Notable Philadelphia: 4/23–4/29


Tuesday 4/23: Asian Arts Initiative will host the release party for Sham-e-Ali Nayeem’s debut poetry collection City of Pearls, featuring readings by Denice Frohman, Yolanda Wisher, Raquel Salas Rivera, Catzie Vilayphonh, Lyrispect, Yalini Dream, Husnaa Hashim, and Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, as well as music by Rashid Zakat. 7 p.m. at Asian Arts Initiative.

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, who will be in conversation with Concepción de León! 7:30 p.m. at Free Library of Philadelphia.

Wednesday 4/24: The Povich Journalism Program will host a conversation with professor, editor, and historian Douglass Brinkley, hosted by Paul Hendrickson. 6 p.m. at Kelly Writers House.

Blue Stoop will present Mark Doten, author of Trump Sky Alpha, in conversation with Keith Kopka. 6:30 p.m. at Penn Book Center.

Head to A Novel Idea on Passyunk for the Philadelphia launch of The Mean Game, a new poetry collection by John Wall Barger. Featuring readings by Ernest Hilbert, Vasiliki Katsarou, Kyle Brown-Watson, Tim Fitts, and John Wall Barger, and hosted by Fayyaz Vellani. 7 p.m. at A Novel Idea on Passyunk.

Moonstone Poetry will host “Human Animals: Poems of Body, Praise, and Place” with Grady Chambers and David Ebenbach, hosted by Alina Macneal and Jennifer Hook. 7 p.m. at Fergie’s Pub.

The Unknown Flower Series will host an evening of poetry featuring Nomi Stone and Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, both of whom have new collections out (Kill Class and City of Pearls, respectively). 7 p.m. at Nick Virgilio Writers House.

Thursday 4/25: Kelly Writers House will host a marathon reading of The Odyssey. Sign up online to be a reader! 11 a.m. at Kelly Writers House.

Penn Book Center and UPenn’s Center for Africana Studies will present a reading and discussion with Anna Badkhen, author of Fisherman’s Blues: A West African Community at Sea, and Emmanuel Iduma, author of A Stranger’s Pose. 6:30 p.m. at Penn Book Center.

The Wooden Shoe will host a discussion with Erica Lagalisse, author of Occult Features of Anarchism. 7 p.m. at Wooden Shoe Books and Records.

Painted Bride Quarterly will host “PBQ Slam,” an evening of improv writing! 7:30 p.m. at Pen & Pencil Club.

The Dead Bards of Philadelphia will host “Whitman at 200,” a celebration of the life and work of Walt Whitman featuring readings by Lamont Steptoe, Sean Lynch, Sean Hanrahan, Aaren Perry, and Sydney Hunt Coffin. 8 p.m. at Venice Island Performing Arts Recreation Center. 

Friday 4/26: The Hopscotch Translation Series will present a reading and discussion with Thorsten Nagelschmidt, author of For What It’s Worth in conversation with translator Tim DeMarco. 6:30 p.m. at Penn Book Center.

Queen Phierce will present “Proud Out Loud,” an open mic and showcase for Philly Black Pride 2019! Advance open mic signups encouraged: [email protected]. 8 p.m. at APoetArtGallery.

Saturday 4/27: Head to The Spiral Bookcase to celebrate Indie Bookstore Day with giveaways, children’s story time, and a mixer with light refreshments. 11 a.m. at The Spiral Bookcase.

Penn Book Center will host “From Across the Waters: Poetry of the Soviet Diaspora,” an event bringing together women of the Soviet Diaspora who either came to this country as immigrants or refugees themselves or whose identity has been shaped by the refugee heritage of their parents. Featuring readings by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, Olga Livshin, Luisa Muradyan, Tanya Paperny, and Alina Pleskova. 3:30 p.m. at Penn Book Center.

Sunday 4/28: The Random Name Poetry Series will present readings by Christy Davids, Benjamin Garcia, and MC Hyland. Hosted by David Hancock. 7:30 p.m. at Dahlak Paradise.

Moonstone Poetry’s New Voices series will present the release event for New Voices: Volume One, an anthology of poetry by Philadelphia-based emerging poets under twenty-five. Featuring readings by contributing poets. 5 p.m. at The Drake Theater. 

Monday 4/29: Spoken word artist and author Andrea Gibson will perform at the Foundry. 8 p.m. at Foundry at the Fillmore.


Philly Recommended Reading: Each week we’ll recommend work by a local writer featured in Notable. This week, it’s “My Father’s MRI” by Sham-e-Ali Nayeem (Apiary Magazine). Enjoy!


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.


Logo art by Max Winter.

Amy Saul-Zerby is the author of two poetry collections, Paper Flowers Imaginary Birds (Be About It Press, 2017) and Deep Camouflage (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2018). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Rumpus, The Chicago Review of Books, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She is the editor of Voicemail Poems and Literary Philly. Find her on Twitter at @amyszzz. More from this author →