Monday, March 31, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 4 p.m. at the T.E.A. Factory 580 Willow Street in Reading featuring Barbara Presnell

Join Berks Bards for a poetic tribute by Barbara Presnell to displaced textile workers at one of Reading's iconic re-purposed industrial buildings, the T.E.A. Factory.

Barbara Presnell:

A North Carolina Life
I grew up in the small town of Asheboro, North Carolina, in a region
where both my paternal and maternal families had lived for generations.
They were Quakers and Methodists, farmers and preachers, good old boys
and bridge-players. From my father's side of the family, I heard stories
about boyhood mischief, Indians on the family tree, rheumatic fever,
war, death, and sadness; from my mother's side, tales of Annie Oakley,
daily train rides, long-buried shrapnel, and love letters that crossed
the ocean. I carry inside me a small part of all those people and all
those stories.

My love for stories began with my parents' reading to me and
keeping our house filled with books. Santa Claus brought them; the
Easter Bunny left them in our baskets; they came as birthday presents;
we saved our allowance for the latest number of Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew,
Happy Hollisters, and Brains Benton. Summers we'd make it through
scorching hot afternoons and evenings without air-conditioning stretched
out in lawn chairs reading. When I started writing my own stories, my
parents were my first audience. My brother and sister, who've lived most
of my stories with me, are my first, best readers today.

Since then, my writing journey has taken me into many genres—fiction writing, plays,
poems, dramatic monologues, essays, and music—but the purpose has
remained the same: to tell the story of a people, a region, and a way of
life, and to attempt to portray a complex South, rich with history and
tradition, but plagued by heartache and frailty. Hopefully in my words,
a reader will discover not just the Southern experience but the
universal human one that transcends region, dialect, and culture. 


NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Writing, 2001-02, 2007-08

Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize, 2006

Linda Flowers Prize, NC Humanities Council, 2004

Oscar Arnold Young Award, Poetry Council of NC, 1999

Zoe Kincaid Brockman Award, NC Poetry Society, 1995

B.A. in English (UNC-Greensboro)

M.F.A. in Creative Writing (UNC-G)

M.A. in English (American Lit), the University of Kentucky

Piece Work
(Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2007)

Sherry's Prayer
       (NC Humanities Council
       as part of NC Crossroads, 2004)

Los Hijos
(Longleaf Press, 2002)

Unravelings (Longleaf Press, 1998

Snake Dreams (Nightshade Press, 1994)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 6 p.m. Freedman Gallery on Albright College campus for the slam poetry of Soul Cry

On Tuesday, April 8th, 2014, continue the Spoken Word experience on the campus of Albright College, Freedman Galley at 6 p.m. with Soul Cry, aka J. Love Kearse.

Experience some of Albright College's Diversity Week with the poetry of J. Love Keasre among many others.

Soul Cry, aka J. Love Kearse, is a singer, songwriter and poet from York, PA. In 2007 and 2008 she was awarded Poet of the Year at the Central PA Hip-Hop Awards. She has published two CD, one titled Destiny's Calling and the second titled The Love Chronicles. She released her first collection of poems titled Passing Bi in July of 2013.  Kearse has an Associates degree in Business Management from Yorktowne Business Institute, a bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University and is a 2014 candidate to receive her Masters of Business Administration from Eastern University. she is also an amateur visual artist and an accomplished vocalist and songwriter.

Monday, April 7, 2014 6 p.m. at RACC with slam poet Perry "Vision" DiVirgillio

On Monday April 7, 2014, experience the power of Spoken Word with Perry “Vision” DiVirgillio at the Raven’s Lounge in the Student Union at RACC with an open mic to follow the reading.

Vision is an accomplished poet, actor and teacher. He won the Alternative Soul award for best Spoken Word Performer. In 2012 he was featured on CNN's Black in America 5, hosted by Soledad O'Brien. Vision is a founding member of Spoken Soul 215, Philadelphia's premier spoken word collective which hosts the epic monthly event, "The Harvest." He is the artistic director of the Philadelphia Youth Poetry team who won the 2011 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam. Last fall Vision was featured on TV One's Verses and Flow alongside Raheem Devaughn.

First Thursay, April 3, 2014 at 6 p.m. at the GoggleWorks featuring Elizabeth Stanley and Naimon Lyons

Kick off BardFest 2014 at First Thursday, April 3, 2014, at 6 p.m. where you can join Berks Bards for the poetry of Elizabeth Stanley and Naimon Lyons at Mi Casa Su Casa Café in the GoggleWorks. An open mic will follow the reading.

Watch BCTV throughout the month of April to catch glimpses of local poets.

Welcome to Bard Fest 2014 

Throughout the month of April catch 22 of your favorite local poets reading one-minute poems on BCTV!

Highlights include:

Elaine Soltis
Heather Thomas
Craig Czury
Elizabeth Stanley
Patrick Klimcho
Emily Hayes Whittle
L. T. James
among others

Want a DVD of all of the poets? 

Contact BCTV to purchase your copy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thursday, March 6 at 6 p.m. at the GoggleWorks featuring Bill Van Buskirk and Lisa Alexander Baron

Sure signs of Spring!  Two fine poets featured for First Thursday Poetry this week!



Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm

The GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, 1st Floor Cafe', Reading, PA

Open Mic

This event is free and open to the general public. 

Liz Stanley
~Berks Bards


Lisa Alexander Baron
is the author of  Reading the Alphabet of  Trees and Sting and Tell. 
Her poems have appeared  in  Paterson Literary Review, The Fourth River,
Green Hills Literary Lantern, Thema, Steam Ticket, and Potomac Review. 
She is a retired lawyer and high school English teacher.  Recent work
reflects using visual art as a prompt for a poem. She is a recent
graduate of the MFA in Poetry program at Vermont College of  Fine

Bill Van Buskirk grew up in Manayunk
section of Philadelphia. He has published poetry in the Comstock Review,
Paterson Literary Review, LIPS, and Philadelphia Poets. His book: This
Wild Joy that Thrills Outside the Law won the Joie de Vivre Poetry
Contest sponsored by the Mad Poet’s Review. He lives in Allentown with
his poet-wife Lisa Baron and two children— Elizabeth and Sam. He teaches
at La Salle University.