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


"O. wind, if winter comes can Spring be far behind?" Join us Thursdays at the Midtown Scholar.
Listen or perform. Your call. Our reading is FREE and open to the public.

  -------------  -------------

             THIS MONTH: Listen, read. Engage.

                                                       Joelle Biele, March 5
Author of Broom and White Summer and the editor of Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence. 
Joelle Biele's essays and reviews appear in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, and Harvard Review. 

A Fulbright professor in Germany and Poland, she has received awards from the Poetry Society of America and the Maryland State Arts Council.  Biele has taught American literature and creative writing at the Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

That I pushed too hard, that I did not
believe, that I lost you and did not hear
you leave, that all I wanted was to hear

your feet, know you felt the same stones
as me, that I wanted to see your face,
know more than your body going forward

and back, that I find myself in these woods
looking for wool snagged on branches
or trapped under stray leaves. I did not accept

what my body told me. I listened to my sisters,
was only too ready to agree you weren’t
who you made yourself out to be. I do not

know if I’ll find you or if I’ll cross that river
or get through the reeds or if I can tell you
I did not know you wanted night as much as me.

--Joelle Biele


March 26 Features-- Diane Sahms-Guarnieri and g emil reutter

Diane Sahms Guarnieri is a Philadelphia Poet and Poetry Editor of The Fox Chase Review who co-curates The Fox Chase Reading Series. Her first collection Images of Being was released in October of 2011. She was awarded a grant in poetry from the AEV Foundation in May of 2013 and currently serves as Poet in Residence at Ryerss Museum and Library in Philadelphia. . Diane’s poetry has been published widely in the small and electronic press. You can visit her at http://dianesahmsguarnieri.wordpress.com/  and http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com/ On Youtube: Diane Sahms-Guarnieri Live at Cafe Improv 4-27-13


g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia where he founded The Fox Chase Review and The Fox Chase Reading Series.  Eight collections of his poetry and prose have been published by Stonegarden.net, Blazevox Books and Persistenica Press. Most recently Carvings in November 2010. His newest fiction collection, Thugs, Con Men, Pigs and More will be released in November by Red Dashboard Press.  You can visit him at   http://gereutter.wordpress.com/  .On Youtube: g emil reutter live at Cafe Improv 3-23-13    



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All events 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 up the 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!
--Thomas Herrick


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Background on upcoming features:

Tom Blomain, February 19. 
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.” 



Craig Czury,  T/B/A. 

Czury, a 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, homeless shelters, and mental hospitals. Currently, he is a lecturer at Albright College. A former Berks County’s Poet Laureate. Author of 20 books of poetry, many of which have been translated into several languages, Czury's most recent book is Kitchen of Conflict Resolution

                                                                        Heather Thomas, T/B/A. 

Heather Thomas’s latest book is “Blue Ruby” (FootHills Publishing). She's taught creative writing and modern poetry at Kutztown University. 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. Thomas’s poems have been translated into Spanish, Lithuanian, Bosnian, and Albanian.


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.


2015 Schedule
January 1 -- New Years Holiday--NO READING

January 8 -- Open Poetry Reading, with host Anna Jane

January 15 -- Open Reading, with special guest host Joslin Kearse

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 -- Feature: Below the Belt ensemble, genre-bending erotic poetry.

February 19 -- Feature: Tom Blomain, Scranton poet, musician and songwriter.

February 26 -- Open Reading, with host Marty Esworthy
March 5 --  Feature: Joelle Biele. Host, Anna Jane

March 12 -- Open reading, with host Marty Esworthy

March 19 -- Open reading, with host Anna Jane

March 26-- Features: Diane Sahms-Guarnieri and g emil reutter

April 2 -- Open poetry reading, hosted by Anna Jane

April 9-- Open reading, with host Marty Esworthy

April 16 -- Open poetry reading, hosted by Anna Jane

April 23 -- 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