Poetry Thursdays

Open mic and featured performers:
Internet Cafe
at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore,
1302 North Third Street,
Harrisburg, PA 17102
Phone: 717.236.1680

The Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel hosts
this community reading series,
every Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
Open to all who'd like to share
or listen to the many varieties
of spoken word


Autumn is here. Foliage falling, fading from October rainbows.
Color sustains with scintillating stanzas performed Thursdays at Midtown Scholar Bookstore!
Listen or perform. Your call. Our reading is FREE and open to the public.
Bring yourself and a friend, or two, or three.

      THIS WEEK:
 November 20, Feature Caleb Lesher, host Marty Esworthy    

Caleb S. Lesher is pretending that he’s writing his first book so much so that he’s actually given it a title - “Grappling with my own existence in shades of sappy dysphoria, but with the biting sarcasm and reckless humanity of an early twenty-something in the digital age, when hot singles are always in your area, ready to chat now!” He spent a semester in art school studying theater and fiction writing before having to come home and get a real job picking things up, and putting them down. Dreams can sometimes be wildly out of your price range. Since, he has worked on writing, swearing off writing, and inevitably returning to his ghosts.

 November 27 -- Thanksgiving Holiday -- NO READING --
(Everybody likes to gobble!)
      December 4 -- That infamous Gettysburg Trio (Ciocco, Giebenhain & Malone)

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            All events are hosted by the Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel.

You can be part of an exciting time in literary history. 
Enjoy verse with verve.
Spark your inner-kindling and share
by lighting it up on stage,
metaphorically speaking, that is.
Read your favorite poets,
or your own poetry and prose

Oh, mouth-watering tasty words,
how I love to eat thee!


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Here's some background on upcoming features:

The Gettysburg Trio:

Gary Ciocco, co-featured December 4
Gary Ciocco teaches philosophy and political science at Gettysburg College, HACC and other colleges.  He has had poems published in several journals, including Seminary Ridge Review, Shadowtrain, National Catholic Reporter and Backbone Mountain Review.   In 2007 he was the runner-up for the Bordighera Poetry Prize, and invited to read at Cornelia Street Café in New York City.  He lives with his family in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and regularly travels near and far to hear and read the spoken word.

Katy Giebenhain, co-featured December 4
Katy Giebenhain edits the Poetry + Theology rubric for Seminary Ridge Review. Her MPhil in poetry is from University of South Wales/Glamorgan, her MA is from University of Baltimore. Poems and prose have appeared in The London Magazine, Tokens for the Foundlings, Bordercrossing Berlin, Saint Katherine Review, Appalachian Journal, Water˜Stone Review, Little Patuxent Review, Bellevue Literary Review and elsewhere. She lives in Gettysburg.

Martin Malone, co-featured December 4
Martin Malone teaches at Mount Saint Mary’s University.  His poems have appeared in Dream International Quarterly, Lighted Corners, The Monocacy Valley Review, Scribble and the Seminary Ridge Review.  He lives in Gettysburg, PA. with his wife Jane.

Tom Blomain, February 19. 
Tom Blomain is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Blues From Paradise (Foothills Publishing) and Gray Area (Nightshade Press).  His work was published in the University of Scranton Press anthologies Coalseam and Palpable Clock, and has been featured in The University of Scranton Journal and Dickinson Magazine.  A longtime member of Scranton-based Mulberry Poets and Writers Association, he is active in the region’s arts community, and has performed numerous readings and conducted workshops in a variety of venues.  He is co-producer of Graffiti, a poetry and music show for Electric City Television.  A musician and songwriter, he has appeared at the Scranton Cultural Center as a solo performer and with his group, Nobody Fancy, in addition to numerous street performances in downtown Scranton.  Poet Craig Czury describes his work as “wry, taut, and poignantly straight-aimed,” and his readings as “filled with light, charm, and that certain Scranton cutting humor that affirms most of what we know about this screwy world.”  A graduate of Dickinson College, he resides in Scranton’s Hill Section with his wife, Jessica.

Craig Czury,  T/B/A. 

Craig Czury, 2008 graduate of Wilkes University’s MFA program, has lived in Berks County since 1991, creating poetry, poetry performances and multi-cultural poetry events in schools, community centers, juvenile detention centers, homeless shelters, and mental hospitals. Currently, he is a part-time lecturer at Albright College, teaches Memoir & Poetry and Life-Writing & Healing workshops at community arts centers. He is a former Berks County’s Poet Laureate. Author of 20 books of poetry, many of which have been translated into several languages, Czury recently earned his M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, where he was awarded the Norris Church Mailer Fellowship. His most recent book is KITCHEN OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION.

Heather Thomas, T/B/A. 

Heather Thomas’s latest book is “Blue Ruby” (FootHills Publishing). She has new poems online in the lit mags Interim, About Place, and Press 1; in the print anthologies Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets and Liberty’s Vigil: The Occupy Anthology; and in three eastern European anthologies published in Bosnia, Macedonia, and Lithuania. Her recent talk, “My Dialect Is Poetry,” was presented at the Poetry Spring festival in Vilnius, Lithuania. Heather’s poems have been translated into Spanish, Lithuanian, Bosnian, and Albanian. She taught creative writing and modern poetry at Kutztown University for 25 years and lives in Reading, where she likes to read and write.


Poetry Thursdays' upcoming events:

Next up at Midtown Scholar Poetry Thursdays:

All Events are from 7-9 pm with an Open Reading from 7-8 pm
followed by an 8-9 pm Feature, or continued Open.
2014 Schedule
September 4 -- Labor Day Open Reading with Host Anna Jane.

September 11 -- Open Reading with Host Christian Thiede.

September 18 -- Feature: Melissa Carl with Host Christian Thiede.

September 25 -- Feature: Rick Kearns with Host Christian Thiede.
October 2 -- Feature: Yolanda Wisher with Host Christian Thiede.

October 9 -- Feature: Wendy Scott with Host Christian Thiede.

October 16 -- Feature: Egedeme with Host Christian Thiede.

October 23 -- Autumn Revelry Open Reading with Host Marty Esworthy

October 30 -- Open Reading tribute to Magritte, Special Guest Host t/b/a.
November 6 -- Feature: Dan Vera with Host Christian Thiede.

November 13 -- Open Reading with Host Anna Jane.

November 20 -- Feature: Caleb Lesher with Host Marty Esworthy.

November 27 -- Thanksgiving Holiday--NO READING
December 4 -- Gettysburg Trio Feature: Marty Malone, Katy Giebenhain, and Gary Ciocco with Host Christian Thiede.

December 11 -- Open Reading with Host Marty Esworthy.

December 18 -- Feature: Thomas Kwoteman Tolbert with Host Anna Jane.

December 25 -- Christmas Holiday--NO READING
2015 Schedule
January 1 -- New Years Holiday--NO READING

January 8 -- Open Reading with Host Anna Jane.

January 15 -- Open Reading with Host Marty Esworthy.

January 22 -- Open Reading with Host Anna Jane.

January 29 -- Open Reading with Host Marty Esworthy.
February 5 -- Open Reading with Host Anna Jane.

February 12 -- Open Reading with Host Marty Esworthy.

February 19 -- Feature: Tom Blomain with Host Anna Jane.

February 26 -- Open Reading with Host Marty Esworthy.
March 5 -- Open Reading with Host Anna Jane.

March 12 -- Open Reading with Host Marty Esworthy.

March 19 -- Open Reading with Host Anna Jane.

March 26 -- Open Reading with Host Marty Esworthy.


  "Fishing on the Susquehanna in July"

           by Billy Collins
I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna
or on any river for that matter
to be perfectly honest.

Not in July or any month
have I had the pleasure—if it is a pleasure—
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

I am more likely to be found
in a quiet room like this one—
a painting of a woman on the wall,

a bowl of tangerines on the table—
trying to manufacture the sensation
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

There is little doubt
that others have been fishing
on the Susquehanna,

rowing upstream in a wooden boat,
sliding the oars under the water
then raising them to drip in the light.

But the nearest I have ever come to
fishing on the Susquehanna
was one afternoon in a museum in Philadelphia

when I balanced a little egg of time
in front of a painting
in which that river curled around a bend

under a blue cloud-ruffled sky,
dense trees along the banks,
and a fellow with a red bandanna

sitting in a small, green
flat-bottom boat
holding the thin whip of a pole.

That is something I am unlikely
ever to do, I remember
saying to myself and the person next to me.

Then I blinked and moved on
to other American scenes
of haystacks, water whitening over rocks,

even one of a brown hare
who seemed so wired with alertness
I imagined him springing right out of the frame.

Billy Collins, “Fishing on the Susquehanna in July” from Picnic, Lightning. Copyright © 1998 by Billy Collins                 



          The Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel, a true American
       institution, has been at Harrisburg's Midtown Scholar Bookstore's
       Internet Cafe since September 2012. 
But we've been taking care of 
business much longer than that.
Poetry Thursdays has met (almost) every Thursday 
since April 1999. 
                                Venues? Well, just to name a few:
                                      Sweet Passions, 3rd St, Harrisburg, 1999--2001
                       Sparky & Clarks, 2d St, Hbg. 2001--2002
                     Gamut Theater, Strawberry Sq. Hbg. 2003
                    Susquehanna Art Museum, Hbg. 2003--2007
                       Crimson Frog, Cedar Cliff Mall, Camp Hill, 2007--2008
 Midtown Cinema, Harrisburg, 2008--2012
                                    Midtown Scholar, Harrisburg, 2012--present