014 Berks County Poet Laureate, NANCY YEAGER!  A Celebration in Recognition was held at the Miller Center for the Arts, Reading Area Community College, on October 15, 2014, where the announcement was made by Anna Hehn, Coordinator of the Poet Laureate Award, and Coordinator of Assessment at RACC.

Honored as Scholastic Poet Laureate was Alexandra Papoutsis, and Honorable Mention for Scholastic Poet Laureate was Suhana Jagadesen. 

Poets Laureate Ms. Yeager, Ms. Papoutsis, and Ms. Jagadesen each read a selection of their poetry at the event.  Dr. Stephen Waller, Interim Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost, was the presenter of the Poet Laureate Award.  Faculty members Joey Flamm Costello and Stephanie Andersen presented the Scholastic Poet Laureate Awards.  Guest readings were offered by J. Dan Glass, Adjunct Faculty - Communications/Arts/Humanities, and Jodi Corbett, Director of Academic Partnerships.

Berks Bards congratulates Nancy Yeager, Alexandra Papoutsis, and Suhana Jagadesen on their great accomplishments.  We look forward to inviting these Poets Laureate to be featured poets at future poetry events in Berks County.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014 6 p.m. in the Student Union Building on Reading Area Community College Campus film screening and poetry open mic

You are cordially invited to Poetry at Six, the 2014-2015 Bruce Stanley Memorial Poetry Series,
hosted by Reading Area Community College.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 6:00 pm

The Ravens Lounge, Student Union Building, RACC

THEME:  "Poetry and the (Un)changeable Earth: Poetry, Nature, and Beauty"

FILM SCREENING:  "The Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community"

Link to the film description:

Open Mic

This event is free and open to students and the general public, sponsored by the
Foundation for Reading Area Community College and Berks Bards.

Liz Stanley
~Berks Bards

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thursday October 2, 2014 6-8 p.m. at the GoggleWorks with poets Jodi Corbett and Cat Mahoney Geisinger

Join Berks Bards in welcoming two amazing poets!


Thursday, October 2, 2014, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm

The GoggleWorks Café, First Floor ~ Mi Casa Su Casa

Open Mic


Jodi A. Corbett has taught writing and literature and still teaches speech at Reading Area Community College, Reading, Pennsylvania. She holds a Master's in English with an emphasis in Composition, Rhetoric and Literacy Studies.  Her poems and flash fiction condense the contradicting energies of working class families. She is grateful for having compassionate creative writing faculty, Heather Thomas and Karen Bloomain, while a non-traditional student at Kutztown University.  
She has published poems in Lehigh Literary Review, Avalon Literary Review, Eunoia Review, Mused:BellaOnline Literary Review, Red River Review, and she was a featured poet in National Council of Teachers of English poetry month, 2012. Her first chapbook Fried Eggs and Un-edged Lawns (2006) is available through Foothills Publishing.
Jodi is reading from three unpublished collections this evening: Mad Geography, Cadet Summer, and Ordinary Time. 

Bring friends, bring poems, bring your friends' poems!

Liz Stanley
~Berks Bards

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Thursday, September 4th at 6:00 pm The GoggleWorks Cafe Featuring spoken-word poet JOSLIN KEARSE (Soul Cry)

Join Berks Bards for a Special Fundraiser and Poetry Reading

Thursday, September 4th at 6:00 pm

The GoggleWorks Cafe', 201 Washington Street, Reading

Featured spoken-word poet is JOSLIN KEARSE (Soul Cry)

Open Mic

Liz Stanley
~Berks Bards


Family and Friends, I need your help! I just received an invitation to
the 18th edition of the International Poetry Festival “Ditët e Naimit”,
which will take place from October 16th to 19rd, 2014, in the town of
Tetova (Macedonia).
The trip consists of a 4-day
performance tour through Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania and
Bosnia-Herzegovenia. I will be representing the United States at the
festival and will perform along with poets from 20 other countries. I
will be the 2nd Spoken Word artist to represent the U.S. at this
prestigious event.

While my stay will be covered
once I arrive, I'll need your help to cover travel expenses to the host
country. So contribute, like and share with your family, extended
family and friends.

Your help is greatly appreciated!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Children’s Baseball Poetry Contest

For participants under the age of 18: Download this entry form and write an original poem. Drop it off at the Berks Bards table in the concourse at the Fighin’ Phils baseball stadium in Reading before or during the game on August 7, 2014. Winners will be announced during the 7th inning stretch. Winners must be present to pick up their prize at the Berks Bards table in the concourse following the 7th inning stretch.

After dropping off your entry form with Berks Bards, visit the Reading Theater Project on stage in the concourse for some more fun!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Enter the Fightin' Phils and Berks Bards Baseball Poetry Contest!


The 4th Annual Fightin' Phils and Berks Bards Baseball Poetry Contest

If you are 18 years old or older write an original poem about any aspect of
baseball and email it to on or before July 20, 2014 with the
words RE: Baseball Poetry Contest in the subject line.

The top three winners will be selected by the Fightin' Phils' front office and
receive free tickets to the Thursday, August 7, 2014 game.

The First Place Winner will read his or her poem from the Fightin' Phils'
pitcher's mound on Thursday, August 7, 2014 just prior to the fireworks display.

Monday, June 23, 2014

July 3, 2014 at 6 p.m. First Thursday with poet Charles Cantalupo at the GoggleWorks

Please join Berks Bards in welcoming Charles Cantalupo to First Thursday.

Charles Cantalupo has
three book-length collections of poetry: 
Light the Lights (Red Sea Press, 2004), Anima/l Woman and
Other Spirits
(Spectacular Diseases, 1996) and The Art of Hope (Notre Dame, 1985). 
His memoir, Joining Africa – From Anthills to Asmara
(Michigan State University Press, 2012), is a story of poets and poetry in
Africa and a Next Generation Indie Book Award in 2012.  His website is  His translations include three books of poetry
from Eritrea:  We Have Our Voice:
 Selected Poetry of Reesom Haile
(Red Sea Press, 2000), We Invented
the Wheel
(Red Sea Press, 2002), and Who Needs a Story? Contemporary
Eritrean Poetry in Tigrinya, Tigre and Arabic
(Hdri Publishers,
2006).  His monograph, War and Peace in Contemporary Eritrean Poetry
(Mkuki na Nyota, 2009) analyzes the poetry in Who Needs a Story?  He is the writer and director of the
documentary Against All Odds (African Books Collective, 2007) and a
co-author of the historic “Asmara Declaration on African Languages and
Literatures” (2000).  His poetry and
essays appear in a wide range of print and online journals.  He is also the author of The World of Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Ngugi wa Thiong’o:  Texts and
(Africa World Press, 1995), and his first book was A Literary Leviathan:  Thomas Hobbes’s Masterpiece of Language
(Bucknell University Press, 1991). 
Charles Cantalupo is Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative
Literature, and African Studies at Penn State Schuylkill. 
He lives in Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania, one hundred yards north of the grave of the modernist poet, H.D.
(Hilda Doolittle). 

Friday, May 16, 2014

June 5, 2014 6 p.m. at the GoggleWorks featuring poets from York

Meet, greet and enjoy the poetry of Richard Hemmings, Christine Lincoln, Rebecca Gonzalez and Carla Christopher at the GoggleWorks on June 5th.

Richard Hemmings currently resides in Stewartstown, PA, with his wife, poet, Debberae Streett. He was born in New York City. He has been writing poetry for thirty-eight years and has been published in 'Nimbus', 'A Year of Voices,' 'Digges Choice', 'Fledgling Rag' and 'Mad Poets Review'. Further, he has appeared in Bill Diskin's 'Somewhere on George Street' and Dana Sauers' 'My Letter to the World' (which were both compilations of poetry that appeared in local newspapers). He has been featured on the and websites. Rich appreciates the various poetic forms and enjoys applying them to his work. Host of too many venues to speak of, his real passion is seeing new poets bring their work out to shine. Rich is also a full-time postal history and stamp collector preparing a scholarly book and exhibit on the area of New York City he calls the Towers District (sometimes known as Ground Zero). Rich believes poetry is sacred, and that anyone who shares their innermost feelings is a brother or sister.
Christine Lincoln, the 5th and current Poet Laureate of York, is the author of the internationally acclaime, novel-written-in-stories, 'Sap Rising'. Her stories have appeared on stage at Symphony Space and Word Theatre, read and performed by Don Cheadle, Gary Dourdan, and Lizan Mitchell. Christine has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has been featured as a “Phenomenal Woman” in O Magazine. She is the first American author to represent the United States at the Durban, South Africa International Literary Festival. Christine is a graduate of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, where she was the first African American to win the Sophie Kerr award. In 2008, Christine graduated from the University of Baltimore with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts, where she published a limited edition collection of international stories entitled A Thousand Hills. Currently, Christine is working on a historical novel about York businessman and ex-slave, William
Rebecca Gonzalez is a Pushcart nominee and the 2008 R.E. Foundation Award winner for Outstanding Poetry. Her work has been published on-line at The Cerebral Catalyst, Haggard and Halloo and Poetryork and in print in Fledgling Rag, Hanover Sun and the York Daily Record. Some of her poems appeared in the CD anthology, Live at the Corner of Poetry and Main: Celebrating Five Years of Annapolis Poetry. She is the author of 'Sonata for Rain', published by Iris G. Press. Her second and upcoming book is titled, Aerial Descending.
Carla Christopher is currently the Arts & Cultural Community Liason for York City. The 4th Poet Laureate of York City from 2010 - 2014, she is also the founder/director of PoemSugar Press housed at the historic Strand-Capitol in downtown York and host of Culture & Main; York's Weekly Cultural Showcase on White Rose Community TV. She hosts poetry venues "NOT the King's English", which meets 3rd Fridays at King's Courtyard Artist Collective and "Soulful Saturdays " which meets 3rd Saturdays at York Social Dance Studio as well as "The Mastercraft Lecture Series" which meets at CityArts on 4th Sundays. She has lectured or performed at numerous colleges and universities including York College, Penn State-York, Art Institute - York, Central Penn College, HACC, William Penn Senior High and YouthBuild Charter School as well has worked with community organizations such as Martin Library, the Salvation Army, YorkArts and more. She is the author of 3 collections of poetry and has been published in numerous anthologies and periodicals. She is also a frequent performer in any venue from churches to nightclubs and enjoys using her backgrounds in dance and choral music to enhance her performance poetry.




Sunday, April 6, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014 6 p.m. at the GoggleWorks with Hiram Larew

Award winning poet Hiram Larew will join Berks Bards on May 1, 2014 at the GoggleWorks.

Larew directs an international farming program by day but writes poetry by night. His book, More Than Anything, is an eclectic collection of poems published in 2007 by Vrzhu Press. Larew is a co-founder of The Poet Connection and his work has appeared in several journals and books including the Washington Review.

Larew's reading is free and open to the public. It will be followed by an open mic.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 7-9 p.m. at winedown cafe & winebar party room in West Reading with Rick Kearns and The Con Alma Quartet

Relax, and wind down at the winedown cafe, 624 Penn Ave. in West Reading with the jazz and poetry of Rick Kearns and The Con Alma Quartet.

Seating is limited and tickets to this event are $15.00 in advance, $18.00 at the door. To reserve tickets please email

Light refreshments are included.

Saturday, April 26, 2014 1 p.m. at the Pagoda with Cortney Bledsoe

The Pagoda Writers and Berks Bards join forces to present C. L. Bledsoe, author of Riceland at the Pagoda.

You are invited to join an open chat about writing and publishing with the featured author. Bledsoe is the author or three young adult novels including Sunlight, Last Stand in Zombietown and $7.50/hr+ Curses. Bledsoe has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize ten times and regularly writes reviews for, among others, the American Book Review.

Saturday, April 26, 2014 3-5 p.m. in Pottsville at All Things Good featuring Charles Cantalupo

Pottsville is playing host to Block of Art and Charles Cantalupo, a professor of English with Penn State Schuylkill Campus.

All Things Good is located at 209 Market Street in Pottsville, 17901. This is event is free and open to the public, with an open mic to follow Cantalupo's reading.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 bid on a Basket of Poetry at the Goodwill Re-Design Contest & Runway Show at 4:30 p.m.

Goodwill's silent auction affords a fine opportunity to bid on a Basket of Poetry that includes works by local and national authors as well as two tickets to see Rick Kearns and The Con Alma Quartet at the Winedown Cafe and Winebar party room, 624 Penn Ave. in West Reading on Wednesday April 30th.

The basket, valued at almost $200.00, is up for grabs to the highest bidder. All proceeds benefit Goodwill.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at Clay on Main in Oley with Lester Hirsh and Minna Bromberg

Join singer/songwriters Lester Hirsh and Rabbi Minna Bromberg as they mix original and acoustic music and song with poetry at Clay on Main in Oley, 313 Main Street. This program is free and open to the public with an open mic to follow.

Wednesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. for the Hidden River Film Festival's screening of Deaf Jam at R/C Reading Movies 11

Attend the Hidden River Film Festival's screening of Deaf Jam, a look at American Sign Language poetry in the slam poetry scene in New York City. The film follows a young deaf teen and her collaborative form of slam poetry, a style that speaks to both deaf and hearing audiences alike.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at Mifflin Community Library at 6:30 p.m. with Poetry Out Loud contestants

Poetry Out Loud contestants, staff and writing students from area high schools such as Reading, Governor Mifflin and Wyomissing among others meet at the Mifflin Community Library for an evening of recitations and original works by emerging young poets.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 4 p.m. at the T.E.A. Factory 580 Willow Street in Reading featuring Barbara Presnell

Join Berks Bards for a poetic tribute by Barbara Presnell to displaced textile workers at one of Reading's iconic re-purposed industrial buildings, the T.E.A. Factory.

Barbara Presnell:

A North Carolina Life
I grew up in the small town of Asheboro, North Carolina, in a region
where both my paternal and maternal families had lived for generations.
They were Quakers and Methodists, farmers and preachers, good old boys
and bridge-players. From my father's side of the family, I heard stories
about boyhood mischief, Indians on the family tree, rheumatic fever,
war, death, and sadness; from my mother's side, tales of Annie Oakley,
daily train rides, long-buried shrapnel, and love letters that crossed
the ocean. I carry inside me a small part of all those people and all
those stories.

My love for stories began with my parents' reading to me and
keeping our house filled with books. Santa Claus brought them; the
Easter Bunny left them in our baskets; they came as birthday presents;
we saved our allowance for the latest number of Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew,
Happy Hollisters, and Brains Benton. Summers we'd make it through
scorching hot afternoons and evenings without air-conditioning stretched
out in lawn chairs reading. When I started writing my own stories, my
parents were my first audience. My brother and sister, who've lived most
of my stories with me, are my first, best readers today.

Since then, my writing journey has taken me into many genres—fiction writing, plays,
poems, dramatic monologues, essays, and music—but the purpose has
remained the same: to tell the story of a people, a region, and a way of
life, and to attempt to portray a complex South, rich with history and
tradition, but plagued by heartache and frailty. Hopefully in my words,
a reader will discover not just the Southern experience but the
universal human one that transcends region, dialect, and culture. 


NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Writing, 2001-02, 2007-08

Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize, 2006

Linda Flowers Prize, NC Humanities Council, 2004

Oscar Arnold Young Award, Poetry Council of NC, 1999

Zoe Kincaid Brockman Award, NC Poetry Society, 1995

B.A. in English (UNC-Greensboro)

M.F.A. in Creative Writing (UNC-G)

M.A. in English (American Lit), the University of Kentucky

Piece Work
(Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2007)

Sherry's Prayer
       (NC Humanities Council
       as part of NC Crossroads, 2004)

Los Hijos
(Longleaf Press, 2002)

Unravelings (Longleaf Press, 1998

Snake Dreams (Nightshade Press, 1994)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 6 p.m. Freedman Gallery on Albright College campus for the slam poetry of Soul Cry

On Tuesday, April 8th, 2014, continue the Spoken Word experience on the campus of Albright College, Freedman Galley at 6 p.m. with Soul Cry, aka J. Love Kearse.

Experience some of Albright College's Diversity Week with the poetry of J. Love Keasre among many others.

Soul Cry, aka J. Love Kearse, is a singer, songwriter and poet from York, PA. In 2007 and 2008 she was awarded Poet of the Year at the Central PA Hip-Hop Awards. She has published two CD, one titled Destiny's Calling and the second titled The Love Chronicles. She released her first collection of poems titled Passing Bi in July of 2013.  Kearse has an Associates degree in Business Management from Yorktowne Business Institute, a bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University and is a 2014 candidate to receive her Masters of Business Administration from Eastern University. she is also an amateur visual artist and an accomplished vocalist and songwriter.

Monday, April 7, 2014 6 p.m. at RACC with slam poet Perry "Vision" DiVirgillio

On Monday April 7, 2014, experience the power of Spoken Word with Perry “Vision” DiVirgillio at the Raven’s Lounge in the Student Union at RACC with an open mic to follow the reading.

Vision is an accomplished poet, actor and teacher. He won the Alternative Soul award for best Spoken Word Performer. In 2012 he was featured on CNN's Black in America 5, hosted by Soledad O'Brien. Vision is a founding member of Spoken Soul 215, Philadelphia's premier spoken word collective which hosts the epic monthly event, "The Harvest." He is the artistic director of the Philadelphia Youth Poetry team who won the 2011 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam. Last fall Vision was featured on TV One's Verses and Flow alongside Raheem Devaughn.