Thursday, September 23, 2021

Anne Harding Woodworth on Zoom—Thursday, October 7th, 2021, at 6 pm EST.

poet Anne Harding Woodworth


Join Anne Harding Woodworth on Zoom!


When: Thursday, October 7th, 2021, at 6 pm EST


Where: TinyURL.com/VirtualBard to reach us on Zoom



And below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

 



 

 

 

 

 


No Parking At Any Time

 

I emerged from a womb
drugged with sodium pentothal.
Everything in slow motion:
slap, cry, fingers.
One. Five. Ten.
In no time, slow quickens.
I'm breathing
and speeding on my own road.
Twenty-five at first. Fifty-five.
Ninety. Ninety-five.
A hundred and ten--
to get there as fast as possible.
At any time, forgive my memories.
There are so many now.
I leave the rules to you.
I know I can't stay here.


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Enjoy this additional poem by Anne via the video below.

 



 

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POETRY OPEN MIC!

There will be an open mic segment following the featured poet; those who are interested in participating in the open mic can sign up for it in the chat on Zoom, once the main monthly event starts.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Patti Ross on Zoom—Thursday, September 2nd, 2021, at 6 pm EST.

Poet Patti Ross - September 2, 2021 poetry reading with Berks Bards


Join Patti Ross on Zoom!


When: Thursday, September 2nd, 2021, at 6 pm EST


Where: TinyURL.com/VirtualBard to reach us on Zoom


If required, please enter the Meeting ID 759 062 6042

 

And below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

 

The Deposer

I was raped 36 years ago.
It is not on tape, no.
I do not want to remember,
But my limbs still go limp
When I hear that voice
That “yes” to my “no.”

My pleas went to deaf ears as
I lay there in tears stolen,
my girlish charm realizing
I could be harmed by a boy
I said no to. I said no!
Yeah, it happened to me too.


I tried deep inside to
Hide what had happen
I did not want to relive that.
It was hard enough to remember alone
Now the whole world would know.

My limbs still go limp when
I hear that voice that said “yes” to my “no.”
He said yes; I said no.

I am standing here in tears
Realizing my greatest fear:
That my pleas land on deaf ears.
I was raped 36 years ago.

It is not on tape. No!

 

This poem is dedicated to Christine Margaret Blasey Ford, Professor at Stanford University, who testified against Brett Michael Kavanaugh, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

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Enjoy this additional poem by Patti via the video below.

 

 

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POETRY OPEN MIC!

There will be an open mic segment following the featured poet; those who are interested in participating in the open mic can sign up for it in the chat on Zoom, once the main monthly event starts.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Join Rick Lupert on Zoom—Thursday, August 5th, 2021, at 6 pm EST / 3 pm PST.


Join Rick Lupert on Zoom!


When: Thursday, August 5th, 2021, at 6 pm EST / 3 pm PST


Where: TinyURL.com/VirtualBard to reach us on Zoom


If required, please enter the Meeting ID 759 062 6042

 

Rick will be joining us virtually from California. We are so thankful for this opportunity, in us working from Pennsylvania, in sharing poetry across the country.


And below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

 

Hey Jude

  

Whenever I ask the question

do you know who’s singing this song

to my ten year old in the back seat

 

of the car, invariably he answers

The Beatles. And he is correct as I only

ask him this question when they come on.

 

He’s been dealing with this since

he was in the womb when his pregnant parents

(hi) saw the film Across the Universe

 

on the couch one evening and, in a fit

of revelation, knew exactly what we would

be calling this impending, permanent visitor.

 

Whenever someone meets him and learns his name

it’s impossible for them to not cry out Hey Jude!

It’s like a hiccup, involuntary, can’t be stopped.

 

He used to tell everyone he hated The Beatles

and then, at a certain point, it all clicked

and he started demanding their voices

 

on the car stereo. Who wouldn’t want

anthems sung to them while being chauffeured

to and from houses of fundamental learning,

 

religious institutions, and the occasional

pizza parlor? He knows who he is and the

expectations people have when they sing his name.

 

He knows what it means and how they used to

label people with his name on yellow stars

decades before men from Liverpool would

 

front thousands of people, their hands

hoisted in the air, na-na-ing like there

never was another song.

 

We put every weight on what we called him.

He crosses the universe, making our songs

better.

 

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Below, hear Rick read a poem about rain in Tokyo.

 


 

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POETRY OPEN MIC UPDATE!

There will be an open mic segment following the featured poet; those who are interested in participating in the open mic can sign up for it in the chat on Zoom, once the main monthly event starts.


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Meet Brenardo Taylor

Brenardo Taylor is our latest Zoom host for poetry readings and open mics and began assisting Berks Bards with this last month. Please welcome him!

Brenardo Taylor is a poet and songwriter who is a resident of Prince George’s County, Maryland. He has been writing for over five decades, and his written words have been featured in countless newspapers, magazines, and poetry anthologies, including his own chapbook, “Bridge Over Trouble.”

An alumnus of the Anointed P.E.N.S. of Ebenezer AME Church, the “Poets In Progress” under the direction of the Late Dolores Kendrick, Poet Laureate of Washington D. C., he is also currently a member of “Collective Voices.”  In 2020, he was selected as one of the Poets of Excellence for Prince George’s County of Maryland.

As a spoken word artist, he has performed in venues alongside Gayle Danley, Saul Williams, Sonya Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, The Last Poets, and as a host of other renowned writers and performers.

In addition to stage credits, Brenardo has appeared on a variety of Radio and Television shows, including “Sojourn With Words,” “Griots Story Telling Circle,” “Spoken Word @ Joe’s Place,” “The Poet And The Poem,” and “Pat Thornton’s Business Hour.”

Brenardo is a writer of vision who is inspired to cover all aspects of the human condition in his work.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Join Ruby Mora on Zoom—Thursday, July 1st, 2021, at 6 pm EST.

 


Join Ruby Mora on Zoom!


When: Thursday, July 1st, 2021, at 6 pm EST


Where: TinyURL.com/VirtualBard to reach us on Zoom


If required, please enter the Meeting ID 759 062 6042


And below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

 

five hundred cups of tea

in all my turmoils, there is always
water ready to boil.
the cabinet above the stove
in the old ramen box
are all varieties of comfort
waiting to be steeped.

on a blue-flower plate
spoon resting beside it
is a symbol that gently says
“hey, i’m here if you need me”
“here is warmth, made with love
to calm your soul”

you serve me home
with the utmost care.
serenity stirred in
a starting point to healing.

 

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PENDING POETRY OPEN MIC!

Whether or not we will be able to offer a limited open mic following the presentation by our July 1, 2021, featured poet is still pending. If this becomes an option, we will share more details with contact information and instructions for sign-ups.


***


Thank You to Two Wonderful Poets!

Also, we'd like to thank Patti Ross and Hiram Larew for their time serving as interim hosts for our poetry readings on Zoom after such swift changes due to the impacts of COVID-19. Hiram assisted us from October through December 2020, introducing us to Patti who assisted with this from January through June 2021. In the turbulence so many have endured since 2020, we want to express how thankful we are for these two wonderful poets who stepped in to help Berks Bards in a time of volunteering need, and they did a fantastic job every First Thursday on Zoom for us.

 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Join Robert Fillman on Zoom—Thursday, June 3rd, 2021, at 6 pm EST.



Join Robert Fillman on Zoom!


When: Thursday, June 3rd, 2021, at 6 pm EST


Where: TinyURL.com/VirtualBard to reach us on Zoom


If required, please enter the Meeting ID 759 062 6042


And below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

 

THERE SHOULD ALWAYS BE TWO

ripe grapefruits in a glass
bowl in the fridge beside

a small note: Darling, you
can always count on me.


Scribble that to yourself
if you have to. Then spend

the morning in the tub
holding yourself beneath

the water. Listen for  
the cello's womb bleeding

into your wrinkled skin.
Eyes half-opened, like rough

moss lining a clay pot.
Don't get up to answer

any calls. When you fly
downstairs, there will be bags

of groceries already
unpacked, a bright kitchen

that you won't remember
tidying and a fresh

pie warm on the counter.
Eat it naked and wet.

 

This poem was first published in Kestrel, Issue 37.

See his chapbook November Weather Spell via Main Street Rag.

 

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RETURN OF OUR POETRY OPEN MIC!

Also, we are thrilled to be bringing back our open mic, after this reading, similar but slightly differently to past in-person readings we hosted for years.

If you would like to participate in our limited open mic following the presentation by our June 3, 2021, featured poet, please send an email to Patti Ross, Berks Bards' current host, at par.media1@gmail.com, no later than Friday, May 28, 2021, with "Berks Bards open mic" in the subject line.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Join Diane Wilbon Parks on Zoom—Thursday, May 6th, 2021, at 6 pm EST.


Join Diane Wilbon Parks on Zoom!


When: Thursday, May 6th, 2021, at 6 pm EST


Where: TinyURL.com/VirtualBard to reach us on Zoom


If required, please enter the Meeting ID 759 062 6042


And below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

  

Your  Face

Your face   at  times,

 is a  beautiful  door,

stern   and   unwilling.

I  imagine your lines

are the markings of your living

that separates each lover’s stance,

your lips, an altar of whispered flames,

great men have stood before them   and  burned;

there is great distance

between the eyes of your past

and the eyes of your now,

the gold  that ambers through your iris

whispers guilt and shame,

and  dance   like birds do.

Just underneath the moon of your cheeks

a consecrated land still grows.

above  the seam of your cheek,

a bone rises in deformity,

 fruit peels;

the soil recalls the year of the trespassers,

 the ones who wandered in by mistake.

Your face, once a beautiful door,

now blurred with an antithesis of lines

no longer distinguishable,

only the altar that confesses your soul.



This poem received an Honorable Mention through Art4Us CounterCurrent Literary Magazine.

 

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RETURN OF OUR POETRY OPEN MIC!

Also, we are thrilled to be bringing back our open mic, after this reading, similar but slightly differently to past in-person readings we hosted for years.

If you would like to participate in our limited open mic following the presentation by our May 6, 2021, featured poet, please send an email to Patti Ross, Berks Bards' current host, at par.media1@gmail.com, no later than Friday, April 30th, 2021, with "Berks Bards open mic" in the subject line.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bard Fest 2021 — We Welcome You Virtually!

 


All events below are free and only limited with participants in the case of offerings for children and teens.

 


Join Jesse Alexander on Zoom!
When: Thursday, April 1st, 2021, at 6 pm EST
Where: TinyURL.com/VirtualBard to reach us on Zoom
If required, please enter the Meeting ID 759 062 6042

 

 

Poetry for Adults with Dr. T
When: Wednesday, April 14th, 2021, at 7 pm EST
Where: Zoom; register here with Ephrata Public Library

 


 

An Open Mic for Teens—Poetry in Action: A YOUTH Poetry Reading and Conversation on Equity and Compassion
Sign-Up Deadline: Saturday, April 10, 2021 for teens anywhere, ages 13-19; email UIK@InterfaithSonoma.org to sign up to read; please also register in advance
When: Saturday, April 17th, 2021, at 5 pm PST (*not EST; this is based in California)
Where: Zoom; register here
This is a Sonoma County United In Kindness event:
https://www.facebook.com/SonomaCountyUnitedinKindness/
http://interfaithsonoma.org/declaration/

 


Poetry for Kids with Dr. T (ages 6-12)
When: Wednesday, April 21st, 2021, at 4 pm EST
Where: Zoom; register here with Ephrata Public Library

 


 

Beyond Words, a poetry workshop by Berks County Poet Laureate Anthony Orozco
When: Wednesday, April 21st, 2021, at 6.15 pm EST; virtual doors open at 6 pm EST
Where: Join via Zoom with no registration required
Description: This workshop examines the oral tradition of poetry and how to present your work in ways that give more to your listeners. Take your completed poems or works in progress to the next level.
Stay Tuned! RACC will be sharing the digital version of the ceremony honoring Anthony and bringing him into his 9th Berks County Poet Laureate position officially during April 2021.

 


Berks Bards' Second Annual Earth Poems Reading
When: Saturday, April 24th, 2021, at 2 pm EST
Where:
Join via Zoom at TinyURL.com/VirtualBard with no registration required

This year's 6 featured poets include ones from across 2 continents and 3 time zones—

Hiram Larew’s fourth collection of poems, Undone, was published in 2018 by FootHills Publishing. His poems have been nominated for four Pushcarts, and have appeared in recent issues of Poetry South, Contemporary American Voices and Best Poetry Online. He has received an Individual Artist grant from the Prince George’s (Maryland, USA) Arts and Humanities Council for his The Poetry Poster Project as well as a Creativity Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and support from the United Nations for his Poetry X Hunger initiative which encourages poets to contribute to local and worldwide anti-hunger efforts. He lives in Maryland.

Kara Valore is a Poet, Therapeutic Emotional Support Teacher, and mother of three children.  Her poetry has appeared in GrassLimb, Skinny Poetry Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Red Rose Review, Reclaiming Our Voices Anthology, and Bards Against Hunger Pennsylvania Anthology. Her work has placed in the Writer’s Eye Competition, various Pennsylvania Poetry Society Prize Anthologies and YorkFest Literary Competitions.

Doreena Jennings is from Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and has been writing from the age of twelve. Her writing is like a diary, reflecting life’s ever-changing emotional landscape. She writes about her early life, the echo of relationships in nature, and the tragic death of her son. She is a member of the award-winning ‘Carlow Writers Co-op.’ She has written several short plays, memoir and short stories. These days her main focus is on poetry. She has delivered her work to live audiences in Chicago, Sweden, Wales, Dublin, Wexford and Carlow. Currently working on her debut collection, she had contributed to many local anthologies, the Blue Nib literary magazine and is a regular contributor to international online poetry groups in both Wales and Ennis.  She has been featured on Open Mic of the Air a Vermont-based radio programme, lead by Charlie Rossiter. She has also featured in The Gifts and Glow of Poetry readings by Irish based poets, hosted by poet Hiram Larew, to bring new voices to American audiences.

Sterling McKee is a spoken word poet from Coatesvilles who studied communications and media at Kutztown University in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and completed his degree in 2020 as a first-generation college graduate. While on campus, he worked as a part of financial aid and community assistance. He's also been involved with marketing efforts through the Lehigh Valley-based nonprofit known as the Haydenfilms Institute; it is geared toward connecting and supporting student filmmakers in their drive to make an indelible impact in today's world. He recently relocated to Chicago.

Elizabeth Dodd teaches poetry, creative nonfiction, and literature & environment courses at Kansas State University where she is a University Distinguished Professor. She is the author of six books, including Archetypal Light (poems) and Horizon’s Lens (essays). With Derek Sheffield and Simmons Buntin, she is co-editor of Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, a collection of poems and essays published in 2020. Her essay collection In the Mind’s Eye won the Best Book Award from the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. She is Nonfiction Editor for Terrain.org, the oldest online journal of place-based writing. Her poems and essays have recently appeared journals including Tin House, The Laurel Review, The Fourth River, The Iowa Review, and Places Journal as well as the anthologies Poetics for the More-Than-Human World and The Tallgrass Reader. Elizabeth lives in the Flint Hills region of Kansas and serves on the Board of Trustees for Audubon of Kansas.

E. Paul White is a writer and educator based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He organizes and hosts a monthly reading series called The Turning Wheel at DogStar Books, which he has beendoing since 2015. He holds a MA in English and is an adjunct instructor at the Center for Creative Exploration at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. His writing has appeared in the Schuylkill Valley Journal, SundogLit, Fledgling Rag, and elsewhere.



 

Let's Write a Poem - About Nature! (for kids)
When: Now through Monday, May 31st, 2021
Where: Watch this video prompt via Kutztown Community Library for details and perks
Also See: www.kutztownlibrary.org/branch/kutztown/youth



Berks Bards' One-Minute Poems
When: Throughout April 2021!
Where: bctv.org & youtube.com/user/BCTVORG1

 

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And see our latest three monthly featured poet readings, including two open mics now since February, below. We recommend enjoying poetry readings over dinner in your home. =)