Thursday, September 21, 2023

Jane Edna Mohler is Featured Poet for First Thursday Poetry


Join us for First Thursday Poetry 
Thursday, October 5th from 6:00 - 7:45 p.m. for1st Thursday Poetry Open Mic 
at Goggleworks Center for the Arts201 Washington St., Reading  Meeting Place: Studio 238

October's Featured Poet is
Jane Edna Mohler

Jane Edna Mohler is a Bucks County Poet Laureate Emeritus. She is the 2016 winner of Main Street Voices, a finalist in the Robert Fraser Competition, and second place winner in the 2023 Crossroads Poetry Contest. Recent publications include Gyroscope, Gargoyle, River Heron Review, One Art, and New Verse News. Her collection Broken Umbrellas was published by Kelsay. She is the Poetry Editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal.  

Friday, August 25, 2023

You by Aries Franklin Ortiz

September's Featured Poet is
Aries Franklin Ortiz


I love the process of getting to know you.
The ins and outs and all the pieces
that come together to form your beautiful mind.
You have always wanted to be understood
So allow me to know the answers to the questions
that unlock your heart without scaring you.
Sometimes love that feels too good;
feels like a setup boo
And we all have small triggers
and it’s inevitable that I might be the cause
of one of these at some point.
Especially when it’s that one thing,
that reminds you of that one time,
that has etched itself inside your mind
and makes you shudder at the thought.
But together we can create a new version of love’s art.
So let’s communicate through it
and place brushes to canvas
to paint the beauty of forever
give Van Gogh a run for his money
help you forget everything you learned over time that love is not.

 By Aries Franklin Ortiz

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Aries Franklin Ortiz is Featured Poet for September's First Thursday Poetry


September's Featured Poet is
Aries Franklin Ortiz

Aries Franklin Ortiz is a National Slam Poet and writer from Reading, PA. 
She started her journey as a Poet in 2005 at West Chester University. She’s had multiple articles published in various newspapers and magazines across the country and currently writes for The Drum newspaper. Her stage name “Smiley” is most accurate description of Aries, because when you meet her or when she’s on stage, that’s what she’s always doing! After a short hiatus, in the beginning of 2023, Aries dove back onto the poetry scene and hasn’t stopped since. Currently she’s working on her first published book of Poems and short stories, you can expect this before the end of the year. (and just in case you’re wondering, she’s a Virgo.).

Join us at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA 
for First Thursday Poetry on September 7th from 6-7:45 p.m.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Heather Thomas is Featured Poet for First Thursday Poetry Reading August 3rd


August's Featured Poet is Heather Thomas

Heather H. Thomas is the author of Vortex Street (FutureCycle Press), Blue Ruby (FootHills Publishing), Resurrection Papers (Chax Press), and Practicing Amnesia (Singing Horse Press), twice a National Poetry Series finalist. She has poems forthcoming in Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts and the Keystone Poets Anthology. Among the journals publishing her work are About Place, Barrow Street, Interim, Pedestal Magazine, Persimmon Tree, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and anthologies including Welcome to the Resistance: Poetry as Protest. Her poems are translated and published in Albanian, Arabic, Italian, Lithuanian, Spanish, and Swedish. For many years Heather co-edited the literary journal 6ix with five Philadelphia poets, and she recently edited an international portfolio for Persimmon Tree. She lives along the Schuylkill River with her cat, Lily Briscoe. 


As if heart and lungs flatten back to ribs

           a clearing inside the body. As if there is

no use in a center, you can live

           hollowed out, away from one taking the place

of a mountain, you whose bluff body

          has the power to part water,

to spin parallel wakes, to stand in the way

         of wind’s blunt edge, diagonal to the flow.

As if standing at the crossroad

         buttoning your coat, wind-whipped,

the coat scissoring into tatters and you

         spiraling into cloudscript,

a double helix across the sky, the future plunging

          to the past, where friction and pressure

shed a signature

         here, now, on the body vibrating.

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

First published in Barrow Street

Thursday, June 22, 2023

First Thursday Poetry Reading July 6th Featured Poet: Julia Blumenreich


July's Featured Poet is Julia Blumenreich

Poet and teacher Julia Blumenreich is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Arts Council grant for her poetry.  A finalist for the Brittany Noakes Poetry Award, she is a founding member of 6ix, a literary journal devoted to cutting-edge poetry, edited by six Philadelphia-area women poets. Blumenreich has read her work in various venues including the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, and Muse House in Philadelphia. She collaborated with the visual artist Wendy Osterweil on Reforesting: An Homage to Gil Ott, a poetry/sculptural installation/print show at The Painted Bride Art Center. Four of her poems have been set to music composed by Kyle Smith and were performed as part of Lyric Fest. Her work has appeared in journals including The Whirlwind Review and Philadelphia Stories, and in An Anthology of Philadelphia Poets, edited by Valerie Fox and translated into Romanian by Daniel Dragomirescu.  She has published four chapbooks: Meeting Tessie (Singing Horse Press), Artificial Memory (Leave Books), Blue Angel of a Day (Moonstone Press) and The What of Underfoot (Finishing Line Press).  

Julia Blumenreich, from The What of Underfoot



We really do need to know what we want

the situation in this country

after all untenable, which we try to hold.


It turns out that hunger isn’t the only reason that life breaks apart

the petals on the lilies too long in the vase

but odd now to know such a thing.


How can I tell which of us is absent?

A set of streetlamps extinguished by one

what our responses should be or are.


Reacting with shock my mind went on and said too much

I cannot see to see

but such happens to me.


When can we disregard the course of these events?

maybe a long time

I’ve been all wrapped up in my bits and pieces.


This is an instance of the world

meaning to leave myself open

a moth in a jar, once caterpillar

Open Mic to follow the poetry reading.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

First Thursday Poetry June 1st - Featured Poet: Robin Gow


June's Featured Poet is Robin Gow

Robin Gow (fae/ it/ he) is a trans witch and poet from rural Pennsylvania. Fae is the author of several poetry books and chapbooks as well as an essay collection and Young Adult and Middle Grade novels in verse, including A Million Quiet Revolutions and Dear Mothman. It works at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center as the Director of the Education Institute.


When I opened my cyclops, I remembered the sun.

Another mouth forms the phrase “wrong body”

and I correct them and say you mean “wrong context.”

I am thankful to not be male. Instead, I am a blade of butter.

A shoe’s worth of land. They measure their worth

in acres. Invent tools to peer out at the hills

and break them into parcels. As a game, I decide

to travel as far as I can in this life. Could I arrive

where I’m told I belong? Would I even want to.

Something I love about my exile is the color of stoplights.

How their red challenges mine like a game.

When it returns like a gifted and un-gifted ring.

I too am like that pattern. Unwanted and admittedly

beautiful. Moths tattoos themselves on the street lamps.

A remnant is towed away. This is my blue September city.

 Image: Robin Gow's most recent book cover

Open Mic to follow the poetry reading.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Ann E. Michael is Featured Poet for First Thursday Poetry May 4th

Thursday, May 4th
from 6:00 - 7:45 p.m. for

1st Thursday Poetry Open Mic 

at Goggleworks Center for the Arts
201 Washington St., Reading 

 Meeting Place: GoggleWorks Cafe

 May's Featured Poet is Ann E. Michael 

Ann E. Michael is the author of six chapbooks of poetry and one full-length collection, Water-Rites. Her next collection, The Red Queen Hypothesis, won the Prairie State Poetry Prize and will be published later in 2023. She lives in Emmaus, PA. Her website is


Excerpt from “Surveying”


I love the kingbirds, compact, elegant,

their dark heads poised. They don’t

tussle in cornstalks like finches,

shake the barley, rend the blossoms.


Their pale chests shine on rainy

summer days when the world tightens

every brilliant nerve in my spine

and won’t release. Kingbird alights—


where’s the terror in letting go?

Image: Cover photo of the collection Strange Ladies, a chapbook by Ann E. Michael, published by Moonstone Poetry Aug. 2022.

Open Mic to follow the poetry reading.