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.

 

—————————


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

 

***

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. =)

 




Monday, March 22, 2021

Bard Fest 2021 Begins! Join Jesse Alexander on Zoom—Thursday, April 1st, 2021, at 6 pm EST.

 

Bard Fest 2021!
Celebrating April
National Poetry Month

Please stay tuned for more poetry event news for April 2021!

 

Poet Jesse Alexander

 

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


And below is a sample poem from our featured poet:

  

Gratitude Poem
 
Many wonderous things happened
To me
But
Not by me. – Rev. Col.(RET) George W. Alexander US Army

I received many gifts
Although I did not know them
By their correct names
At the time of
Their offering.

Take this poem

I so wish that she were mine
But she arrived
Whole
Grown
And said like (
Mrs. Green in Montclair High School English class
)

“now,
you write…”


Below, see and hear Jesse read this poem.

 

 

—————————


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 April 1st, 2021, featured poet, please send an email to Patti Ross, Berks Bards' current host, at par.media1@gmail.com, no later than Friday, March 26, 2021, with "Berks Bards open mic" in the subject line.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Thursday, March 18 @ 6 pm EST: The Fullbright Program Presents: An Evening of Poetry with Alyea Pierce, Elisa M. Gonzalez, Ruth Behar, & William Langford.

Sharing Virtual Poetry News

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. – Rita Dove, 1974 Fulbright U.S. Student to Germany, former U.S. Poet Laureate, and Pulitzer Prize winner

In recognition of World Poetry Day (March 21), join the Fulbright Program in celebrating the power of words. Led by Fulbright-National Geographic Storyteller alumna and spoken word artist Alyea Pierce, we invite you to be a part of a virtual evening of poetry featuring readings of original works by accomplished poets and Fulbright alumni, including a special reading performed by Rita Dove.

Whether you are a seasoned poet or a novice, we encourage you to submit your poetry for a chance to be featured during the event.

More about the Poets


Alyea Pierce
Educator and Performance Poet
Alyea Pierce, Ed.M. is a 2019 Fulbright-National Geographic Fellow & Explorer to Trinidad & Tobago, educator, and international performance poet.  Pierce has performed her spoken word poetry internationally from the U.K. to South Africa and at numerous TEDx events.  Her work has been published online and in print, including the "Guardian," "New York Daily News," "Caribbean Writer," and "Autism Speaks." Pierce has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Rutgers University Future Scholars Program and Assistant Director of Leadership and Experiential Learning at Rutgers University. As an educator, her mission is to help transform creative ideas into professional voices, empowering diverse learners to value themselves as global citizens and leaders within their own communities.

Elisa M. Gonzalez
Poet, Essayist, Fiction Writer
Elisa M. Gonzalez is a poet, essayist, fiction writer, and 2016  Fulbright U.S. Student to Poland. Her work appears in "The New Yorker," "Adi Magazine," "Mississippi Review," "The Literary Review," "The Boiler Journal," and elsewhere. She is a graduate of Yale University and the New York University M.F.A. program. In addition to her Fulbright grant, she has received fellowships from the Norman Mailer Center, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and Rolex Foundation. She is the recipient of a 2020 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, and lives in New York City.

Ruth Behar
Anthropologist, Professor, Author, Poet
Ruth Behar is an anthropologist, professor, poet, writer, a 1980 Fulbright U.S. Student to Spain, and a 2006 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Argentina. The Pura Belpré Award-winning author of "Lucky Broken Girl" was born in Havana, Cuba, grew up in New York, and has also lived in Spain and Mexico. Her multi-genre work includes the acclaimed travel books "An Island Called Home" and "Traveling Heavy," which explore her return journeys to Cuba and her search for home, and the bilingual poetry volume "Everything I Kept/Todo lo que guardé." Her new novel, "Letters from Cuba," for readers of all ages, is soon to appear in Spanish as "Cartas de Cuba." She was the first Latina to win a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, and other honors include a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and being named a “Great Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation. She is the Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

William Langford

Poet, Educator, Performance Artist
Will Langford, a Detroit native, is a poet, teaching artist, and 2014 Fulbright U.S. English Teaching Assistant to Kenya. He divides his energy between education and community development projects in Michigan, the U.S., and East Africa—alongside the Children & Youth Empowerment Center in Nyeri, Kenya. He is pursuing his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, where he was recently awarded a Commendation for Excellence in Community Engagement for his work on the Metro Detroit Youth Art’s Competition. As a performance artist, Langford’s poetry has garnered “Best of Show” in the American Advertising Awards, a Michigan Emmy Award, and the 2021 Mark Ritzenhein Emerging Poet Award. He is the 2017 Motown Mic Spoken Word Artist of the Year. Langford’s art has appeared in "The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook," "Ilanot Review," "Work/6," "Falling Hard," "2 Bridges Review," and is forthcoming in Finishing Line Press.

See this original information also here. Register for this free poetry reading here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Poet Marissa Michel Reading for Berks Bards & the Return of Our Open Mic via Zoom!

We as Berks Bards are thrilled to share our First Thursday poetry reading from last month on Zoom here via YouTube. In February 2021, we featured Marissa Michel who became the Youth Poet Laureate of Prince George's County in Maryland in 2020.

February of this year also marks us finally bringing our open mic after featured poet readings on First Thursdays back monthly. Until now, we had not hosted our open mics since March 2020, our last in-person poetry reading and open mic at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, where we hosted these events for years. We, like those behind many nonprofits, have had a lot to adjust to since 2020 in how we operate. So we're very grateful to bring back this much-missed aspect with our free events for those of you who join us as our audience.

Below, please enjoy our poetry reading with Marissa Michel and our limited sign-ups open mic!

And if you'd like to see our November 2020, December 2020, and January 2021 poetry readings on Zoom, they are available to check out here.

Be on the the lookout for our March 2021 poetry reading featured poet Katy Giebenhain and the return of our open mic soon, once we have it shared to YouTube.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Join Katy Giebenhain on Zoom—Thursday, March 4th, 2021, at 6 pm EST.



Join Katy Giebenhain on Zoom!


When: Thursday, March 4th, 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:

 

Falling Asleep in a 300 Year-Old Industrial Cottage in Derbyshire Surrounded by Star Wars Action Figures

 
 
Did you know a Storm Trooper Red Eye
has higher mechanical skills
than battle skills?
 
Did you know an Imperial Storm Trooper
has higher leadership skills
than intelligence?
 
Flanked by shelves of Jedi
a weekend houseguest
channels Joseph Campbell, says
 
out loud, in the snug dark
What about the Non-Hero’s journey?
Alongside the call to adventure
are the other calls.
And someone appears at the right time:
the enemy with a thousand faces
the mentor with a thousand faces
the waitress with a thousand faces.
The Hero doesn’t get
through anything alone.
All creators worth their salt know this.

 

"Falling Asleep in a 300 Year-Old Industrial Cottage in Derbyshire Surrounded by Star Wars Action Figures" first appeared in Glasgow Review of Books.

 

—————————


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 March 4th, 2021, featured poet, please send an email to Patti Ross, Berks Bards' current host, at par.media1@gmail.com, no later than Friday, February 26, 2021, with "Berks Bards open mic" in the subject line.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

November 2020, December 2020, & January 2021 Poetry Readings with Berks Bards—Now Available on YouTube.

We have been working to share First Thursday poetry readings to our YouTube channel whenever possible since 2020, in transitioning to Zoom from in-person events by April of last year.

Below are our three most recent recordings for you to enjoy again or if you weren't able to be a part of our audience in recent months.