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Thursday, September 22, 5:00pm.

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 5-7pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Friday, September 23, 7:15pm.
Poetry Aloud & Alive. Featured reader: Sibelan Forrester.
Everyone's favorite neighborhood poetry gathering. Hosted by local poet Mike Cohen, with a featured reader and an open reading to follow. For more information, please contact the Mad Poets Society.

Saturday September 24, 11:00am
Discover Good Night Wissahickon Valley Park with Friends of the Wissahickon.

Good Night Wissahickon Valley Park is a new children’s book created by the Friends of the Wissahickon Valley to help families discover this Philadelphia treasure. The book takes children on a hike through Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Valley Park with a family of four who begin their visit in the morning at the north end of the park and stops at several beloved landmarks as they make their way south. By the end of the book, night is falling as the family says, “Good Night Wissahickon.” Members of Friends of the Wissahickon will be on hand to talk about the park's natural and human-made beauty.

Saturday, September 24, 3:00pm.
GEEK OUT! Hamilton Goes to Hogwarts.

What if the historical figures in the Broadway musical Hamilton: The Revolution were witches and wizards? Where would the Sorting Hat have put them? We know Lin-Manuel Miranda drew some inspirations for his characterizations from the Harry Potter series; let's see how it affects our understanding of these personalities! Washington: Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, or something else? Jefferson's tactical brilliance: Slytherin or Ravenclaw? And what about Alexander Hamilton himself? Come prepared for a lively battle of wits. Extra points if you can argue in rhyme! Discussion led by Lorrie Kim, author of Snape: A Definitive Reading.

Lorrie Kim lives in Philadelphia, PA with her clever, grumpy, magical spouse and their Harry Potter-reading offspring, one born between Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince and one in gestation during the publication of Deathly Hallows.
Check out our interview with Lorrie on the bookstore blog!

Saturday, September 24, 7:00pm.
Launch Party for Larry Loebell's The Abundance League.

The Abundance League is Larry Loebell's first collection of short fiction. An award-winning playwright and dramaturg, Loebell's plays include The Dostoyevsky Man, Pride of the Lion, Girl Science, The Ballad of John Wesley Reed, La Tempestad, the Barrymore nominated House, Divided, and Shanghai Kaddish. In The Abundance League we meet the manager of a restored carousel, a young choreographer seeking to make her name in the New York dance world, the author of a book about urban dog care, a band of Alaskan peace marchers who face a life-or-death crisis, and a wheelchair-bound woman who is grieving the loss of her lover. Robin Black, author of Life Drawing, has said of this collection that "…it is that rare story collection that helps you look at those you know, and those you may just glimpse, with new insight."

Larry Loebell was the literary manager and dramaturg at InterAct Theater Company from 1999 to 2005. He has worked as a dramaturg on projects for Philadelphia Theater Company, American Music Theater Festival, Nice People Theater Company, and New Paradise Laboratories, and at Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, PlayPenn, and at the Lark Playwright's Week. Larry teaches playwriting and dramaturgy at Arcadia University and film history at University of the Arts.

Sunday, September 25, 2:00pm.
Amy Ignatow's New Series Massive Launch Party!

We are THRILLED to be hosting Big Blue Marble favorite Amy Ignatow as she marks the release of The Mighty Odds, the first book in her newest series! Reading, games, signing, and fun!
In The Mighty Odds, Ignatow turns on its head the classic middle school good kids–vs.–the populars/bullies trope, and in the process creates a fearless new middle-school classic. The illustrated novel series begins as four students, a teacher, a bus driver, and an Amish teen are involved in a bus accident that leaves each of them with bizarre superpowers. Cookie, the only black teen in the school and a powerful popular kid, finds she is now able to read minds, but only when someone is thinking about directions. Nerdy, overweight, white Nick (who likes to hang out with his funny but overbearing BFF in the safety of the Understeps) can teleport, but only 4 inches to the left. Iranian-American Farshad, systematically shunned once he was marked with the moniker Terror Boy, has amazing strength in his thumbs. Martina, a white girl nearly invisible to all who draws the graphic novel panels that accompany this romp (in which she depicts herself as having horns), now has eyes that keep changing color. Thrown together by their new powers, the group must learn to navigate their unexpectedly evolving, eye-opening relationships- and uncover who is out to harm them!

Tuesday, September 27, 7:00pm.
Jessica Luther, author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape, in conversation with Melissa McEwan, the founder and editor-in-chief of, a progressive feminist blog community.

Investigative journalist Jessica Luther's Unsportsmanlike Conduct is neither easy nor comfortable. Instead, her searing, expertly researched volume on sexual assault perpetrated by college football players meticulously details the traditional responses whenever a new allegation of sexual misconduct comes to light. In understanding how the system uses silence, power, and complicity, Luther also moves beyond her damning critique of the current system by providing concrete ways to put an end to this epidemic once and for all.

Jessica Luther is an independent writer and investigative journalist living in Austin, Texas. Her work on sports and culture has appeared in the Texas Observer and the Austin Chronicle, and at Sports Illustrated, Texas Monthly, VICE Sports, Guardian Sport, ESPN the Magazine, and Bleacher Report. Luther’s work gained national attention in August 2015 when writing for Texas Monthly; she and Dan Solomon broke open the story about a Baylor football player on trial for sexual assault, a case known by only a few in the community and not reported in the media for nearly two years.

Wednesday, September 28, 7:00pm.
New! Poetry Is Not a Luxury Book Club.

A monthly book club led by Elliott batTzedek, MFA, where we'll use the best contemporary poets to explore the most urgent social issues. Each month we'll focus on a different book, along with individual poems from other poets addressing similar issues. We will meet fourth Wednesdays of the month from 7:00-8:30pm. September's book: Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.
More details on our Book Clubs page.

Thursday, September 29, 7:00pm.
Bruce Berlin, author of Breaking Big Money's Grip on America.

Bruce Berlin's important new book provides a practical roadmap for confronting the influence of money in U.S. political life. A guidebook for mobilizing Americans of all persuasions whose primary political concerns are eliminating the corrupting influence of money in politics, developing political equity so every citizen’s voice counts, and creating a political process in which our policymakers are accountable to the people and the public interest.

A former public sector attorney, Bruce Berlin earned his AB in government from Cornell University and his JD from New York University. He’s the former state coordinator of the New Mexico Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and the former director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution. In 1988, Berlin was awarded a Jennings Randolph Peace Fellowship from the United States Institute of Peace.


Sunday, October 2, 4:00-6:00pm.
On Sundays, We Write!
The Poem as Prompt for Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry, with Lesley Valdes, MFA.

Jumpstart new work and invigorate obsessions using a poem as muse. We’ll look at the craft tools of Adelia Prado, Billy Collins, Richard Siken, and others. You’ll find the most intriguing to borrow for good drafts of your own. Handouts; discussion, writing to share.
On Sundays We Write! is a new series of writing workshops at Big Blue Marble Bookstore. On every 1st and 3rd Sunday, from 4-6 pm, we'll be offering classes from some of Philly's best writing teachers.
Registration is required:

The Mystery of the Pears
By Richard Siken
I looked at the pears. I painted the pears, what they
were like. I waited for the pears to reveal their
mystery. Five brown pears in a chipped white bowl,
soft and scarred and blushing yellow in the throbbing
dark. They shine in their suits. I hung them on
the wall. Precise. A landmark. You might like it here.
I think that you might like it here.

Saturday, October 8, 10:30am.
Ashley Woods, author of Alphabet Dreams.

A first book by Ashley Woods, Alphabet Dreams was written to celebrate African American success, to inspire passion, and to support children’s dreams. The book is a tribute to all that kids inspire to be; in each letter of the alphabet kids explore occupations, such as “A – You can be an architect or an actor.”

Ashley Woods is a children’s author from Philadelphia. As the child of hard-working parents, Woods decided to use her ingenuity to expose children to all the endless possibilities that their future can hold. “I get my creativity from all the “no's” that came in my life or people that told me I couldn’t do something,” Woods explains. “I always knew I had a knack for coming up with creative concepts but being without helped me create from within”. She hopes Alphabet Dreams will influence youngsters from diverse backgrounds and societies to “have a beautiful life doing something they are passionate about”.

Friday, October 14, 10:30am.
Shabbat Storytime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

Sunday, October 16, 4:00-6:00pm.
On Sundays, We Write!
Flash Memoir, with Amanda Miska.

In this two hour workshop, writer and editor Amanda Miska (Split Lip Magazine/Press) will introduce the flash memoir (a personal memoir in 750 words or less). Students will read samples, generate memory ideas, and draft a flash memoir of their own.
On Sundays We Write! is a new series of writing workshops at Big Blue Marble Bookstore. On every 1st and 3rd Sunday, from 4-6 pm, we'll be offering classes from some of Philly's best writing teachers.
Registration is required:

More October listings coming soon...

Classes at Big Blue Marble

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

Just For Kids

bead maze

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!

Thursdays, 5:00pm.

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 5-7pm!!
For either game, you'll need the 5th Edition Players Handbook, which we have in stock! We also carry dice sets.

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy role-playing game that's been around since the seventies. Each player designs a character according to their interests. Perhaps you're a wizard, a bard, a rogue or an assassin. And maybe you'd like to play an elf, a human, or a halfling. We'll lead you on a series of adventures through fantastical realms with all kinds of interesting creatures. Your character will fight ghouls, assist oppressed people and collect magical items. You can read more about Dungeons & Dragons here, or contact us for more information:

Fridays at 10:30am: 10/14, 11/4, 12/9, 2/3, 3/3 (in costumes for Purim!), 3/31 (pre-Passover!), 5/5
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.

Final Sundays, 5:00pm. (On hiatus for the summer.)
Not-Bored Family Board Game Night.

Join us for an evening of fun for all ages with new and classic board games. We'll be playing the final Sunday of every month. Game time for younger kids starts at 5 pm, and Teen/Adult games start at 7 pm.

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551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119


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Mon: 11-6
Tue-Wed: 10-6
Thurs-Fri: 10-7
Sat-Sun: 10-6

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  • Book Clubs

    Fourth Thursday, 7:00pm.

    Second Wednesday, 6:00pm.

    Final Wednesday, 7:15pm.

    Visit our book clubs page

    Other Monthly Events

    Fourth Friday, 7:30pm.

    Final Sunday, 5:00pm/7:00pm

    Read our full events listing

    Just for Kids

    Wednesdays, 10:00am.

    Monthly on Fridays, 10:30am.

    Read events for kids