Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the Raven's Lounge at Reading Area Community College featuring poet Patricia Hanahoe-Dosch

Join us for a mid-winter celebration of poetry Monday, January 27, 2014, at 6:00 pm, in the Raven's Lounge, Student Union Building, Reading Area Community College, 10 South Second St, Reading, PA  19603.  Free parking is available in the Front Street Garage.

Featured poet is Patricia Hanahoe-Dosch, world traveler and professor of English at Harrisburg Community College in Lancaster.  Book signing and open mic to follow the featured poet.

This is the second in the 2013-2014 Bruce H. Stanley Memorial Poetry Series, sponsored by The Foundation for RACC.  Additional support is provided by Berks Bards, a grassroots poetry organization whose aim is to support the lively art of poetry in Reading and Berks County.

Berks Bards is supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts as administered by the Berks Arts Council.

The event is free and open to students and the general public.  For more information: 610-607-6239.

Please pass the word.  Bring poems.  Bring friends.  Bring your friends' poems.

Liz Stanley
~Berks Bards

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Because of anticipated weather conditons, Lester Hersh, the featured poet for First Thursday on January 2nd, 2014 has cancelled his appearance. If the GoggleWorks remains open, however, Berks Bards still plans to hold an open mic night.

Bring your poems, bring your friends, bring your friend's poems.

January 2nd, 2014 at 6 p.m. at the Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe in the GoggleWorks welcoming poet Lester Hersh to First Thursday with Berks Bards, open mic to follow

The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences placed Lester Hirsh's 'Mosaic II: Poems of An Ancient Order' on the Official Ballot for the 47th Annual Grammy Awards for 'Best Spoken Word Album.'

Lester Hirsh is a gifted guitarist, singer/songwriter, and poet. Performing on Spanish 6-string and acoustic 12-string guitar, his style ranges from classical, country, and folk, to Brazilian jazz and Flamenco. His repertoire includes original compositions as well as standards performed with intriguing percussive guitar riffs and harmonica.

Hirsh's guitar style, singing, flair for humor, and ability to work the crowd, moved Cheryl Mansley of RiverHouse Concerts, Shepherdstown, WV, to describe him as a 'One Man Traveling Party.'
Lester has performed in a variety of ensembles over the past 30 years - folk trio Side Three, Tampa, Florida, folk/pop trio Jerusalem, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and duo Sweet River, Concord, New Hampshire. During that time Lester also honed his skills as a viable solo artist.

In 2002 Lester began to divide time between Concord, New Hampshire and his hometown of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. From 1985 to 1998 he produced three full-length cassette LPs: 'Part & Parcel,' 'Piper's Dream,' and 'Whistle in the Wind.' This was followed by 'Tales of a Troubadour' in 1994, a 17-song retrospective compilation. 'Piper's Dream' and 'To Have You By My Side,' from 'Tales,' appeared on the Big Noise compilation disc 'Digital Mystery Tour' which received airplay in the US and overseas.

In 1997, Lester was a finalist in the Napa Valley, California, Emerging Songwriter Contest for his songs 'Whistle in the Wind' and 'On the Road in America.' In June of 2000 he performed on Michael Johnathon's 'Woodsong Old Time Radio Hour.'

In the fall of 1998, the CD 'Sweet Surrender' was released, followed by 'Strangers and Lonesome Friends' in 2003. Two spoken word CDs, 'Mosaic, Poems of an Ancient Order' and 'Mosaic II, Poems of an Ancient Order' were released in 2002 and 2003 respectively, followed by 'Lester Hirsh Live at the Coffee and Tea Room' in 2004 and the instrumental CD 'River of Strings' in 2006.

In addition to Lester's music career, from 1988 through 2002, he was publisher and editor of Bone & Flesh literary magazine. His poems have been published in The Ashville Poetry Review, Signal, Tabula Rasa, and other periodicals. His poem, 'Casualties,' along with art by Fleur Byers, was on exhibit at the Pen & Brush Gallery, New York City, in 1992. His book, 'Mosaic II, Poems of an Ancient Order,' was published by the Writers Publishing Cooperative, Warner, New Hampshire. ( ) Ellen Hersh calls his poetry, 'universal with the voice of an ancient troubadour and the language of our times.'

Lester performs for special needs audiences, artist-in-school residencies, and numerous concert venues. He teaches poetry as well as guitar workshops in community education settings. He is a member of the AIE Roster, Schuylkill County Council of the Arts, as well as the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

Richard Isen (Musicians on the Internet) says of Lester's musical style, 'like Johnny Cash meets Allen Ginsberg with Woody Guthrie looking on.'

Of his performance, Jane Fallon, former director of the Wilton NH Arts Festival, says, 'Lester Hirsh is the consummate performer with the polish of a professional and the enthusiasm of a rookie.'