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

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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

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Join Heather H. Thomas at the GoggleWorks June 7 th 2018!


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

Heather H. Thomas is the author of Vortex Street (FutureCycle Press, 2018) and six other poetry collections. Her honors include a Rita Dove Poetry Prize for a poem in the collection. Vortex Street spirals from the poet’s riverside home across the globe, trailing patterns “behind a poet who stands bluntly amid the fluid of life.” The book has been praised as “an astonishment of language and image . . . brilliance and imaginative power in a compassionate and intimate voice.” The collection includes poems translated into Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, and Italian. Thomas teaches poetry at Cedar Crest College and lives in Reading along the Schuylkill River with her cat, Mina Loy.

Visit www.HeatherHThomas.com for more info.

Read a sample poem from Heather H. Thomas below:

Slit Silence

The shooting range marked Danger, No Trespassing, 
has a target made of old plates.

Shots disturb the birds, ricochet off the ridge,
separating the air I run through.

In Sarajevo, she timed her run across the bridge
—fifteen seconds between shots—

the leaves tender on trees not yet burned for fuel.
Snipers ringing the hills eyed her, eyed 

anyone walking home from work or buying bread. 
She counted the seconds on her watch before 

running through slit silence, plate of the sun the only 
unbroken thing until she reached the other side.


Heather H. Thomas, from Vortex Street (FutureCycle Press, 2018)



When: June 7th, 2018 at 6pm 
Where: The GoggleWorks
201 Washington Street Reading PA 19601


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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bard Fest 2018

Berks Bards is excited to announce our Bard Fest 2018 Event Line-Up!

When: April 5th, 2018 at 2pm

Where: Reading Area Community College | Yocum Library | Room Y117

10 S 2nd St, Reading
When: April 5th, 2018 at 6pm

Where: The GoggleWorks

201 Washington St, Reading


Randolph Bridgeman graduated from St. Mary's College of Maryland. He is the recipient of the prestigious Edward T. Lewis Poetry Prize. He was a Lannan Fellow for the Folgers Shakespearian Theater 04-05 poetry reading series. He teaches poetry in the Great Mills High School, 21st Century Program. His poems have been published in numerous poetry reviews and anthologies. His poem Crazy Bob’s Used Car Radio Tips, was nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize. He has four books of poems, South of Everywhere 2005, Mechanic on Duty 2008, The Odd Testament 2013, and The Poet Laureate of Cracker Town 2015. His new book, The Trailer Park Chronicles, is forthcoming in 2018.The dedication of The Trailer Park Chronicles reads: For Mrs. Fitzpatrick, my 12th grade English Teacher, who had the personality of Kansas Zip Code, FUCK YOU! Look who’s written a book.
When: April 7th, 2018 at 1pm

Where: 1840 Lorraine Road Reading, PA 19604

RSVP: Linda at 610-413-0373


"I am in midst of rewriting a memoir of my career as a cult interventionist and how I got into that strange line of work. I finished a 400-page manuscript ten years ago, but no publisher would accept it. We will go over goals and what I think we should avoid when writing a memoir."Joseph Szimhart (www.jszimhart.com/about_me) is an Artist, published author, mental health worker, and cult information consultant. He has had an art studio at Goggleworks in Reading since 2011 and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.Joseph has also worked as a Crisis Intake Caseworker at Montgomery County Emergency Services since 2000. He also worked as a cult interventionist, consultant, and lecturer since 1980. Joseph has had many media appearances, research and opinion articles and book reviews published in professional journals and books on cults.Joseph has written a novel: Mushroom Satori: The Cult Diary published in 2013 by Aperture Press in Reading, PA and has an undergraduate degree in Arts and Sciences from the University of Dayton. His writing and art has been featured in the cover story in ICSA Today magazine, 2017: “Retribing the Planet: Shamanism Repurposed for Modern Times” (International Cultic Studies Magazine, Vol. 8: No. 2).
When: April 8th, 2018 at 1pm

Where: Studio B

39 E Philadelphia Ave, Boyertown


Studio B will be holding a poetry/prose reading for those who submitted pieces of writing for “Let’s Rant." The exhibit for ''Let's Rant'' is debuting with an opening Friday, March 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibit will run until April 15, 2018.
When: April 8th, 2018 from 6:30-8:30 pm

Where: Winedown

622 Penn Ave, West Reading

Tickets: $20 at the door, $15 if you RSVP Here: RSVP Link before 3/30/18


Guitarist Josh Taylor, Saxophonist Chris Heslop, and Bassist Trey LaRue will accompany Poet, Anthony Orozco for an evening of Jazz and Poetry!
When: April 10th, 2018 at 6pm

Where: Aladdin's Restaurant

401 Penn Ave, Reading


Our regularly occurring 2nd Tuesday Poetry Reading & Open Mic meets at Aladdin's Restaurant at 6pm every second Tuesday of the month. Join us downstairs for food, drinks, conversation, community, and of course...poetry!
 
When: April 11th, 2018 at 4:30pm

Where: Muhlenburg Community Library

612 Kutztown Rd, Reading


Jennifer Hetrick hosts a poetry workshop to create poems inspired by your childhood memories.
When: April 11th, 2018 at 6:30pm

Where: Live on BCTV or later archived at BCTV.org


Join us LIVE on BCTV to watch Poets' Pause featuring special guest: Michael Shiffman. Hosted by Marilyn Klimcho, this show will discuss the works of Shiffman, what brings inspiration, beloved poets, and more!
When: April 14th, 2018 at 11am

Where: Oley Valley Community Library

339 Main St, Oley


nur alima schieBeare attended the University of Pa and Antioch University where she studied psychology, counseling, holistic health and comparative religions She received her master’s from Bryn Mawr college where she studied policy and clinical social work. She has worked in both adult and juvenile prisons, private high schools and in family service agencies using classical and holistic treatment modalities. She has studied meditation and religions most of her life and is a devotee of both Jalaludin Rumi and Hafiz. She is a student in the Sufi Order of the West, founded by Hazrat Inayat Khan.During this event, she will read selected poems from her recently released book: Journey to the Beloved. Learn more about Nur Alima here: http://foothillspublishing.com/2018/nuralima.html.
When: April 15th from 3pm to 5pm
Where: Culture Den
3451 St Peters Rd, St Peters


Bring together poetry on the page with scissors and eye-savvy visuals; use the ones supplied, and bring your own, too.


Join Jennifer Hetrick for a collaging with poetry workshop! Feel free to bring magazines and other printed visuals which might be useful to cut up as well as scissors and tape or glue. Supplies will be included, but the more, the merrier.
When: April 20th from 6pm to 10pm
Where: Culture Den
3451 St Peters Rd, St Peters

Beatniks & Bongos: where verse meets vibe...Open mic for poets with live musical interludes. Bring your favorite poems and percussion, and relive the rebellious beat generation here at the den! Poets have the option to be recorded and contribute to our ever-growing archive of performances. Bohemians welcome!
When: April 21st, 2018 at 1:30pm

Where: Hamburg Public Library

35 N 3rd St, Hamburg


Word Mangling for Fun and Profit: a poetry workshop with Marilyn LT KlimchoMarilyn 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, published by FootHills Publishing.
When: April 23rd at 7pm
Where: Firefly Bookstore
271 W Main St, Kutztown


April is National Poetry Month, and we will be celebrating with readings from local poets and open mic time for you to share your favorite poems or your own creations!


*DATE CHANGED*
When: Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 from 6:30-8pm

Where: Winedown

622 Penn Ave, West Reading

Tickets: $15 at the door. RSVP Here: RSVP Link (seating is limited!)


Michael Shiffman attended Dartmouth for his BA and Columbia for his MA. He is a Reading/Mount Penn native and has held many professions including Tailoring, and Wine Salesman 18 yrs.During this event he will pair wine and poetry and later open the floor to anyone interested in sharing their wine-inspired poetry.

About this event, Michael Shiffman shared these thoughts:
It is difficult to convey much about the world of wine in a few hours. It is too complex, too full of geography and history and an infinity of tastes. But one thing can be accomplished, and that is to dispel the impression that one must "know" about wine in order to enjoy and appreciate it.

Wine at the outset is an experience and remains exactly that for as long as you are interested in it. Think of wine as having two parts. There is wine information or everything people think of as "knowledge." And then there is tasting experience without which there can be no knowledge.

Drink as widely as you can. Don't be concerned if you are unfamiliar with what's in your glass. Taste with curiosity and attention. Listen to the wine and try not to prejudge it. The world of wine holds more tastes and flavors than anyone can imagine. And always remember: "the palate is smarter than the brain."
When: April 27th - Doors at 6:30pm - Reading at 7pm
Where: Culture Den
3451 St Peters Rd, St Peters


Heather H. Thomas will read from her new book Vortex Street, praised as a “coiled spring ready to explode through its own serene surface” of poems arising from her local and global experience and mediations. Thomas, a creative writing professor at Cedar Crest College and a Berks Poet Laureate, will be followed by an open mic for poetry.
When: April 28th, 2018 at 1pm

Where: Southeast Branch of Reading Public Library

1426 Perkiomen Ave, Reading


Bring together poetry on the page with scissors and eye-savvy visuals; use the ones supplied, and bring your own, too.Join Jennifer Hetrick for a collaging with poetry workshop! Feel free to bring magazines and other printed visuals which might be useful to cut up as well as scissors and tape or glue. Supplies will be included, but the more, the merrier.
When: May 3rd, 2018 at 6pm

Where: The GoggleWorks

201 Washington St, Reading


Lexi Spino is a young poet from York, PA. She first joined Berks Bards early last year, and since then, we've been dying to have her back! She's got a chapbook titled "I'm A Wanderer, Not A Runaway", a spoken word EP called "Suicidal Since Birth", and a poetry book "This is Not For You" available. Her work can also be heard on Spotify! She is very heavy into the art scene around York and when she isn't writing or being an active member of the art society she is running around like a five-year-old with her daughter.
When: May 5th, 2018 at 1pm

Where: 1840 Lorraine Road Reading, PA 19604

RSVP: Linda at 610-413-0373


Dave Kline on The Life and Times of Mountain MaryAn interactive exploration of Dave’s work to explore and portray the live and times of a woman who was way ahead of her time here in Berks County.Dave Kline is a business person, musician, composer, entertainer, writer, photographer, traveler and bard who has traveled the world bringing back folkloric tales of traditions, customs and culture. Dave writes, produces and hosts the award-winning, weekly Mountain Folk radio and web show that is herd on terrestrial radio stations in the USA, as well as internationally via satellite and Inet networks, including Apple iTunes and PlanetBluegrass Network. Dave writes the weekly Mountain Folklore column for Berks County Magazine in the Reading Eagle newspaper, has written and taken photographs for other publications such as Pennsylvania magazine and is an experienced mountain guide with more than 50 trips to the alps and beyond to his credit.
When: May 8th, 2018 at 6pm

Where: Aladdin's Restaurant

401 Penn Ave, Reading


Our regularly occurring 2nd Tuesday Poetry Reading & Open Mic meets at Aladdin's Restaurant at 6pm every second Tuesday of the month. Join us downstairs for food, drinks, conversation, community, and of course...poetry!





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

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Poetry by G Emil Reutter & Diane Sahms-Guarnieri




Our monthly 1st Thursday Poetry & Open Mic event at the GoggleWorks was thrilled to have the likes of G Emil Reutter and Diane Sahms-Guarnieri! Take a listen to this clip and then go check out the duo and learn more on their site: https://northofoxford.wordpress.com



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1st Thursday Poetry featuring G Emil Ruetter and Diane Sahms-Guarnieri


Berks Bards is excited to welcome G Emil Ruetter and Diane Sahms-Guarnieri! Join us at the GoggleWorks to hear their poetry. Following their reading, we'll allow ANYONE to step up to the mic and read anything that moves them. Learn more about these poets before our event by reading more below:

G Emil Ruetter: A writer of poems and stories, g emil reutter was born in Bristol, PA, raised in Levittown, PA and has lived most of his life in of Philadelphia, PA. His work has been widely published in the small and electronic press and nine volumes of his collections have been published. He has read his poetry at venues in New England, Mid-Atlantic, and the Southwest. He published The Fox Chase Review (2008 – 2015) and coordinated The Fox Chase Reading Series ( 2007-2015). He is currently a contributing editor at North of Oxford. Visit him at: https://gereutter.wordpress.com

Read a sample poem from G Emil Reutter below:

I am Born of Nobility

I am born of nobility, of noble parents, of the streets of Highbridge

aged in the tract homes of Levittown. I am their son, they could have

done better. I am of the nobility of kitchens and car washes, of factories

and mills, of railroads. My hands have felt the heat of furnaces, dirt

packed under nails, scars on hands and knees, small burn mark on the

face. I have known great courage and great fear, great success and great

failure. I am born of noble parents.


I am born of nobility. I have worked in hot water, hot weather, and cold

weather that chilled bones. I have worked with scrub brushes, bricks

shovels and jack hammers, with badges and cuffs and at times with muscle.

I have been loved and have loved, hated and have hated, rose to the top of

the mountain and fell into the valleys. I have rejoiced and grieved, know the

great beauty and ugliness of humankind. I am born of noble parents.


I am born of nobility, of good and gracious parents, not the nobility of

aristocracy but of true noblemen and women of the working and middle

class who have felt the dirt of the earth in their hands, built homes and cities

worked the long hours. Of the noble people of the Reutters, Halpins,

Smiths and Loudens. Of truck drivers, transit workers, paper cutters,

house cleaners, cops, railway workers, soldiers, sailors,  politicians

lovers of literature, lovers of life. I am born of the nobility of the working

and middle class.

I am born of nobility, I am their son; I have done the best I can. Imprint of

the past upon me, I leave the past behind me, jettison the baggage and hold

the love and good near. I honor those in my lineage, know from where I have

come. I am born of noble parents, I am a writer of poems and stories.  


Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, a native Philadelphian poet, is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Images of Being (StoneGarden.net Publishing, 2011); Light’s Battered Edge (Anaphora Literary Press, 2015); and Night Sweat (Red Dashboard, LLC, 2016). She has been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Many Mountains Moving, Blue Heron Review, JONAH Magazine, and 34th Parallel, among others. Poems are forthcoming from Canary, The A3 Review, & The Ibis Head Review. Currently she serves as poetry editor at North of Oxford. Diane has performed her poetry at venues along the east coast of the United States. Visit her at: www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com


Read a sample poem from Diane Sahms-Guarnieri below:

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh like a pen that lost its ink. A pervasive loneliness in-
vades your propped up body.  Three rivers. Bridges connecting
the disconnect.  Time to cross over and not look back at who you
once were.  Bridges crossed; never to be crossed over again.  Learn
what you can, move forward, parts of you will surely be left behind
like the city of steel that has died.
Once its mighty furnaces built this nation; now ghosts sing the lost
lives of those no longer here. Time has passed; it moves on into the
future.  Enlightened Emerson says to forgot regret, forget memory, the
soul must soar toward everlasting, yet China builds steel empires to
our forgotten Gods – disturbing as smoke billowing atomic clouds out
of nuclear power plants.  
June’s Alleghenies thick forest green; brown creeks wash our state’s
wounded feet; unemployment deep as a dug out quarry, rough and
quick as rapids, stagnant as a tree dead pond; muddy rivers running
wild and hungry; and rhythmic as a train rocking its sway from side
to side, the hunch back clouds walk the top ridge with slow motion
urgency, sun beating on their backs like a chain gang.
Philadelphia via rail - Paoli, Lancaster, Elizabethtown, Harrisburg,
Lewistown, Huntingdon, Tyrone, Altoona, Johnstown, Latrobe,
Greensburg, Pittsburgh.  This is the homeland I know, I know none
better.  Generations of families have lived here in every root reaching
foothold, in rich soil of timelessness, of sun. I bless this land.  An en-
gine pulls its many cars along rails blasted through mountain, wind-
ing way through forest, where every shadow has a story, each tree’s
testament – its wisdom and leafy green prayers to June-proud rays,
prevalence of green; all these waterways like veins running secretly
through time’s hidden mountains and valleys, coal cars still packed
with black dust.
O loved ones, ancestors to us all, how in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh
I have sung hard-hearted battle hymns, your bones laid at strangers’
feet.  They ran away from your tombs of shadow, clothes soaked in
blood, whose sweat sang our state alive, whose raised ashes scattered
beat death’s strung-out songs, filling the winds chattering teeth, the
buried banging of your deaths’ toll, church bell tongues now silenced
into the reading room space of a little room in a grand library, 300
miles from home.  I sang your elegies and after reading your life songs,
cried as if I had come from each of your funerals.
I am ashamed of myself. I cannot bury the ashes of your smoldering,
days gone by.  How can one drink each night from Lethe and rise the
next day forgetting the previous day?  I have failed to forget you; turn
to rust and ash like the steel mills and the rail yards of Altoona and
Johnstown.  I release your ashes to the wind of time, but they circle
back blinding my eyes in acidic tears; they burn through forgetfulness;
all of you rise in front of me and I see and hear you, and I tear my gar-
ments from my body, swim in cloudy waters of chlorinated sky where
clouds surrender to you, where I see your faces reflected in the lakes,
rivers, and mountains, whose silence screams from pinnacles.  I swim
away from the other side of Lethe, and I wake to your sleeping faces
in the shapes of clouds, until they lose their fluffy resemblances and
become skeletons, skulls - where I see the blue sky in holes that once
were your steel eyes.