Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 6 p.m. at the GoggleWorks with poet/writer Jack Cantwell

 Please join Berks Bards at the GoggleWorks for First Thursday with Jack Cantwell with an open mic to follow.

Jack Cantwell is the owner of Lebanon-based SkyLimit Marketing. His company provides a variety of services to mostly Central Pennsylvania Clients, from York to Reading, with the majority in Lebanon County.
Services include marketing planning, project management, and advertising and PR writing for print, broadcast, websites, and collateral materials.
Jack started SkyLimit Marketing in 1999, following a lengthy domestic and international career with major advertising and promotion agencies and corporations. His Clients included McDonald’s Restaurants (U.S., Japan, Europe, Canada); John Hancock Financial Services (nationally); Fleet Banks; Marine Midland Banks; Coca Cola (Japan); Readers Digest (England) and many more. He was a Senior VP for two large agencies. His last corporate job was as VP Marketing for Mail Boxes Etc. (now called the UPS Stores)
He divides his time by:
1. Handling his marketing clients, including writing and editing the Bayer HealthCare employee newsletter and the Reading editions of the weekly Merchandiser.
2. Teaching 3-credit college courses in Marketing and Sales for Elizabethtown College
3. Donating a portion of his professional time to charitable causes like Central Pennsylvania Supports the Troops, Tom Gerhart’s Sports Memorabilia Auction, which helps local kids with cancer and their families; and others.
4. Talks and book signings (like tonight) for his new book Life Expressed in 25 Words or Less.
Jack is an active member of the Lebanon Chamber (Ambassador Committee); and Community of Lebanon Association (Chair of the PR/Social Committee). He is also active in St. Mary’s Church, Lebanon (Lector and marketing consultant).
Jack has been honored as the 2010 CLA Business Person of the Year plus several other local business awards. And last month he was honored by his alma mater, Ithaca College, with the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award, their highest honor.
Jack and his wife Patricia live in South Lebanon. They have been married for 55 1/2 years.
They have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.

Berks Bards is supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts which is administered locally by the Berks Arts Council. Berks Bards is also supported in part by the Friends of Berks County Public Libraries.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Thursday October 6, 2016 6 p.m. at the GoggleWorks with poets Brian Fanelli and Dawn Leas

Celebrate October!  Join us for First Thursday Poetry at the GoggleWorks!

October 6, 2016 ~ 6 pm

Brian Fanelli and Dawn Leas

GoggleWorks First Floor Cafe', 201 Washington ST, Reading, PA

Open Mic

This event is free and open to the public, sponsored by Berks Bards and supported by a grant from the PA Partners in the Arts, with additional funding from the Friends of the Berks County Libraries, members and friends of Berks Bards.

Liz Stanley
Berks Bards
Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Blogspot


Brian Fanelli is the author of the chapbook Front Man (Big Table Publishing) and the full-length poetry collections All That Remains (Unbound Content) and Waiting for the Dead to Speak (NYQ Books). His poetry, essays, and book reviews have been published by The Los Angeles Times, World Literature Today, The Paterson Literary Review, Main Street Rag, [PANK],  Louisiana Literature, Kentucky Review, and elsewhere. His poem “Raking Leaves” was recently featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac.  He has an M.F.A. from Wilkes University and a Ph.D. from Binghamton University. He teaches at Lackawanna College. 
Dawn Leas is the author of a full-length collection, Take Something When You Go, (Winter Goose Publishing 2016), and a chapbook, I Know When to Keep Quiet, (Finishing Line Press, 2010). A collection of her poems can be found in Everyday Escape Poems, an anthology released by SwanDive Publishing (2014).  Her work has appeared in Literary Mama, Southern Women's Review, San Pedro River Review, The Pedestal Magazine and elsewhere. She has served as the associate director of the Wilkes University M.F.A. Creative Writing Programs and is currently the assistant to the President at Wilkes. She received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in English from the University of Scranton, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuesday October 4th at 6 p.m. at the Schuylkill Valley Community Library with Poet Tony Cocuzza

Join Berks Bards and Tony Cocuzza at the Schuylkill Valley Community Library, 1310 Washington Rd, Leesport, PA 19533 for an evening of fun and poetry. 

Tony Cocuzza's degree in Psychology has probably helped him more in his four

years of poetic misadventure than in his 33 years as a Social Worker.

He admits to publishing success in music reviews, for 21 years in the

Reading Eagle and in his current music blog and Amazon.com since 2009.

He will do his best to entertain you, without song, dance, or shadow


This event is sponsored by Berks Bards, with a grant from the PA Partners in the Arts, funded by the PA State Legislature, and administered by the Berks Arts Council.  Additional support from the Friends of the Berks County Public Libraries, and from members and volunteers with Berks Bards.  The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Tuesday, Sept. 13th, 2016 6 p.m. an open mic at Cafe Bold in West Reading

Please join the poetry faithful for Second Tuesday at Cafe Bold in beautiful West Reading: 550 Penn Ave, West Reading, PA 19611

Bee HiveQueen will be our hostess. 

She does a wonderful job of creating a warm and welcoming environment in which to share poetry. 

We look forward to meeting you there.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the GoggleWorks with featured poets Eliot White and Jeff Rath

Welcome September with two poets and an open mic to follow the reading.

Eliot White is currently completing a Master’s Degree in American Literature at Millersville University. Before going to graduate school, he taught high school English, Social Studies, and Theater. He has presented at national and international conferences on the works of Cormac McCarthy, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Emily St. John Mandel, and Zadie Smith. Some other research interests include literature of the Iraq and Afghan wars, trauma theory, and cognitive and evolutionary theories of narrative. He has worked on the staff of Third Point Press, and is the host of The Turning Wheel, a monthly reading series showcasing local and regional poets and authors at DogStar Books. His writing has appeared in Sundog Lit, George Street Carnival, and Rapportage. To pay the bills, he works as a writer and content strategist for The Infantree, a branding agency in his home city of Lancaster, PA. Follow him on twitter: @eliot_white.

Eliot headshot.jpg

Jeff Rath is the author of four collections of poetry: The Waiting Room at the End of the World (2007), In the Shooting Gallery of the Heart (2009), Film Noir (2011), and his latest, The Old Utopia Hotel, all published by Iris G. Press. His work has been published in a number of journals including Everyday Genius, The The Journal, the Delmarva Review, and Fledgling Rag. He is the 2007 R.E. Foundation Award winner and a Pushcart Prize nominee.
Berks Bards is supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts as administered locally through the Berks Arts Council and by the Friends of Berks County Public Libraries.

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 4, 2016 at 6 p.m. First Thursday with Jennifer Hetick

Join us in welcoming JENNIFER HETRICK as our featured poet
for First Thursday Poetry at the GoggleWorks on August 4th at 6 pm.

She will be reading selections from volume two of her new project
"the labors of our fingertips:
poems from manufacturing history in Berks County." 

First Floor Cafe,
201 Washington Street, Reading

Open Mic

Liz Stanley
Berks Bards


Jennifer Hetrick considers herself a language thrower of sorts. Having graduated from Clarion University with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and a minor in English writing, she contributes to Berks County Living Magazine, The Reading Eagle, and the Copper Development Association’s Copper in the Arts and other publications. And she occasionally does farm blogging for Weaver’s Orchard and Wolff's Apple House.
In the past, she wrote for Bucks Life Magazine, The Merchandiser, Lancaster Farming, Berks-Mont Newspapers, the Limerick-Royersford-Spring City and Perkiomen Valley Patch sites, growindie.com, phillyecocity.com, the Boyertown Bulletin, and MidAtlantic Farm Credit's Leader.

She has also interviewed poets from Israel and Turkey as well as from different parts of the U.S.

Hetrick is currently managing a three-year poetry project called the labors of our fingertips: poems from manufacturing history in berks county. The project involves interviewing older seniors who worked in Berks County’s factories and mills, creating poems from their memories, and publishing three volumes of books with the content. Each of the books will include 25 poems. The first book was released through Foothills Publishing in Kanona, New York in August 2015. The project is funded in part by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Berks Arts Council.
In 2010, she started her own positive-only local news publication known as News, Not Blues, based out of Boyertown, Berks County. Throughout each year, she donates contemporary poetry books to the Boyertown Community Library through News, Not Blues, including books by Berks County poets. Invited to the first annual writers' festival at the Chautauqua Institution through a scholarship she received in 2004, she workshopped with Syracuse University's respected poet Bruce Smith. In 2011, she had a creative nonfiction essay about her mother published in the book Western Pennsylvania Reflections: Stories from the Alleghenies to Lake Erie through a call for submissions from at the University of Pennsylvania. She and good friend fellow poet Frank Wolfe of Royersford, Montgomery County used to attend and read at Otherwise Poetry, a monthly poetry reading at the Towne Book Center & Cafe in Collegeville, sponsored by The Mad Poets Society based in Media, Delaware County. She has studied under Berks County’s third poet laureate, Heather Thomas, and followed its fourth poet laureate, Craig Czury, on his Marcellus Shale poetry project in Northeastern Pennsylvania in 2012. She plans to teach poetry classes as well as river poems workshops and poetry workshops for seniors at retirement homes around the region in the future. Her blog, The Garden Harlot, easily explains her penchant for hiking and photographing scenes of plants from unexpected viewpoints. A lot of her freelance writing involves putting positives in front of people in a way which the world needs more than it will ever need or benefit from what's negative.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 12, 2016 6-8 p.m. at Cafe Bold for poetry open mic night!

Join us for Second Tuesday Open Mic on July 12th at 6 pm, "After Hours at Cafe' Bold"

at 550 Penn Avenue in West Reading.

 Our host is Bee HiveQueen. 

Bring poems, bring friends, bring your friends' poems!

All are welcome!

Liz Stanley

Berks Bards

Friday, July 1, 2016

Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the GoggleWorks featuring poet Cat Mahony

Poetry Reading and Book Signing: "In Knots: Motherhood Lost and Found"

First Thursday Poetry at the GoggleWorks

July 7th at 6 pm

Featured poet is Cat Mahony

Followed by an Open Mic


Cat Mahony, originally from Queens, NY is a writer of multiple genres. She recently graduated from Reading Area Community College with an Associate’s Degree in both Liberal Arts and Communications, and now attends Kutztown University’s Professional Writing program with the goal of obtaining her Bachelor’s degree. She was the recipient of the Creative Writing award in 2013/14, which is given by Reading Area Community College’s Humanities Division in recognition of academic excellence. Her poetry, Creative Nonfiction as well as Fiction has been published in journals such as; Legacy, Nota Bene and an anthology entitled Agony and Ecstasy: Reflections Inspired by our Lives, produced by Studio B in Boyertown. A short story and a poem which were published in Legacy:13 " Becoming Us", placed first and second in the Community College Humanities Association’s 2014 Literary Magazine competition, in which the overall publication received first place in the Eastern Division. Most recently Cat was a finalist in the category of Creative Nonfiction for the Norman Mailer High School and College Creative Writing Awards.

The goal of Cat’s writing is to expose her struggles with addiction and mental illness so that others who suffer know they are not alone. She has spoken publicly on these issues at rehabilitation centers, detox units, mental health facilities, as well as in Berks County Prison. Cat hopes to one day bring the art form of Creative Nonfiction into the prison system. She now resides in Hamburg, PA with her wife and their 8 yr. old daughter.

    Thursday, June 2, 2016

    Thursday June 2, 2016 6 p.m. at the GoggleWorks for an open mic night of poetry

    Join us for an open mic for First Thursday Poetry at the GoggleWorks.

    June 2, 2016 at 6 pm

    Bring poems!  Bring friends!  Bring your friends' poems!

    Liz Stanley

    Berks Bards

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016


    Saturday April 2, 2016 1 p.m. at the Pagoda, 98 Duryea Dr. Reading, PA 19602 with poets Jane Relaford Brown and Elizabeth Stanley for a reading/workshop.

    Thursday April 7, 2016 6 p.m. at the GoggleWorks, 201 Washington St, Reading, PA 19601with Philadelphia's current Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher for First Thursday's reading and an open mic.

    Saturday April 9, 2016 11 a.m. at the Mifflin Community Library, 6 Philadelphia Ave, Shillington, PA 19607 for a children's Poet-Tree workshop with Mary Ann Albert.

    Tuesday April 12, 2016 6-8 p.m. at Cafe Bold, 550 Penn Ave, West Reading, PA 19611, for an open mic hosted by Bee HiveQueen.

    Wednesday April 13, 2016 6 p.m. at the Raven's Lounge on the Reading Area Community College Campus, 10 S 2nd St, Reading, PA 19603 for the film, El Poeta. After his only son is murdered in the Mexican drug war, a mystic poet launches an international crusade to save his country.

    Thursday April 14, 2016 6-8 p.m. at the Miller Center for the Arts, 4 N 2nd St, Reading, PA 19601, for "Mi Vida, My Life: 500 years of  Latino History" featuring spoken word poet Egedeme and Noah Ayala. 

    Saturday April 16, 2016 11:30 a.m. at Kutztown Community Library at, 70 Bieber Alley, Kutztown, PA 19530, with Rebecca Reppert and Nur Alima for  "Rituals of Spring."

    Tuesday April 19, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mifflin Community Library TBA

    Monday April 25, 2016 7 p.m at Winedown Cafe & Wine Bar, 622 Penn Ave, West Reading, PA 19611, for poets Lisa Sewell and Nancy Yeager.

    Wednesday April 27, 2016 6-8 p.m. at the Wyomissing Public Library , 9 Reading Blvd. Wyomissing PA 19610, with students of the former Berks County Poet Laureate Heather H. Thomas and students of the current Berks County Poet Laureate, Nancy Yeager, for an evening of original poetry.

    Thursday May 5, 2016 4 p.m. at the Gogglworks  201 Washington St, Reading, PA 19601 in room 325 for a writing workshop with poet Randolph Bridgeman.

    Thursday May 5, 2016 6 p.m. at the Gogglworks  201 Washington St, Reading, PA 19601 for First Thursday with poet Randolph Bridgeman.

    Tuesday May 10, 2016 6-8 p.m. at Cafe Bold, 550 Penn Ave, West Reading, PA 19611, for an open mic hosted by Bee HiveQueen.

    Saturday May 14, 2016 1 p.m. at the Pagoda 98 Duryea Dr. Reading, PA 19602 with poet Hiram Larew for a poetry workshop.

    Sunday, March 6, 2016

    March 8, 2016 6-8 p.m. at Cafe Bold in West Reading for Second Tuesday's poetry open mic night

    Join Berks Bards for After Hours at Cafe Bold, 550 Penn Ave, West Reading, PA 19611.

    This is the first anniversary, yes, it's been a WHOLE year since Berks Bards launched a second monthly poetry reading at Cafe Bold, where the coffee and the companionship are exceptional!

    See you there.

    Marilyn Klimcho

    Monday, February 29, 2016

    Thursday March 3rd, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the GoggleWorks with poet Mary Arguelles

    Pardon me, but I just crawled out of a snow bank.  Did you feel that sun today?
    Here's the plan: if we all get together and breathe spring, we can make it happen!

    Are you IN!  I thought so!

    Open your eyes and put your hands together for First Thursday Poetry

    March 3rd at 6:00 pm ~ The GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Cafe'


    Open Mic

    This event is free and open to the public, you, your friends, your family, everyone!
    Berks Bards sponsors this monthly gathering with the support of a grant from the
    PA Partners in the Arts, administered locally by the Berks Arts Council.  (You know,
    the ones who put on the Jazz Fest!)  Oh, and with the generous support of the
    Friends of the Berks County Public Libraries, thank you, thank you!  And with the
    awesome support of members, volunteers and friends of Berks Bards who live and
    breathe the lively art of poetry in the Greater Reading Area.

    Liz Stanley
    Berks Bards

    Monday, February 15, 2016

    February 17, 2016 at 6 p.m. at RACC in the Ravens Lounge with Poet Le Hinton

    Brave the wind!  Come into the warm!  Join us for Poetry at Six at RACC!
    Wednesday, February 17th at 6:00 pm
    Ravens Lounge, Student Union Building, Reading Area Community College
    Featured poet is LE HINTON
    Open mic
    Light refreshments begin at 5:15 pm!
    This event is open to the public, for poets and writers, students, faculty, all who want to support the lively art of poetry in Berks County.
    Liz Stanley
    Berks Bards
    Poetry at Six ~ RACC
    Le Hinton is the author of five poetry collections including, most
    recently, The Language of Moisture and Light (Iris G. Press, 2014). His
    work has been widely published and can be found in The Best American
    Poetry 2014,  Little Patuxent Review, the Baltimore
    Review, and outside Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster,
    Pennsylvania, incorporated into Derek Parker's sculpture Common Thread.

    He has read his work at the Library of Congress for Grace Cavalieri's
    long-running series, The Poet and the Poem; Penn State University for
    the Pennsylvania Center for the Book's Public Poetry Project; in
    Charleston, South Carolina, for the Capital BookFest;
    and in New York City at the New School for The Best American Poetry
    2014 release reading.

    His next book, scheduled for release in late 2016 or early 2017, will be A Chorus for Cotton.

    Friday, January 15, 2016

    Thursday, February 4, 2016 6-8 p.m. at the GoggleWorks with Community Activist and Poet Noah Ayala

    This artist is a Community Activist who inspires with his bold expression. He captivates young minds one poem at a time.

    Noah has served our community by taking part in mentoring programs all over the city from the I Lead Charter School to the Children's Home of Reading. He uses the art of the spoken word to deliver his outlook on life.
    Noah has been inspired by the hip-hop culture and many poetic souls throughout his journey.
    Please welcome to Berks Bards, First Thursday in February, the Poet Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Noah Ayala

    An open mic will follow Noah's reading.

    This event is free and open to the public.

    Monday, January 4, 2016

    January 7, 2016 6 to 8 p.m. at the GoggleWorks for the poetry of Alexandra Papoutsis

    Join Berks Bards in welcoming Alexandra Papoutsis to First Thursday.

    Papoutsis was the 2014 Berks County Scholastic Poet Laureate. She graduated from Wilson High School in 2015, and currently attends Albright College where she studies Accounting. At Albright she is a part of the Honors Program, and also received the Shirk Scholarship which is based on community service involvement. In her free time she enjoys playing soccer, hanging out with her friends, and reading. She loves to inspire people and hopes to eventually publish some of her works.

    An open mic will follow the reading.  

    Berks Bards is supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts administered locally by the Berks Arts Council and by the Friends of Berks County Libraries.