Monday, March 24, 2008

Last Call

This is last call for those Philadelphia writers who said they'd send me essays (5 to 500 words) about the Philly li scene. Simply, "What's good or bad about Philadelphia for a writer?" A take-off point.

Soon with this blog I'm moving on to other topics and happenings. (Reviews, commentary, poetry.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bonnie MacAllister

"Philly Lit Today": Commentary from Philly Writers

#6 in a series--

What’s right in Philadelphia:

Blam Poetry Series in East Falls

I attended this last month, and there were only two poets I knew (after doing this performance artist thing since 1992, this is rare), and everyone was talented! I highly recommend this joint to all area and visiting poets.

Host Adam Coben wrote, “Well the last Blam!! was a completely full house with people sitting on the floor...we have more floor space and chairs if you want them on the 31st...little different perfromance this time. We will have the open mic first..with only five precious spots...and five featured performers...the open mic folks will have five minutes and the features will have ten minutes each...please join us...the five spots for the open mic are all available..but I must have them confirmed.....please all featured performers…send me a two line bio and open micers send a one sentence bio...also we will probably have the executive director from the painted bride in the house…as a semi audition for what we do in pack the houes with positive energy...I will be hosting at least two venues...thanks for all the support.....”
The Set Table, 3572 Indian Queen Lane, Phila, Pa 19129, 7-9.

Margins Magazine

They wrote, “We are happy to announce the publication of our first issue and invite you to come celebrate with us! Our release party will take place on Monday the 28th at Higher Grounds (631 N. 3rd St). Refreshments at 7:30 pm, open reading at 8 pm. All are encouraged to participate, so don't forget to bring your work! *** Margins Magazine is Philadelphia's newest forum for literature and the arts, now accepting submissions for its premiere Fall issue. Originally conceived in the Spring of 2007 by a young and roguish group of Philadelphians, Margins aspires to provide a platform for talented and innovative new voices. In short, we want to publish your stuff.”

Panoramic Poetry

October Gallery’s series is going on 15 years, and I was lucky enough to be the administrator for two of them. Hosted by Andre “Crucial” Shuford, the series showcases all ranges of talent for all ages and is easily accessible to all poets and audiences. The series also curates an “All-Stars” quarterly which has featured amazing artists and urban underground professionals such as Trapeta Mayson, the Unknown Poet and Queen, Amun Miraaj, Shyster, Tracey Lynn, and Bruce George. To sign up to read, poets must email

And the Award Goes to:
And if you were to ask me who are the best poets in Philadelphia, I would tell you for females Monica Pace (Dead Drunk Dublin) and Lora Bloom (Radio Eris) and for males CA Conrad (Soft Skull Press) whose recent multimedia features have me stunned.

What’s sad:
The death of Hinge Online which will go offline in August 2008. Equal proponents of poetry and art, Hinge Online fearlessly published new and emerging Philadelphia talent.

What’s wrong in Philadelphia (taken from the artblog

Yooo hooo, Michael Nutter--pay attention to usPost by libby and robertaCity Hall wavering, reflected in the PNC building (by Libby Aug. 2006)

We're wondering what happened to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's campaign promise of reestablishing an Office of Arts and Culture and art czar. It's like deja vu all over again. Make a promise, break a promise.

What's the politics of it? We're not sure. But we know that the longer the decisions linger--creating the office and naming its head--the more likely this is not going to happen for another year. The budget is due at the end of January. In which department will the budget line for art be? Or, in other words, will it be anywhere?

And when city union negotiations come up on the mayor's agenda in a couple of months, fuggeddaboudit. The political and financial pressures will be enormous and the focus won't be on art.

We don't know how to solve this problem, but we do know there's a committee stuck in the mud on the art czar decision. Can it be that politics will be the undoing of the larger art community because of political pressure from someone?

You can help!! Send an email TODAY to Nutter aide Terry Gillen. Her emails are and, and tell her time is a-wasting, and to please remember that the visual arts scene is having a golden age, right now. Failing to appoint and failing to create the office would be a missed opportunity -- as well as a broken campaign promise. We in the visual arts community were counting on Nutter to make it right for the arts community when we gave him our votes. Raise your voices asap!---

Bonnie MacAllister is an artist, arts administrator, and educator. A five-time slam champion and current Pushcart Prize nominee (for “Rosary”), she has delivered her deconstructed breath verse at over sixty venues in several countries.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Victor Thompson

"Philly Lit Today": Commentary from Philly Writers

#5 in a series--

we installed a doorbell but no one rings it
we probably wouldn't answer anyway