Notable Philadelphia: 5/14–5/20


Tuesday 5/14: Penn Book Center will host a reading and discussion with Samuel R. Delany and Alex Smith. 6:30 p.m. at Penn Book Center.

The Livin’ on Luck Poetry Series will present readings by Bruce Burleigh, Sibelan Forrester, and John Wojtowicz, followed by an open mic. Hosted by Brooke Palma. 7 p.m. at Barnaby’s of West Chester.

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse will host the launch of BTTM FDRS, Ezra Claytan Daniels and Ben Passmore’s new graphic novel about gentrification and cultural appropriation. 6 p.m. at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse. 

Wednesday 5/15: Penn Book Center will host a celebration of Irène Mathieu’s new book, Grand Marronage, featuring readings by Mathieu as well as Trapeta Mayson and Raquel Salas Rivera. 6 p.m. at Penn Book Center.

The Free Library will present readings by Tommy Orange, author of There There, and Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room. 7:30 p.m. at Free Library of Philadelphia.

The Hatchery Series will host a takeover by Painted Bride Quarterly, featuring readings by Kathleen Volk Miller, Tim Fitts, John Wall Barger, and Paul Siegell. 7:45 p.m. at The Monkey Club.

Thursday 5/16: The Free Library will host “Whomst”, the inaugural concert of the Art and Literature Department’s “Song-Poems” series, featuring Kari Dramé. 6 p.m. at Free Library of Philadelphia.

The Tire Fire Series will present readings by Elissa Washuta, Irène Mathieu, Raena Shirali, and Nomi Stone. The reading will double as a fundraiser for PA Adapt, a “grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” 7 p.m. at Tattooed Mom.

A Novel Idea on Passyunk will host the first meeting of “A Novel Writing Group”, a monthly meetup for local writers to discuss writing and get feedback on their work. 7 p.m. at A Novel Idea on Passyunk.

This month’s Free Poetry Workshop at A-Space will be led by local poet Warren Longmire. 7 p.m. at A-Space Community Center.

The Random Name Poetry Series will present readings by Alicia Ashkenase, Jean Day, and Ron Silliman. Hosted by David Hancock. 7:30 p.m. at Dahlak Paradise.

Head to London Grill to celebrate the launch of Toho Journal, a new literary magazine from Green Street Poetry, with readings by contributors to the inaugural issue. 7 p.m. at London Grill. 

Friday 5/17: Blue Stoop will present Malaka Gharib, author of I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir, in conversation with Alli Katz. 5 p.m. at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse.

Penn Book Center will host an evening of poetry and prose featuring readings by Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, author of City of Pearls, and Hala Alyan, author of The Twenty-Ninth Year. 6 p.m. at Penn Book Center.

Thirty West Publishing will host a reading featuring Hannah Litvin, Sean Hanrahan, and Rosso-Schneider, followed by an open mic. 7 p.m. at Big Blue Marble Bookstore. 

Saturday 5/18: Penn Book Center will present Eddie Stern, author of One Simple Thing: A New Look at the Science of Yoga and How It Can Transform Your Life, in conversation with Carlos Basualdo. 4 p.m. at Penn Book Center.

Sphinx and Snakeskin will host an occult poetry reading featuring Janaka Stucky, author of Ascend Ascend, and Pam Grossman, author of What Is a Witch and Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power. 6 p.m. at Sphinx and Snakeskin.

Wooden Shoe Books & Records will host a reading by Koe Creation, author of This Heart Holds Many: My Life as the Nonbinary Millennial Child of a Polyamorous Family. 7 p.m. at Wooden Shoe Books & Records. 

Sunday 5/19: A Novel Idea on Passyunk will partner with Writely Me to host their first write-in, an afternoon of writing, community, and creativity. 1 p.m. at A Novel Idea on Passyunk.

Big Blue Marble Bookstore will host “The Poetics of Parenthood,” a discussion about balancing writing and parenting with local poet Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach. 2 p.m. at Big Blue Marble Bookstore.

Monday 5/20: The Free Library will host a reading by finalists for the 31st Annual Lambda Literary Awards, including David Jackson, Raquel Salas Rivera, Anne Balay, Anthony Moll, Zahra Patterson, Kheryn Callender, Jason Villemez, and Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul. 6 p.m. at Free Library of Philadelphia – Independence Branch.


Philly Recommended Reading: Each week we’ll recommend work by a local writer featured in Notable. This week, it’s “The Three Known Tales of Hatim Muzumbo” by Alex Smith (Apiary Magazine, 2015). 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 →