Notable Philadelphia: 7/31-8/6

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Tuesday 7/31: “The Outdoor World Within Black Literature: Poetry and Art-Making” will include a discussion of poems from Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry and an art-making activity. Led by Kalela Williams. 6:30 p.m. at Free Library of Philadelphia.

WHYY and The Literary Café will host a celebration of The Great American Read with Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” written by Zora Neale Hurston and edited by Deborah G. Plant. Join WHYY for a conversation with Deborah Plant about Hurston’s commitment to the story of Cudjo “Kossola” Lewis. 6 p.m. at WHYY.

Join the Philly Improv Theater’s house sketch ensemble “Fezziwig” as they perform their sketch-play “The Bradinsky Bunch,” a 70s sitcom in the style of Anton Chekhov, among other classic Russian authors. 7:30 p.m. at Philly Improv Theater.

Wednesday 8/1: The Mad Poets Society and the Community Arts Center present the First Wednesday Reading Series. Featured poet Amber Renee will perform with an open mic to follow. Bring your own poetry! 7 p.m. at Community Arts Center.

Moonstone Poetry will present an evening of readings by Warren C. Longmire and Levi Bentley, followed as always by an open mic. Hosted by Sean Lynch. 7 p.m. at Fergie’s Pub. 

Thursday 8/2: Head to Mt. Airy for an evening of “fiercely feminist fantasy.” Featuring debut author Bree Barton in conversation with novelist Nova Ren Suma. 7.pm. at Big Blue Marble Bookstore.

Friday 8/3: The BlackStar Film Festival will present “From Paper to Picture: Well Written Black Girl,” a panel celebrating black women screenwriters in conversation with Well-Read Black Girl founder Glory Edim. Panelists include Janine Sherman Barrois and Roni Nicole Henderson. Event is free with RSVP. 12:30 p.m. at Institute of Contemporary Art.

Sunday 8/5: Voices in Power will return to host another poetry open mic. Bring poetry to share. $10 advance tickets. 6 p.m. at 426 E Allegheny Ave.

Monday 8/6: Community Drafts returns for another evening of creative writing, music, and improv. Join host Misty Rosso for this open mic night. 8 p.m. at Lucky 13 Pub.

The Outdoor World Within Black Literature presents “Prose and Picnicking,” a discussion of prose featuring rich descriptions of nature written by black writers including Alice Walker, Percival Everett, and Jesmyn Ward. 6:30 p.m. at Bartram’s Garden.

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Philly Recommended Reading: Each week we’ll recommend work by a local writer featured in Notable. This week, it’s “Universal Void Theory” by Amber Renee (Barking Sycamores, May 2018). Enjoy!

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If you have a Philadelphia event listing you’d like us to consider for Notable Philadelphia, please contact [email protected] as far in advance as possible, and include the date of the event in the subject line.

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Logo art by Max Winter.


Amy Saul-Zerby is a Philadelphia-based poet. She is Editor-in-Chief of Voicemail Poems, Communications Manager at Apiary Magazine, and a contributing writer at Fields Magazine. Her first collection Paper Flowers Imaginary Birds was published by Be About It Press in 2017. More from this author →