Category Archives: Delaware Literary News

Report from Poets on the Porch 2015

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri by F Omar Telan at Poets on the Porch 2015

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri by F Omar Telan at Poets on the Porch 2015

The Fox Chase Reading Series has concluded its run with Poets on the Porch 2015. It was a beautiful afternoon on the porch of Ryerss Museum and Library atop the hill at Burholme Park in Philadelphia, Pa. The crowd enjoyed a great reading of poetry under cover of the porch on a warm July day. Thanks to all the poets who shared their work, our hosts, F Omar Telan and Bruce Kramer and our book table monitor Nancy Sahms.

First Set Host F Omar Telan

First Set Host F Omar Telan

The first set was hosted by F Omar Telan and energized the crowd. Poets reading in the first set were:

Poet Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

Poet Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

Poet Emari DiGiorgio

Poet Emari DiGiorgio

Poet Maria Keane

Poet Maria Keane

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Poet  Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon

Poet Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon

 

 

 

 

Poet Gene Halus

Poet Gene Halus

Poet Russell Reece

Poet Russell Reece

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Ben Heins

Poet Ben Heins

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Poet g emil reutter

Poet g emil reutter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host of Second Set Bruce Kramer

Host of Second Set Bruce Kramer

The second set was hosted by Bruce Kramer breezing to a beautiful conclusion. Poets reading in the second set were:

Poet Alice Wootson

Poet Alice Wootson

Poet Mel Brake

Poet Mel Brake

Poet Dave Worrell

Poet Dave Worrell

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Poet Wendy Schermer

Poet Wendy Schermer

Poet Charles Carr

Poet Charles Carr

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More photographs of Poets on the Porch 2015 can be viewed at our Flickr at this link:

Scenes from Poets on the Porch 2015
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Coming this July- The 21st Edition of The Fox Chase Review

Trail at Pennypack Nature Sanctuary

Trail at Pennypack Nature Sanctuary

The Summer 2015 Edition of The Fox Chase Review our 21st, is in production and will appear on line this July.

Poetry by: Simon Anton Diego Baena, Kevin Brophy, Michael DeMarco, Gil Fagianella, Ananya S Guha, Michelle Grottola, Maria Keane, Adrian Manning, David P. Miller, Michelle Myers, Carlos Reyes and Laura Madeline Wiseman.

Fiction by: Sterling Brown, Joseph Crossen, Jean Davis, and Nancy Sherman.

http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/

Reece and Heins @ Poets on the Porch 2015

This is the fifth in a series highlighting poets reading at Poets on the Porch 2015 to be held on July 11th @ 1 p.m. at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. Ryerss sits atop the hill at Burholme Park.

russRussell Reece has had stories and essays published in Memoir (and), Crimespree Magazine, The Fox Chase Review and many other print and on-line journals. His work has appeared several anthologies most recently Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, released in 2012. All That Glitters, released in 2013 and Someone Wicked released in 2013. He has received two Best of the Net nominations and was a finalist in the 2012 William Faulkner/ William Wisdom Creative Writing Contest.  He placed first in the Delaware Press Association Annual Communications award in poetry and a 2015 fellowship from The Delaware Division of the Arts. Russ is a University of Delaware alumnus and a co-host of 2nd Saturday Poets in Wilmington, Delaware. He lives in Bethel, Delaware in rural Sussex County along the beautiful Broad Creek. You can read the poetry of Russell Reece in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w14rreece.html

benBen Heins is the author of two chapbooks of poetry: Cut Me Free (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2014) and Greatest Hits & B-Sides (Vagabondage Press, 2012). In addition to teaching first-year writing at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and Rowan University, he is an active member of the South Jersey Poets Collective. You can read the poetry of Ben Heins in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/a14bheins.html

The Plum Tree Tavern – Eco Friendly and Open to Submissions

plum treeRussell Streur, longtime barkeep of The Camel Saloon is branching out so to speak. He has established a new literary site, The Plum Tree Tavern to focus on short works on nature and ecology. Longer works of eco-poetry will also be considered.

Russell Streur-Barkeep

Russell Streur-Barkeep

The Plum Tree Tavern is located at:  http://theplumtreetavern.blogspot.com/  Submissions may be sent to plumtreetavern@gmail.com ; submitters should  read the guidelines. We wish Russell the best with this new endeavor.

Davis and Carr @ Poets on the Porch 2015

This is the first in a series highlighting poets reading at Poets on the Porch 2015 to be held on July 11th @ 1 p.m. at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. Ryerss sits atop the hill at Burholme Park.

rhdavis-1Robert Hambling Davis is a fiction editor of The Fox Chase Review. He has been published in The Sun, Antietam Review, Memoir (and), Philadelphia Stories, Santa Monica Review, and elsewhere. He’s been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and received three Delaware Division of the Arts grants, two for fiction and one for creative nonfiction. He was a fiction semifinalist in the William Faulkner Creative Writing Contest in 2002 and 2012, and a creative nonfiction winner in 2013. Robert helps direct the Delaware Literary Connection, a nonprofit serving writers in Delaware and surrounding areas. He is a member of the Delaware Artist Roster, and has given writing workshops and readings in the Mid-Atlantic. You can read the fiction of Robert Hambling Davis in The Fox Chase Review in the Summer 2011 edition at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/archives.html

charlesCharles Carr is a native Philadelphian. Charles was educated at LaSalle and Bryn Mawr College, where he earned a Masters in American History.  Charles has worked in social and community development services for 40 years.  Charles has also been active in raising funds for various missions and organizations serving the poorest of the poor In Haiti.   In 2009 Cradle Press of St. Louis published Charles’s first book of poetry: paradise, pennsylvania. In January of this year, Haitian Mud Pies And Other Poems published by The Moonstone Arts Center was released.  Charles’ poems have been published in various print and on-line local and national poetry journals.   Charles also hosts the Moonstone Poetry series at Fergie’s Pub in Center City Philadelphia once per month. You can read the poetry of Charles Carr in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/a14ccarr.html

An Interview with Karen Stefano

Karen Stefano 1Karen Stefano is Fiction Editor for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, drama, and book reviews. She’s published her stories in The South Carolina Review, Tampa Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Epiphany, and elsewhere. Karen was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize. Her collection, The Secret Games of Words, is available in Kindle and paperback formats on Amazon.com

Interview by Robert Hambling Davis 

Secret games of word

RHD: Karen, when I read The Secret Games of Words, I was immediately impressed by two of your many strengths as a fiction writer. I’ll address them separately. The first one, which I call formatting a story, I mentioned in my short review. Did the personality-inventory format of “Undone” come to you with the idea for the story? Or did you write a draft of the story first and then decide on the best format to present the narrative, for the most emotional impact?

KS:  I’ll spare you the details, but in 2007 I began seeing a therapist who would not take a new patient until said patient completed the MMPI. So I got busy with the test and found that the questions delighted me (Would I like to work as a librarian? Hell yes I would!! Do evil spirits possess me? I sure as hell hope not!! Do I hear voices? Yes, but fortunately only when I’m writing!!).  I thought every single question provided an excellent prompt for story-telling. It took me awhile to figure out how to put it all together, to make “Undone” work in terms of “the occasion for telling,” but actually taking the test is how this story came about. Reading the questions also harkened me back to my days as an undergrad at Berkeley, where I was a Psych major, so I suppose the MMPI and other diagnostic tools have always held a place in my heart.  

Generally speaking, format and structure are always difficult for me. I wish I could say I have an organized method for creating short fiction, but I don’t. The shape of my stories seemingly come about on their own, but only after many, many rounds of edits.

Karen Stefano reading at the Tin House Writer’s Workshop

RHD: Of the twenty-three stories in your collection, several are flash fiction. The collection is a mix of short and long, and I enjoyed the changeup. As a fellow fiction writer and editor, I’ve heard other fiction writers express their inability to write flash fiction, saying, “I can’t write short.” You don’t seem to have that problem. Do you read a lot of flash fiction? Do you conceive of a flash fiction piece the same way that you conceive of a longer story? Along these lines, I especially liked “Visitor,” which is a page and a half long, a complete story about a shoplifter who sells counterfeit Ray-Bans on the side of the road, to make enough money to pay her rent. By the end of the story, she’s no longer worrying about her rent as she feels compassion for an abused young girl.

Karen StefanoKS:  I had never written a word of flash before 2013. That year I joined a writing group consisting of myself and the uber-talented Meg Tuite, Len Kuntz, and Robert Vaughan, each of whom are masters of the form. Every week for an entire year we took turns providing the prompt, then we were expected to circulate a draft of a story not exceeding 500 words within the next week, then we had another week in which to critique each other’s work. The experience was immensely productive and satisfying.  “Look!” I could say to myself, “I finished something! I wrote a whole story in just a week!” You have no idea how great this feels when you are working on a novel, when you are a person for whom writing takes a long, long time. “Visitor” stemmed from one of those weekly prompts of 2013. Flash also teaches a writer that every word matters. It’s an incredibly disciplined form and I would encourage anyone who says, “I can’t write short” to give it another try. I am a strong believer that writing flash makes one a better writer overall.

Karen Stefano 4

RHD: You have over twenty years of litigation experience, with a JD/MBA (specializing in law and business administration). How much does your day job inspire you to write fiction?

KS: Yes, and I want to note for the record that I started practicing law when I was just five years old, okay? But to answer your question: So far, very little. I did criminal defense for eight years and to say I met a lot of interesting people would be the understatement of the year. I was thrown into so many situations that touched me deeply. I’ve tried to write about them, but the experiences have just not translated onto the page for me yet. I also worked at a large civil litigation firm that was comically dysfunctional. I hope to make use of that pain on the page some day, but that hasn’t happened yet either. But with all of that being said, smidgeons of my life as a lawyer sometimes come through in my work. The prosecutor in “Undone,” for example, is based on a real life prick I used to encounter all too often in the courtroom.

RHD: Who are some of your favorite short story writers?

KS: Oh, there are too many to list, but I’ll try. Lorrie Moore, Deborah Eisenberg, Flannery O’Connor, Benjamin Percy, Steve Almond, Miranda July. There are also many emerging writers whose work I love. Donna Trump, for example, who we featured recently in Connotation Press, writes beautifully. I hope that in the very near future she gets the wide audience she so richly deserves. Robert P. Kaye (another Connotation Press alum!) is another of my favorites. His work is brilliant and with the right exposure I see him as the next Karen Russell (and no, I’m not overstating it).

Karen Stefano 5RHD: Aside from the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop, you’ve been to the Tin House Workshop twice and to the Breadloaf Conference. What’s your feeling about writing workshops and conferences in general? Do you feel you’ve had stories published that perhaps wouldn’t have been published if you hadn’t workshopped them?

KS: Honestly? In my view, the most beneficial thing about workshops is the people you meet, the relationships that are formed. Take you and me, for example. We met at Squaw, in a workshop, which by definition can be a setting where one can feel pretty vulnerable. You and I connected because we enjoyed one another’s work and we stayed in touch and exchanged work for awhile thereafter. I’ve had similar experiences in other workshops and the results are amazing. I mean, I’ve formed some real friendships, friendships that have gotten me through some pretty rough times in the past year or so. That is a remarkable gift. We need each other. Writing itself is difficult. And the writing life is even more difficult. We need to cheer each other on, to help one another through the days of self doubt. 

And yes, getting edits and critiques from people I’ve connected with has definitely helped shape stories that would otherwise have been “DOA.” But that doesn’t always happen in the workshop itself. The reality is that not every writer in the workshop is going to have useful and productive suggestions for your work. You have to pick and choose what and who you listen to.

rhdavis-1 –Robert Hambling Davis is a fiction editor of The Fox Chase Review. He has been published in The Sun, Antietam Review, Memoir (and), Philadelphia Stories, Santa Monica Review, and elsewhere. He’s been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and received three Delaware Division of the Arts grants, two for fiction and one for creative nonfiction. He was a fiction semifinalist in the William Faulkner Creative Writing Contest in 2002 and 2012, and a creative nonfiction winner in 2013. Robert helps direct the Delaware Literary Connection, a nonprofit serving writers in Delaware and surrounding areas. He is a member of the Delaware Artist Roster, and has given writing workshops and readings in the Mid-Atlantic.

Bert Moniz is Having a Revolution at The Jackson Inn- May 16

Raconteur Bert Moniz is presenting a cabaret at Wilmington’s favorite dive bar, The Jackson Inn. Moniz has been producing these shows for a few years to delight of the large crowd that fills the inn. The show is eclectic to include music, poetry, dance, drama and whatever else Bert can add to the mix.  There isn’t a cover charge for this event. The Jackson Inn is 40 minutes from Philadelphia and worth the drive. The Jackson Inn is located at 101 North Dupont Road, Wilmington, Delaware,

Revolution.. Program Final

jackson innThe Jackson Inn also is home to 2nd Saturday Poets, a fine venue for lovers of verse. On May 9th they will feature two poets plus an open mic http://www.deliteraryevents.org/2nd-saturday-poets-2/