Notable Philadelphia: 2/18–2/24


Tuesday 2/18: Blue Stoop will present a celebration of Carson McCullers with Jenn Shapland, author of My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir. 6:30 p.m. at L’Etage.

Bring your best to share at Green Street Poetry’s monthly open mic. 7 p.m. at Triple Bottom Brewing Company.

Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books will welcome professors Juda Bennett, Winnifred Brown-Glaude, Cassandra Jackson, and Piper Kendrix Williams to talk about their collaborative book The Toni Morrison Book Club. 7 p.m. at Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books.

The Free Library will present readings by Sayed Kashua, author of Track Changes, and Isabella Hammad, author of The Parisian. 7:30 p.m. at Free Library of Philadelphia.

Wednesday 2/19: The National Book Foundation will present “A New Queer Canon,” a reading featuring Garth Greenwell and Camonghne Felix. 1 p.m. at Community College of Philadelphia.

The Writers House at Rutgers University-Camden will host a discussion of Tommy Orange’s There There in connection with One Book, One Philadelphia. 5 p.m. at The Writers House at Rutgers University-Camden.

People’s Books and Culture will present Jeff Sharlet, author of This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers, in conversation with Jay Kirk. 6 p.m. at People’s Books and Culture.

Kelly Writers House will host “Contemporary Iranian Fiction in Translation,” a panel discussion featuring Iranian-American author Moniro Ravanipour with translator Mohammad Ghanoonparvar, Professor Fatemeh Shams, and Dr. Mahyar Entezari. 6 p.m. at Kelly Writers House.

The South Jersey Poets Collective will host an open mic followed by a poetry reading and book signing by Noor Ibn Najam, author of Praise to Lesser Gods of Love.  7 p.m. at Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University.

Moonstone Poetry will present poetry readings by Blanche Brown and Terra Oliveira, followed by an open mic. Hosted by Ryan Eckes. 7 p.m. at Fergie’s Pub.

The February edition of the Tire Fire series will feature readings by Amber Sparks, Tara Campbell, and Chelsea Graham. The event will double as a fundraiser for the Women’s Medical Fund, which protects and expands abortion access for low-income folks through direct service and advocacy. Doors at 7 p.m., reading at 8 p.m. at Tattooed Mom.

The Bryn Mawr College Reading Series will present a reading by novelist and short story writer Akhil Sharma. The reading will be free and open to the public, with no tickets or reservations required. 7:30 p.m. at Bryn Mawr College.

Thursday 2/20: The seventh edition of Yolanda Wisher’s Rent Party at The Rosenbach invites you to join a copacetic caravan with the Black Beats—poets of African descent who were part of the Beat poetry movement of the 1940s and 1950s. The evening will feature a poetry reading by Warren C. Longmire, as well as a set of Beat poetry classics against bebop backdrops by Yolanda Wisher and the Afroeaters. 7 p.m. at The Rosenbach.

Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books will present a discussion and book signing with Margaret Kimberley, author of Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents. Books will be available for purchase. 7 p.m. at Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books.

The Dead Bards of Philadelphia will present poetry readings by Sean Lynch and Amber Renee, followed by an open mic. Hosted by James Feichthaler. 8 p.m. at Venice Island Performing Arts Recreation Center. 

Friday 2/21: People’s Books and Culture will present an artist conversation with Justin Coffin, author of Fishtown Forget Me Not. 6:30 p.m. at People’s Books and Culture.

On the occasion of the publication of A.W. Strouse’s new book Gender Trouble Couplets: Volume 1, Wooden Shoe Books and Records will host “Here Comes Trouble,” an event that will play with gender and genre performance in the work of Berry Grass, Emma Brown Sanders, Warren Longmire, Jeff T. Johnson, and A.W. Strouse. 7 p.m. at Wooden Shoe Books and Records.

Saturday 2/22: The University of Pennsylvania Bookstore will present a reading by Jenny Delacruz, author of Fridays with Ms. Mélange: Haiti. 10:30 a.m. at University of Pennsylvania Bookstore.

Hoot Review will present a Flash Fiction Festival, featuring a flash fiction workshop hosted by Christina Rosso-Schneider, panel discussions featuring Madeline Anthes, Meghan Phillips, KB Carle, Tyler Barton, Daniel DiFranco, Stephanie King, Michael F Cocchiarale, Britny Brooks, and Jenna Faccenda, and readings by local flash fiction writers. Tickets for the workshop are $15–$25 sliding scale (including admission to the festival). General admission, including panels and readings, $5 in advance or $10 at the door. 12 p.m. at A Novel Idea on Passyunk.

Shakespeare & Co. Rittenhouse will host a meet and greet with children’s book author Ariel Bernstein. Copies of her book, I Have a Balloon, will be for sale. 1 p.m. at Shakespeare & Co. Rittenhouse.

The Charmed Instruments series will present an evening of poetry featuring readings by Jennifer Firestone, Kirwyn Sutherland, and Tessa Micaela. The event is free, open to the public, and BYO. Doors at 7:30 p.m., readings at 8 p.m. at 824 S. 8th Street.

Sunday 2/23: The African American Museum will present a film screening and remembrance of Toni Morrison, featuring a screening of The Foreigner’s Home, as well as readings from local poets and a conversation between Sonia Sanchez and Louis Massiah. Guests are encouraged to arrive early, as late admission cannot be guaranteed. $5 general admission. Doors at 12 p.m., program at 1 p.m. at African American Museum in Philadelphia.

This week’s edition of Sci-fi Sundays at the Art Museum will feature readings from the Little Berlin Zine Library. 2 p.m. at Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Random Name poetry series will present readings by Emily Abendroth, Mónica Gomery, and Tessa Micaela. Hosted by David Hancock. 7:30 p.m. at Dahlak Paradise.

Monday 2/24: In partnership with One Book, One Philadelphia, Philadelphia Stories will present the release party for their Winter 2020 issue, which explores themes of community and tradition to complement the themes in Tommy Orange’s There There. Reception and art opening at 5:30 p.m., readings at 6:30 p.m. at Walnut West Library.

The February edition of Poems Night will feature readings by Poetic Rev and Shirmina Smith., followed by a lottery-style open mic. Hosted by Stephanie Czapla. 6:30 p.m. at HOT•BED.

Wooden Shoe Books and Records will present Daniel Denvir, author of All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It, in conversation with Carly Goodman. 7 p.m. at Wooden Shoe Books and Records.

Live at the Writers House will host a live recording by a group of writers and a musical guest of original work inspired by One Book One Philadelphia selection There There. 7 p.m. at Kelly Writers House.


Philly Recommended Reading: Each week we’ll recommend work by a local writer featured in Notable. This week, it’s “Instrument” by Terra Oliveira (Prolit Magazine, Issue 2). 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 →