Blue Stoop
A hub for literary Philly

Events

The Hatchery: Blue Stoop Student Takeover
Dec
12
7:00 PM19:00

The Hatchery: Blue Stoop Student Takeover

The Hatchery is one of Philadelphia’s long-running reading series. This year, they are trying something a little different: each month they will feature one local writing organization.

In December, Blue Stoop will have the honor of talking a little about our project & presenting the work of a few students from our fall cohort: Kelly Braun, Christine Olivas, Ellen Rhudy, Allegra Armstrong, Lauren Holguin, and Corey Qureshi.

So come on out! And, as usual, we will play Philadelphia's best writing prompt game, The Fishbowl, and free bar tabs for the funniest, wittiest, and strangest answers.

View Event →
Rachel Heng in conversation w/Liz Moore
Dec
13
6:00 PM18:00

Rachel Heng in conversation w/Liz Moore

Rachel Heng is a Singaporean novelist and short story writer. Her debut novel, Suicide Club, was published by Sceptre, Hachette (UK) and Henry Holt, Macmillan (US) in July 2018. Suicide Club was named a most anticipated book of the summer by the Huffington Post, The Millions, Gizmodo, Bustle, New Scientist, ELLE, Bitch Media, The Independent, Stylist, The Irish Times, NYLON, Tor.com and The Rumpus, and will be translated into 8 languages worldwide.

Liz Moore is the author of three novels, most recently The Unseen World, published by W.W. Norton in July 2016. Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in venues such as Tin House, The New York Times, and Narrative Magazine. She is the winner of the Medici Book Club Prize and Philadelphia's Athenaeum Literary Award. After winning a 2014 Rome Prize in Literature, she spent 2014-15 at the American Academy in Rome, completing her third novel. She is currently Writer-in-Residence at Temple University's MFA Program in Creative Writing.

View Event →
Blue Stoop Happy Hour: Spring Course Launch
Dec
16
5:00 PM17:00

Blue Stoop Happy Hour: Spring Course Launch

Come out for our monthly happy hour (third Sunday of every month) to see writer friends & plug into the ongoing project to open a center for literary culture in Philadelphia!

Come hear our spring instructors pitch their courses! On deck we have Joy Manning, editor of Edible Philly; Levi Bentley, Philly poetry expert; and Elysha Chang, an amazing fiction writer.

Enjoy a coffee, beer, wine, or cocktail and sample a snack from W/N W/N’s rotating menu.

Want to make sure you don't miss an event? Sign up to get more info & keep up with us here: https://tinyletter.com/bluestoop.

View Event →
Laura Adamczyk in conversation w/Sam Allingham
Jan
15
7:00 PM19:00

Laura Adamczyk in conversation w/Sam Allingham

Laura Adamczyk has won awards from the Union League Civic & Arts Foundation of Chicago and the Dzanc/DISQUIET International Literary Program. Her work has appeared in such publications as the Chicago Reader, Guernica, McSweeney’s, Ninth Letter, and Salt Hill. Her short story collection, Hardly Children, was published by FSG in November 2018. She lives in Chicago.

Sam Allingham's first book of stories, The Great American Songbook, was published by A Strange Object in Fall 2016. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, One Story, Epoch, and American Short Fiction, and online at Web Conjunctions and n+1. 


"The stories are achingly open to the vulnerability that comes with forming attachments and the surprising difficulty of breaking them." --Danielle Lazarin, The New York Times Book Review

"A striking blend of graceful sentences and eerie premises." ―Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune

"Bold and observant . . . [Hardly Children] teems with wry writ as it explores memory and family and uncovers the unexpected in the everyday . . . Adamczyk considers the architecture of her stories, which often shift in striking ways." --Anne K. Yoder, The Millions

"Super weird, super unsettling, and super great." --The Boston Globe

“[A] knockout . . . Adamczyk’s Hardly Children focuses on young people waking up to the dangers of the adult world.” --ELLE

"Adamczyk’s accomplished debut collection pulses with an underlying sense of menace. The short opener, “Wanted,” has a quiet depth that moves it away from what is traditionally thought of as flash fiction . . . Adamczyk never writes the same story twice, giving this collection a sleek and unnerving feel as readers know something bad is going to happen, but are uncertain of what it’ll be." --Publishers Weekly

View Event →
Blue Stoop Presents: Gina Apostol
Jan
18
6:00 PM18:00

Blue Stoop Presents: Gina Apostol

Before GINA APOSTOL's fourth novel, Insurrecto, hit the shelves, Publishers' Weekly named it one of the Ten Best Books of 2018, making her the cover author of its Best Books Issue. Insurrecto was named among the most anticipated fall books by The Millions and Buzzfeed; Amazon's Best Books for November; Strand Books December Fiction for its BookHookUp series; Entertainment Weekly's best in November; and many others. Her third book, Gun Dealers' Daughter, won the 2013 PEN/Open Book Award and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize. Her first two novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, both won the Juan Laya Prize for the Novel (Philippine National Book Award). A work-in-progress, William McKinley's World, like Insurrecto, uses her research on the Balangiga massacre and the Philippine-American War to cast a lens on our contemporary times. She was writer-in-residence at Phillips Exeter Academy and a fellow at Civitella Ranieri in Umbria, Italy, among other fellowships. Her essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Foreign Policy, Gettysburg Review, Massachusetts Review, and others. She lives in New York City and western Massachusetts and grew up in Tacloban, Philippines. She teaches at the Fieldston School in New York City.

About INSURRECTO:

Two women, a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, go on a road trip in Duterte’s Philippines, collaborating and clashing in the writing of a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War. Chiara is working on a film about an incident in Balangiga, Samar, in 1901, when Filipino revolutionaries attacked an American garrison, and in retaliation American soldiers created “a howling wilderness” of the surrounding countryside. Magsalin reads Chiara’s film script and writes her own version. Insurrecto contains within its dramatic action two rival scripts from the filmmaker and the translator—one about a white photographer, the other about a Filipino schoolteacher.

Within the spiraling voices and narrative layers of Insurrecto are stories of women—artists, lovers, revolutionaries, daughters—finding their way to their own truths and histories. Using interlocking voices and a kaleidoscopic structure, the novel is startlingly innovative, meditative, and playful. Insurrecto masterfully questions and twists narrative in the manner of Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, Julio Cortázar’s Hopscotch, and Nabokov’s Pale Fire. Apostol pushes up against the limits of fiction in order to recover the atrocity in Balangiga, and in so doing, she shows us the dark heart of an untold and forgotten war that would shape the next century of Philippine and American history.

NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon: “Gina Apostol uses an array of literary and cinematic techniques: memoirs, jump cuts, close-ups, and reveries to set a story in Duterte’s Philippines that shows us that though victors often write histories, survivors and artists can revise them.”

View Event →
Debut Drinks: Czapnik, Hurley, Lim, & Roberson
Feb
16
6:00 PM18:00

Debut Drinks: Czapnik, Hurley, Lim, & Roberson

For our second Debut Drinks we welcome four amazing debut authors to Philadelphia to share their work at the historic Pen & Pencil Club, America's oldest press club and Philly's coolest members-only bar. This event, though, is FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

DANA CZAPNIK is a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Fiction from The New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2017, she was awarded an Emerging Writers Fellowship from the Center for Fiction. Czapnik earned her MFA at Hunter College where she was recognized with a Hertog Fellowship. She’s spent most of her career on the editorial side of professional sports including stints at ESPN the Magazine, the United States Tennis Association and the Arena Football League. Her debut novel, THE FALCONER, will be published by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, in January of 2019. A native New Yorker, she lives in Manhattan with her husband and son.

BLAIR HURLEY received her A.B. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. from NYU. Her stories are published or forthcoming in Ninth Letter, The Georgia Review, West Branch, Mid-American Review, Washington Square, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Descant, Fugue, and elsewhere. She has received a 2018 Pushcart Prize and scholarships from Bread Loaf and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Her debut novel, THE DEVOTED, was published in August 2018 from WW Norton & Company.

THEA LIM is the author of AN OCEAN OF MINUTES, which was a finalist for Canada's Giller Prize, and has been optioned for a TV series and translated into multiple languages. Her work has been published by Granta, the Paris Review, the Guardian, Salon, LitHub, the Southampton Review and others. She grew up in Singapore and she lives in Toronto, where she is a professor of creative writing.

BLYTHE ROBERSON is a writer and comedian whose work has been published by the New Yorker, The Onion, ClickHole, VICE Magazine, and others, and has been mentioned by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and New York Mag. She works as a researcher at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Phoebe Robinson has said that Roberson's debut essay collection, HOW TO DATE MEN WHEN YOU HATE MEN, is "funny, sharp, and feminist fun in a way we’re led to believe isn’t possible."

View Event →
Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman in conversation w/Paul Lisicky
Feb
19
7:30 PM19:30

Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman in conversation w/Paul Lisicky

JESSICA CHICCEHITTO HINDMAN has “performed” on PBS, QVC, and at concert halls worldwide. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, McSweeney’s, Brevity, and Hippocampus. She holds a BA in Middle Eastern studies and an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and a PhD in English from the University of North Texas. She teaches creative writing at Northern Kentucky University and lives in Newport, Kentucky.

About Sounds Like Titanic:

A young woman leaves Appalachia for life as a classical musician—or so she thinks.

When aspiring violinist Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman lands a job with a professional ensemble in New York City, she imagines she has achieved her lifelong dream. But the ensemble proves to be a sham. When the group “performs,” the microphones are never on. Instead, the music blares from a CD. The mastermind behind this scheme is a peculiar and mysterious figure known as The Composer, who is gaslighting his audiences with music that sounds suspiciously like the Titanic movie soundtrack. On tour with his chaotic ensemble, Hindman spirals into crises of identity and disillusionment as she “plays” for audiences genuinely moved by the performance, unable to differentiate real from fake.

Sounds Like Titanic is a surreal, often hilarious coming-of-age story. Hindman writes with precise, candid prose and sharp insight into ambition and gender, especially when it comes to the difficulties young women face in a world that views them as silly, shallow, and stupid. As the story swells to a crescendo, it gives voice to the anxieties and illusions of a generation of women, and reveals the failed promises of a nation that takes comfort in false realities.


PAUL LISICKY is the author of The Narrow Door (a New York Times Editors' Choice), Unbuilt Projects, The Burning House, Famous Builder, and Lawnboy. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Conjunctions, Fence, The New York Times, Ploughshares, Tin House, and in many other magazines and anthologies. A 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, he has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he has served on the Writing Committee since 2000. He has taught in the creative writing programs at Cornell University, New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere. He is currently an Associate Professor in the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden and lives in Brooklyn, New York. His sixth book, Later, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2020.

View Event →
Blue Stoop Presents: Esmé Weijun Wang in conversation w/Carmen Maria Machado
Feb
21
6:00 PM18:00

Blue Stoop Presents: Esmé Weijun Wang in conversation w/Carmen Maria Machado

ESMÉ WEIJUN WANG is the author of The Border of Paradise. She received the Whiting Award in 2018 and was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists of 2017. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and lives in San Francisco.

The Collected Schizophrenias are powerful, affecting essays on mental illness, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and a Whiting Award

An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

“This mesmerizing collection of essays has achieved the rarest of rarities—a meaningful and expansive language for a subject that has been long bound by both deep revulsion and intense fascination.”—Jenny Zhang

“A brilliant guide to the complexities of thinking about illness, and mental illness, in particular. It will bring hope to others searching to understand their own diagnoses.”—Meghan O’Rourke

“A masterful braiding of the achingly personal and the incisively researched. . . . This book is a vital, illuminating window onto the world we all already live in, but find all too easy to ignore.”—Alexandra Kleeman

CARMEN MARIA MACHADO’s work has appeared in Granta, The New Yorker, NPR, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Nebula Award and a Shirley Jackson Award, and was a finalist for the Calvino Prize. She lives in Philadelphia.

In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store’s prom dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella “Especially Heinous,” Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.

Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.

“[These stories] vibrate with originality, queerness, sensuality and the strange.”—Roxane Gay

“In these formally brilliant and emotionally charged tales, Machado gives literal shape to women’s memories and hunger and desire. I couldn’t put it down.”—Karen Russell

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania's Programs in Creative Writing, Asian American Studies, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies.

View Event →
 Sophia Shalmiyev in conversation w/Alina Pleskova
Feb
26
6:00 PM18:00

Sophia Shalmiyev in conversation w/Alina Pleskova

Born to a Russian mother and an Azerbaijani father, Shalmiyev grew up under the stark oppressiveness of 1980s Leningrad. An imbalance of power and widespread anti-Semitism in her homeland led her father to steal Shalmiyev away, emigrating to America and abandoning her estranged and alcoholic mother, Elena. At age eleven, Shalmiyev found herself on a plane headed west, motherless and terrified of the new world unfolding before her.

MOTHER WINTER, Shalmiyev’s debut memoir, is the story of Shalmiyev’s years of travel, searching, and forging meaningful connection with the worlds she occupies. The result is a searing meditation on motherhood, displacement, gender politics, and the pursuit of wholeness after shattering loss. And ultimately, it is an aching observation of the human heart across time and culture. 

ALINA PLESKOVA is an immigrant from Moscow turned proud Philadelphian. She co-edits bedfellows, a literary magazine that catalogs discussion of sex, desire, and intimacy. Poems appear in American Poetry Review,Cosmonauts Avenue, Entropy, Peach Mag, and more. Her first chapbook,What Urge Will Save Us, was published by Spooky Girlfriend Press in 2017. Find her at: alinapleskova.com and @nahhhlina.

"MOTHER WINTER, Sophia Shalmiyev’s catastrophically bright, wavering motion of a memoir, forged through sticky clouds of pain, is vividly awesome and truly great."—EILEEN MYLES, author of Evolution

“MOTHER WINTER is the wrenching story of her exile and grief, but it’s also a chronicle of awakening—to art, sex, feminism, and the rich complexities of becoming a mother herself. Like a punk rock Marguerite Duras, Shalmiyev has reinvented the language of longing. I love this gorgeous, gutting, unforgettable book."—LENI ZUMAS, author of Red Clocks

“Shalmiyev stubbornly, brilliantly pursues loss in this psycho-geography of immigration, grief displacement, and damage… Like the great modernist writers, Shalmiyev writes from, not about, trauma but at a pitch that’s witty, dry, sad, and laconic.” —CHRIS KRAUS, author of I Love Dick

“With sparse, poetic language Shalmiyev builds a personal history that is fractured and raw; a brilliant, lovely ache.”—MICHELLE TEA, author of Against Memoir

View Event →
Halle Butler in conversation w/Mike Ingram
Mar
13
7:00 PM19:00

Halle Butler in conversation w/Mike Ingram

Halle Butler is a writer from the Midwest. Her first novel, Jillian, is a brief account of a medical secretary's drunken social blunders and callous treatment of her co-worker. Her second novel, The New Me will be published in March 2019 from Penguin Randomhouse. She is a 5 under 35 honoree and was named to Granta's list of best young novelists.

Mike Ingram holds an MFA in creative writing from the Iowa Writers Workshop and teaches in the English department at Temple University. His stories and essays have appeared in a number of journals and magazines, including PhoebeThe North American ReviewDecemberEPOCHThe Southeast Review, and The Baltimore Review. He is one of the founding editors of Barrelhouse Magazine and co-hosts the weekly Book Fight! podcast, which you can read more about here.

“A bleak and brutal book that exposes a nearly unbearable futility to life in the workforce, not to mention life outside it. Butler’s vision is funny and raw and dark— a cautionary tale, hilarious and intimate, against growing up and making do.” —Ben Marcus

“The New Me renders contemporary American life in such vivid, stinging color, that certain sentences are liable to give the reader a paper cut. But you’ll want to keep on reading anyway. Halle Butler is terrific, and I loved this book.” —Kelly Link

“A dark comedy of female rage. Halle Butler is a first-rate satirist of the horror show being sold to us as Modern Femininity. She is Thomas Bernhard in a bad mood, showing us the futility of betterment in an increasingly paranoid era of self-improvement. Hilarious.” —Catherine Lacey

View Event →
T Kira Madden in conversation w/ Emma Copley Eisenberg
Mar
20
6:30 PM18:30

T Kira Madden in conversation w/ Emma Copley Eisenberg

T KIRA MADDEN is an APIA writer, photographer, and amateur magician living in New York City. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an BA in design and literature from Parsons School of Design and Eugene Lang College. Her work has appeared in PEN America, Guernica, Black Warrior Review, and The Kenyon Review. She is the founding Editor-in-chief of No Tokens, a magazine of literature and art, and is a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Tin House, DISQUIET, Summer Literary Seminars, and Yaddo, where she was selected for the 2017 Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award. Her debut memoir, LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury on March 5th, 2019. She facilitates writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

About Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

Acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden's raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight.

As a child, Madden lived a life of extravagance, from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoe-brand name. But under the surface was a wild instability. The only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol addictions, Madden confronted her environment alone. Facing a culture of assault and objectification, she found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls.

With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawai'i to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It's a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful.


EMMA COPLEY EISENBERG is writer of fiction and nonfiction interested in queerness, gender, Appalachia, violence, crime, having a body, and being alive. Her fiction, essays, and reportage have appeared or are forthcoming in McSweeney’s, The Paris Review online, Granta, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Tin House, Guernica, AGNI, The Los Angeles Review of Books, American Short Fiction, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, The New Republic, Salon, Slate, and others. Emma's work has been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, named to Longreads' list of Best Crime Reporting 2017, and chosen as a notable story for the Best American Short Stories 2018. She is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Tin House Summer Workshop, the Elizabeth George Foundation, Lambda Literary, the Carey Institute for the Global Good, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Her first book, THE THIRD RAINBOW GIRL, is forthcoming from Hachette Books in 2020. Raised in New York City, Emma makes her home now in Philadelphia, where she co-directs Blue Stoop, a community hub for the literary arts.

View Event →

Chaya Bhuvaneswar at Penn Book Center
Dec
8
3:00 PM15:00

Chaya Bhuvaneswar at Penn Book Center

Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a practicing physician and writer whose work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Tin House, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Awl, jellyfish review, aaduna and elsewhere, with poetry forthcoming in Natural Bridge, Quiddity, apt magazine, Hobart and more. Her poetry and prose juxtapose Hindu epics, other myths and histories, and the survival of sexual harassment and racialized sexual violence by diverse women of color. She received the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Prize, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and a Henfield award for her writing. Her work received four Pushcart Prize anthology nominations in 2017.

This event will take place at Penn Book Center 130 south 34th St, Philadelphia, PA.

View Event →
Blue Stoop presents: Alexander Chee in conversation w/Robin Black
Nov
30
7:00 PM19:00

Blue Stoop presents: Alexander Chee in conversation w/Robin Black

Come out to celebrate Blue Stoop's first season of programming, as well as enjoy readings, drinks, and friends.

7:00: Doors, drinks, chat
7:30: Alexander Chee will read, then be in conversation with Robin Black.

Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh, The Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How To Write An Autobiographical Novel, which the New York Times Book Review called "a rough coming-of-age chronology, from the author’s sexual awakening as an exchange student in Mexico (“a summer of wanting impossible things”) to the death of his father at 43, following a car accident, when Chee was 15; his beginnings as a writer at Wesleyan University, where he studied under Annie Dillard; his tenure in San Francisco at the height of the AIDS crisis; the publication of his (explicitly autobiographical) first novel, “Edinburgh,” in 2001; and his maturity as a reader, writer and instructor who longs, in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, to lead his students “to another world, one where people value writing and art more than war.”

Chee is a contributing editor at The New Republic, and an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, T Magazine, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, and Out, among others and he is winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. He is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.

Robin Black’s story collection, If I loved you, I would tell you this, was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Story Prize, and named a Best Book of 2010 by numerous publications, including the Irish Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her novel, Life Drawing, one of NPR's Best Books of 2014, was longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Impac Dublin Literature Prize, and the Folio Prize. A recipient of fellowships from MacDowell Colony and The Leeway Foundation, Robin is a Contributing Editor to Colorado Review. Her fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including One Story, The New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, Southern Review, The Rumpus, O. Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler UK, and many anthologies, including The Best Creative Nonfiction. Her most recent book is Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing and Life Collide. She lives with her husband in Philadelphia and teaches in the Rutgers-Camden MFA Program.

This program is free and open to the public and will take place at Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street. It is made possible through the generous support of the Asian Arts Initiative and the 215 Festival. There will be beer, wine, and cocktails for sale, as well as Blue Stoop tote bags, featuring donated books, journals, and wares from many of Philadelphia's most esteemed small presses, literary journals, and indie bookstores.

If you'd like to pre-pay for your tote in advance, you can donate at the $20 level or above here.

View Event →
Kiese Laymon at the Kingsessing Free Library
Nov
1
5:45 PM17:45

Kiese Laymon at the Kingsessing Free Library

Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division  and a collection of essays,  How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, the UK edition released in 2016. Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, McSweeneys, New York Times, ESPN the Magazine, Colorlines, NPR, LitHub, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, PEN Journal, Fader, Oxford American, The Best American Series, Ebony, Travel and Leisure, Paris Review and Guernica. Of his newest book, Heavy: An American Memoir, Buzzfeed writes: “Laymon's memoir is a reckoning, pulling from his own experience growing up poor and black in Jackson, Mississippi, and tracking the most influential relationships, for better or worse, of his life: with his brilliant but struggling single mother, his loving grandma, his body and the ways he nurtures and punishes it, his education and creativity, and the white privilege that drives the world around him...with shrewd analysis, sharp wit, and great vulnerability Laymon forces the reader to fully consider the effects of the nation's inability to reconcile its pride and ambition with its shameful history."

This event is co-sponsored with the Free Library Center for Public Life and is free & open to the public. The reading will be held at The Free Library Kingsessing, (1200 south 51st St) with light refreshments to be served afterwards at the Kingsessing Recreation Center.

View Event →
LIVE at the Kelly Writers House
Oct
29
7:00 PM19:00

LIVE at the Kelly Writers House

LIVE at the Writers House is a long-standing collaboration of the people of the Kelly Writers House and of WXPN (88.5 FM). Six times annually between September and April, the Writers House airs a one-hour broadcast of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art, along with one musical guest -- from our Arts Cafe onto the airwaves at WXPN and is made possible through the generous support of BigRoc.

Featured readers will include Joshua DemareeBerry GrassBoston GordonRaena Shirali, & Thomas Devaney.

The musical guest will be Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease.

View Event →
Crystal Hana Kim in conversation w/Sara Novic
Oct
23
6:00 PM18:00

Crystal Hana Kim in conversation w/Sara Novic

Crystal Hana Kim’s debut novel, If You Leave Me, will be published by William Morrow of HarperCollins in August 2018, and has been named to the Center for Fiction's  2018 First Novel Prize Long List as well as included on The Million's Most Anticipated book list. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and an MS in Education from Hunter College. She has received numerous awards, including PEN America’s Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, along with fellowships and support from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, the Jentel Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from The Washington Post, Literary Hub, Nylon, and elsewhere. She is currently the Director of Writing Instruction for Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America and a contributing editor at Apogee Journal. Born and raised in New York, she currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

Sara Novic is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Stockton University, and the fiction editor for Blunderbuss Magazine. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, where she studied fiction and literary translation. Girl at War, her first novel, is out now from Random House and Little, Brown UK, and is available or forthcoming in thirteen more languages. America is Immigrants, short illustrated biographies of Americans hailing from all 195 countries, is coming from Random House in 2019. 

This event will take place at Penn Book Center, 130 South 34th St, Philadelphia, PA.

 

View Event →
May-Lan Tan & Bonnie Chau in conversation w/Anne Ishii
Oct
22
6:00 PM18:00

May-Lan Tan & Bonnie Chau in conversation w/Anne Ishii

May-Lan Tan is the author of Things to Make And Break, a collection of short stories. Her stories have appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, the Atlas Review, the Reader, and Areté. She lives in Berlin.

This debut collection of short fiction is the most recent collaboration between Coffee House Press and Emily Books. The 11 short stories argue that relationships between two people often contain a third presence, whether that means another person or a past or future self. Tan’s sensibility has been compared to that of Joy Williams, David Lynch, and Carmen Maria Machado.

Bonnie Chau is from Southern California, where she ran writing programs at the nonprofit 826LA. She received her MFA in fiction and translation from Columbia University. A Kundiman fellow, she works at an independent bookstore in Brooklyn and is assistant web editor at Poets & Writers.

She is the author of the short story collection All Roads Lead to Blood, published by SFWP/2040 Books, which Ben Marcus called “a remarkable debut” and Rivka Galchen said was “unforgettable.”

Anne Ishii is the Executive Director of Asian Arts Initiative. She is a writer, editor and translator, who for the past ten years has worked specifically to achieve visibility and recognition for art and artists that touches on issues of gender and sexuality in the Asian diaspora.

This event will take place at Penn Book Center, 130 south 34th st, Philadelphia, PA.

View Event →
Lisa Locascio in conversation w/Stephanie Feldman
Oct
15
6:00 PM18:00

Lisa Locascio in conversation w/Stephanie Feldman

Lisa Locascio is the author of the novel Open Me, published in August 2018 by Grove Atlantic. Her work has appeared in The Believer, Tin House, n+1, Bookforum, and many other magazines. She is the editor of the anthology Golden State 2017: Best New Writing from California, co-publisher of Joyland and editor of its West section, as well as of the ekphrastic collaboration magazine 7x7LA. She is Executive Director of the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference

Stephanie Feldman is the author of the novel The Angel of Losses (Ecco), a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and is the co-editor of the forthcoming multi-genre anthology Who Will Speak for America? (Temple University Press). Her stories and essays have appeared in Asimov’s, Electric Literature, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, The Maine Review, The Rumpus, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn. She lives outside Philadelphia with her family. 

This event will take place at Penn Book Center, 130 south 34th st, Philadelphia PA

View Event →
Casey Gerald in conversation w/Beth Kephart
Oct
8
6:00 PM18:00

Casey Gerald in conversation w/Beth Kephart

Casey Gerald's memoir There Will Be No Miracles Here was listed on The Millions Most Anticipated Books List and called “urgent, mesmeric, soaring, desperately serious, wounded and, at times, slyly, brilliantly comic" by Colm Tóibín. Danzy Senna says of it, "This is the book for all of us who have juggled double (and triple, and quadruple) consciousnesses, and for those of us who have prayed to false gods and passed as false selves." Gerald grew up in Oak Cliff, Texas and went to Yale, where he majored in political science and played varsity football. After receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School, he cofounded MBAs Across America. He has been featured on MSNBC, at TED and SXSW, on the cover of Fast Company, and in The New York Times, Financial Times, and The Guardian, among others.

Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of 22 books of memoir, memoir handbooks, middle grade and young adult fiction, corporate fable, and the autobiography of a river, Flow. She is an award-winning lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, was the editorial director of the Emmy®-award winning PBS arts and culture show, Articulate, is a frequent reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, and the co-founder of Juncture Workshops, offering memoir workshops and resources. A new book, the middle grade novel Wild Blues, was published in June, and new essays appear at LitHub, LARB, Ploughsharesblog, Woven Tale Press, and elsewhere. 

This event will take place at Penn Book Center, 130 South 34th St, Philadelphia, PA.

View Event →
Tarfia Faizullah in conversation w/ Raena Shirali
Oct
4
6:00 PM18:00

Tarfia Faizullah in conversation w/ Raena Shirali

Tarfia Faizullah is the author of Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf Press 2018), as well as a previous poetry collection, SEAM (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), winner of a VIDA Award, a GLCA New Writers’ Award, a Milton Kessler First Book Award, Drake University Emerging Writer Award, and other honors. Her poems are published widely in periodicals and anthologies both in the United States and abroad, including Poetry Magazine, Guernica, Tin House, and The Nation, are translated into Persian, Chinese, Bengali, Tamil, and Spanish, have been featured at the Smithsonian, the Rubin Museum of Art, and elsewhere. In 2016 she was recognized by Harvard Law School as one of 50 Women Inspiring Change. In Fall 2018, she will join the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a Visiting Writer in Residence.

Raena Shirali is the author of GILT (YesYes Books, 2017), winner of the 2018 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award. Her honors include a Pushcart Prize, a VIDA Scholarship for Sundress Academy for the Arts’ residency program, the Philip Roth Residency at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center for Poetry, and poetry prizes from Boston Review, Gulf Coast, and Cosmonauts Avenue. Shirali earned her MFA from The Ohio State University in 2015, and has since taught creative writing at several high schools, MFA programs, and colleges, including Indiana University, College of Charleston, Wright State University, Mississippi State University, University of Wisconsin, Drake University, & elsewhere. Serving currently as an editor for Muzzle Magazine and Vinyl, she is also a co-organizer for We (Too) Are Philly, a summer poetry festival highlighting voices of color in Philadelphia.

This event will take place at Penn Book Center, 130 South 34th St, Philadelphia PA.

View Event →
Blue Stoop presents: Alice Bolin, Andrew Martin, & Lydia Kiesling
Sep
14
7:00 PM19:00

Blue Stoop presents: Alice Bolin, Andrew Martin, & Lydia Kiesling

Alice Bolin lives in Memphis, Tennessee and teaches creative nonfiction in the MFA program at the University of Memphis. She writes mostly long-form critical essays about literature, music, and pop culture. Her first collection of essays, Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, was published by Morrow/HarperCollins in June 2018 to wide acclaim.

Andrew Martin's stories and criticism have appeared in The Paris Review, ZZVZZYA, and elsewhere. Early Work, called "seductive and masterful" by The New York Times Book Review is his first novel. 

Lydia Kiesling is the editor of The Millions, where she has been writing reviews, essays, and the semi-regular Modern Library Revue since 2009. Her writing has appeared at a variety of outlets including The New York Times MagazineThe New YorkerThe Guardian, and Slate, and was recognized in Best American Essays 2016. The Golden State is her first novel. 

This event is free and open to the public and will take place at the historic Pen and Pencil Club, at 1522 Latimer St. Drinks available for purchase. 

 

View Event →
John Lingan in conversation w/ Joshua Demaree
Aug
30
6:00 PM18:00

John Lingan in conversation w/ Joshua Demaree

"Homeplace tells the story of Jim McCoy and the revered honky-tonk bar that he built on the McCoy family land in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lingan teases apart the tangle of class, race, and family origin that still defines McCoy’s hometown, and illuminates questions that now dominate our national conversation—about how we move into the future without pretending our past doesn't exist, about what we salvage and what we leave behind."

John Lingan has written for The New York Times MagazineThe Oxford AmericanPacific StandardHazlitt, and many other placesHomeplace is his first book.

Born and raised in central Pennsylvania, Joshua Demaree is both a licensed driver and a dedicated taxpayer. He received his MFA in creative nonfiction from Rutgers University-Camden and is co-director of Blue Stoop, a community-run hub for literary life in greater Philadelphia. His criticism has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and EXPO Chicago's The Seen. He lives and works in West Philadelphia.

This event will take place at Penn Book Center, 130 South 34th St, Philadelphia, PA.

View Event →