Are you like me? Do you ever get super upset when you miss an event in Philadelphia? Do you say things like, “I was right around the corner when that was going on!” or “I could have gone. I wasn’t doing anything??!!” If you are like me, then this article is for you. As an event writer here at Apeiron Review, I am required to constantly be in the know about literary events throughout Philadelphia. Therefore, this article will contain my many secrets, the different ways that I find literary events in Philadelphia, and some of the coolest venues around that celebrate writers and writing. Never miss an event again!
- Apiary Magazine’s Lit Calendar and LocalLit.com….Both of these websites offer daily listings of literary events in Philadelphia. I recommend taking a personal night. Check in the morning for any events that evening (there is always something), wait for the night, and head out with a friend. Maybe stop off for a glass of wine before or after, or before and after.
- Collegetown Philadelphia…So, Philadelphia is a college town with a myriad amount of colleges appearing every which way. There are the ones in the city: Temple, Drexel, U Arts, U Penn; there are even programs like my school, Rutgers University- Camden; more north, Arcadia University; and even further north, Albright College. These are only a few of the colleges that lay claim to being in the “greater Philadelphia area.” Many of these colleges have MFA Writing programs and these writing programs have writing series which are open to the public. I would highly recommend that you check Temple University and Rutgers University- Camden ahead of time! These two schools have established creative writing programs and also have wonderful teachers who are still working in the field such as Paul Lisicky (Camden), Lisa Zeidner (Camden) and Samuel R. Delany (Temple).
- Magazine Launches…Most recently, I wrote an article about Painted Bride Quarterly‘s Comedic Poetry night which was essentially a launch party for their upcoming comedy magazine. Magazine launches happen often in Philadelphia and they are some great venues to hear some great writing. (A personal note: I am Assistant Editor at Whirlwind Magazine which is also based in Philadelphia. The launch party for our “War and Veteran” themed issue is happening on May 17th at the Pen and Pencil Club at 8:00 PM. The invites are on Facebook. Come support the writers and the magazine!)
- Bar Poetry Nights…Don’t forget to look at bar events. Many bars throughout Philadelphia are home to some awesome open mic nights and author readings. Popular bars like Tattooed Mom, the Pen and Pencil Club, Black Sheep Pub and Restaurant, Brasil’s Nightclub are some of the greatest supporters of the Philadelphia Literary Scene. Keep checking on literary event websites and I bet you will see some good things coming up.
- Libraries and Bookstores…Yes, I know that these are the places that we like to go to be alone, grab a book and leave. However, these venues throughout Philadelphia often have readings, book signings and poetry nights. Mostly Books has poets read from their books every so often and the the Free Library of Philadelphia has events almost every day. Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Mt. Airy has no shortage of events, just check out their website!
Go out, meet new people, discover new lit and new authors, snap your fingers to a great poem! Philadelphia is filled with people who want to read books, talk about books, and hear new talent. I promise you won’t regret it. I definitely haven’t.
By: Tiara DeGuzman