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Tuesday through Sunday, October 14-19.
Big Blue Marble Queer Literary Festival.

Six days of fiction, memoir, photography, music, and more, celebrating the LGBTQ (or, more inclusively, QUILTBAG) community, from kids to teens to adults.
The full schedule is up! Check it out.

Thursday, October 23, 7:00pm.
Big Blue Young Adult Book Discussion with Jen Sheffield.

An open discussion group for adults who read YA and teens who like to talk about books. We meet the fourth Thursdays of the month at 7:00pm (with some exceptions). October's book: Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede.

Friday, October 24, 7:15pm.
Poetry Aloud and Alive. Featured reader: Mike Morell.

Everyone's favorite neighborhood poetry gathering. Hosted by local poet Mike Cohen, with a featured reader and an open reading to follow.

Saturday, October 25, 2:00pm.
Speaking for my Self: twelve women poets in their seventies and eighties with editor Sondra Zeidenstein and contributors Myra Shapiro and Carole Stone.

Sondra Zeidenstein is the publisher of Chicory Blue Press (, which is now 27 years old, and for most of its existence featuring writing by old and older women.

Speaking for my Self is Chicory Blue's newest anthology. It's a one of a kind record of the poetic voice of a generation. The poets in this volume are American women still writing and publishing poems in their seventies and eighties: Betty Buchsbaum, Phoebe Hoss, Nancy Kassell, Rita Brady Kiefer, Liane Ellison Norman, Margaret Randall, Myra Shapiro, Carole Stone, Florence Weinberger, Nellie Wong, Sondra Zeidenstein and Geraldine Zetzel.

These women, born in the twenties and thirties of the last century, had the chance to take up writing, often later in life, and the talent, support, and courage to devote time to a pursuit that was not likely to "pay off". In breaking the silence imposed by their culture, they have had to give themselves time and permission, seek out training, face rejection and self-doubt, fight the negativity sometimes ingested from their own mothers, begin to develop their craft and hardest of all, summon the strength again and again to continue. It is no wonder that Adrienne Rich said, "any woman who writes is a survivor."

Saturday, October 25, 7:00pm.
Philadelphia Lost, Hidden and Celebrated with J.P. Webster, author/photographer of Vanishing Philadelphia: Ruins of the Quaker City and David Traub, author/photographer of Searching for Philadelphia: The Concealed City.

Join us as we celebrate our city's past, both what has been lost and what goes on being part of daily lives. We're happy to host two photographers who share their love affair with Philadelphia:

J.P. Webster comes from a long line of Philadelphia families. His adventures have earned him the labels "guerrilla historian" and "urban explorer". He has investigated many of the city's abandoned historical structures and is regarded as one of Philadelphia's pioneers of urban exploration.
David Traub studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania with Louis I. Kahn. He is the author of many articles on architectural preservation, and the co-founder of the Philadelphia preservation group Save Our Sites (SOS).

Sunday, October 26, 2:00pm.
Author Pauline Williams shares her debut novel Finding Hollis.

Set in 1944 in North Minneapolis, Finding Hollis is a journey in search of more than just a name. Within it the threads of three separate worlds become interwoven -- first by circumstance, then by understanding. Pauline Knaeble Williams, a native of North Minneapolis (who now resides in New Jersey), transcends ethnic and racial barriers through the eyes of a young white woman who witnesses a tragic car accident only to discover as much about herself as the new world "less than a half square mile in all, where the black folks on this side of downtown were relegated."

Tuesday, October 28, 7:00pm.
Women of the World Book Club with Maleka Fruean.

We are a book club that reads international and multicultural women writers, both fiction and non-fiction. We meet the last Tuesdays of the month at 7:00pm. October's book: Three Souls by Janie Chang.

Tuesday, October 28, 7:30pm.
Instant Winner: Poets Carrie Fountain, Darla Himeles, and Elizabeth Catanese.

Carrie Fountain was born and raised in Mesilla, New Mexico. She was a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers, and received Swink Magazine's Award for Emerging Writers and the Marlboro Poetry Prize. In 2010, Natasha Trethewey selected Carrie Fountain's debut poetry collection Burn Lake as a winner of the National Poetry Series, praising it for its "grace and keen attention to the implications of history." Her poems have appeared in Cimarron Review, Black Warrior Review, 32 Poems, American Poetry Review, Agni, and Tin House. She lives in Austin, Texas and teaches at St. Edward's University.
Darla Himeles holds an MFA in poetry and poetry in translation from Drew University and an AB in English from Bryn Mawr College. She has worked as an ice cream scooper, barista, book store clerk, teacher, and poetry workshop leader, as well as in various higher education positions. Her poetry, which has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, can be read in recent or forthcoming issues of The Women's Review of Books, Weave Magazine, 5 AM, Spillway, Off the Coast, Adanna Literary Journal, and OVS, as well as in Tupelo Press's 2013 anthology Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems. She is also the primary English-language translator of French poet Chantal Dupuy-Dunier. Born in Dallas and raised in Los Angeles, Darla currently divides her time between coastal Maine and Philadelphia, where she is pursuing a PhD in English at Temple University.
Elizabeth Catanese is an artist and writer embracing creative hybridity. She likes to write about visual art and make paintings that include writing. Her work has appeared in Adanna Literary Journal, OVS, Anomalous Press, and Referential Magazine. Her mixed media and installation art has been exhibited in galleries at the College of Saint Elizabeth, Bryn Mawr College, Mercer County College, the Philadelphia Sketch Club, and other venues. She lives in Philadelphia and is an English, creative writing, and humanities instructor at Community College of Philadelphia.

Wednesday, October 29, 7:15pm.
Life Stories Book Group with Minter Krotzer.

The Life Stories Book Group is designed for writers but all are welcome. We will read and discuss mostly memoirs, both contemporary and classic, focusing on the writing and structure as well as content and narrative. We will meet the last Wednesdays of the month. October's book: A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas.


Saturday, November 1, 7:00pm.

Local publisher Thread Makes Blankets Press launches their newest anthology, Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop.

Sunday, November 2, 5:00pm.
Writing Prompt Potluck.

Kick off NaNoWriMo with food, fun, and Prompts to get you started! Bring a dish to share, your favorite writing prompt, and your favorite writing tools.

Tuesday, November 4, 7:00pm.
Monthly Writers' Group for Caregivers with Kathy Roberson (poet, social worker, caregiver).

Each month, participants will share what they've written in response to a suggested prompt. The group gives members an opportunity to tell their own stories, in their own words, and support one another as both writers and caregivers. Newcomers are always welcome to come join the conversation, even if they haven't written anything! We meet the first Tuesday of the month.

Wednesday, November 5, 6:00pm.
Read the Movie! Book Club with Grace Gordon.

Interested in seeing film adaptations of books? Love to critique the changes made to plot lines? In the Read the Movie Book Club, we'll read books that have inspired films and television series. Discussion includes a screening of the movie version! We meet the first or second Wednesdays of the month at 7:00pm. November's book: Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

Saturday, November 8, 2:00-4:00pm.
Calming the Voice of the Inner Critic so You Can Write Your Stories:
A Memoir Writing Workshop with Cheryl Rice.

Join Cheryl Rice, author of Where Have I Been All My Life? A Journey Toward Love and Wholeness, in a discussion of how she wrestled her inner critic into submission long enough to write her story, and find her voice and a publisher! Her compelling memoir recounts Cheryl's journey from grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness, to freedom and true love.

Saturday, November 8, 7:00pm.
Reading and Discussion with Cheryl Rice, author of Where Have I Been All My Life? A Journey Toward Love and Wholeness.

Join author Cheryl Rice as she leads a discussion about the role of reading and writing during times of grief. Cheryl will speak about her book (based on her experience after she lost her mother/best friend), other books that made a difference during her grief, and how the writing process helped her grow.

Sunday, November 9, 1:00pm. Kids' event!
Fairies and Sprites Celebration in Honor of the Big Blue Marble's first Book Sprite: Brooklyn Windsong-Wiseman!

  • 1:00pm - Join authors Dawn and Brian Wales as they introduce the fairies from their book Annywyn and the Owl King. Human children who attend can make their own fairy wings and learn fairy songs!
  • 2:00pm - Big Blue Marble welcomes Brooklyn Windsong-Wiseman with a very special tea party. Join us for tea, cakes, and a treasure hunt!

Sunday, November 9, 4:00pm.
Author/Translator Kathryn Hellerstein shares her newest work: A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987.

In A Question of Tradition, Kathryn Hellerstein explores the roles that female poets played in forming a modern Yiddish literary tradition. Women who wrote in Yiddish go largely unrecognized outside a rapidly diminishing Yiddish readership. Even in the heyday of Yiddish literature, they were regarded as marginal. But for over four centuries, women wrote and published Yiddish poems that addressed the crises of Jewish history -- from the plague to the Holocaust -- as well as the challenges and pleasures of daily life: prayer, art, friendship, nature, family, and love.

Wednesday, November 12, 6:00pm (location TBA).
Futures & Fairy Tales: A Kaleidoscope of Diverse Adventures.

Featuring authors Shveta Thakrar, Eugene Myers, Claire Legrand, Sarah Fine, and Sarah Raasch.

Thursday, November 13, 7:00pm.
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series, featuring Victoria Brownworth and Lisa Nelson.

The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002) is a nurturing environment that celebrates women in the craft of multi-genre writing. Hosted by Series founder Cassendre Xavier, there are two (2) featured readers and always includes a Mixed-Gender Open Mic! The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series is a service of the Black Women's Arts Festival, which operates as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization under the fiscal sponsorship of Moonstone Inc., a community arts and education institution founded in 1983. If you like to see our Calls for Submissions or inquire about becoming a host and/or curator of the Series, please visit or email us at WomensWritingSeries(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Friday, November 14, 7:00pm.
Local novelist Michael-Patrick Harrington.

Saturday, November 15, 4:00pm.
YA novelist Annabel Monaghan introduces A Girl Named Digit, the first of a new series about a crime-solving teen math genius!

Classes at Big Blue Marble

Please see our Classes page for information on writing workshops and other classes.

Just For Kids

bead maze

New Reader! Wednesdays, 10:00am.
Big Blue Marble Story Time with Sarah Rose

Come sing songs and read some of the best new and classic kids' books!

New! Fridays at 10:30am: Check back for fall dates!
Shabbat Storytimes with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Babies, toddlers, and young children and their grown-ups (parents, grandparents, nannies, etc.) are invited to join us for a special storytime, focusing on the joy of Shabbat. We'll read stories, sing songs for Shabbat, and make an easy activity to take home. Juice & challah to enjoy! Led by jkidphilly Center City Director Gabby Kaplan-Mayer and GJC Education Director Rabbi Alanna Sklover.
Questions? Contact Gabby at 215-320-0376.

Sunday, November 9, 1:00pm.
Fairies and Sprites Celebration in Honor of the Big Blue Marble's first Book Sprite: Brooklyn Windsong-Wiseman!

  • 1:00pm - Join authors Dawn and Brian Wales as they introduce the fairies from their book Annywyn and the Owl King. Human children who attend can make their own fairy wings and learn fairy songs!
  • 2:00pm - Big Blue Marble welcomes Brooklyn Windsong-Wiseman with a very special tea party. Join us for tea, cakes, and a treasure hunt!

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551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119


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  • Book Clubs

    Final Tuesday, 7:15pm.

    Fourth Thursday, 7:00pm.

    Final Wednesday, 7:15pm.

    Second Wednesday, 7:00pm.

    Coming Soon! MYSTERY BOOK CLUB

    Visit our book clubs page

    Other Monthly Events

    First Tuesday, 7:00pm.

    Fourth Friday, 7:30pm.

    Read our full events listing

    Just for Kids

    Wednesdays, 10:00am.

    Alternate Fridays, 2:30pm.

    Read events for kids