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Thursday, July 24, 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). July's book: Every Day by David Levithan.

Friday, July 25, 7:15pm.
Poetry Aloud and Alive. Featured reader: Bruce Niedt.

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

Saturday, July 26, 7:00pm.
For the Love of This Blue Planet: an Evening of Eco-Poetry, featuring Hila Ratzabi, Anne-Adele Wight, MaryAnn Miller, and contributors to The Lake Rises: poems to and for our bodies of water: Elliott batTzedek, Lori Wilson, Sam Hall, and Lisa Wujnovich (co-editor).

Contemporary poets write on, in and through water to examine humans' responsibility to this endangered resource. These poets calm, quench, transport, cleanse as they protest derogation and mourn drowning. Editors Lisa Wujnovich and Brandi Katherine Herrera achieve a fluid weave of innovative and contemplative poets to usher in climate change. The poems in The Lake Rises: poems to and for our bodies of water reach coast-to-coast, asking readers to drink a diversity of voices that resonate with each other in astounding ways. Some splash. Some sink. Simple narratives and experimental structures become meditative sieves readers can flow through to renew awareness.

Hila Ratzabi is the author of the chapbook The Apparatus of Visible Things (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry is published or forthcoming in The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, Narrative, Alaska Quarterly Review, Drunken Boat, About Place, The Normal School, H_NGM_N, Cortland Review, and others. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and lives in Philadelphia where she founded the Red Sofa Salon & Poetry Workshop.
Anne-Adele Wight is the author of Sidestep Catapult and Opera House Arterial, both from BlazeVOX Books. Her work has appeared in American Writing, Philadelphia Poets, Tabula Rasa, Shrike, Mad Poets Review, Fairies in America, and elsewhere. For many years she worked with the long-running series Poets and Prophets. Now she curates the monthly Jubilant Thicket performance series. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two cats.
MaryAnn L. Miller's book of poems, Locus Mentis, has been published by PS Books (2012.) Among other journals, her poems and serigraphs were published in Wordgathering and Kaleidoscope, and several other journals. She has been the Resident Book Artist at the Experimental Printmaking Institute, Lafayette College, since 2001. Her work is in the National Museum of Women in the Arts and corporate and private collections. Miller hosts a Poetry Series at the Hunterdon Art Museum and teaches a workshop there on the Poetry of Visual Art. She publishes hand bound artist books pairing artists and poets through her press: www.luciapress.com.

Tuesday, July 29, 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. July's book: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Wednesday, July 30, 7:15pm.
Life Stories Book Group.

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, and different group members will facilitate. July's book: Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick.

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Friday, August 1, 2:30pm.
Summer Shabbat Stortyime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

Friday, August 1, 7:00pm.
Lauren Francis-Sharma, author of 'Til the Well Runs Dry.

Author Lauren Francis-Sharma reads from her highly-acclaimed first novel 'Til the Well Runs Dry, a multigenerational, multicultural saga that sweeps from the 1940s through the 1960s in Trinidad and the United States.
'Til the Well Runs Dry is a captivating, and at times heart-wrenching, story of love, betrayal and the fragility of family bonds. The story, told from three different points of view, is set in the lush and mystical island nation of Trinidad. It opens in a seaside village in the north of Trinidad where young Marcia Garcia, a gifted and smart-mouthed sixteen-year-old seamstress, lives alone, raising two small boys and guarding a family secret. When she meets Farouk Karam, an ambitious young policeman, the risks and rewards in Marcia's life amplify forever.

Lauren Francis-Sharma, a child of Trinidadian immigrants, was born in New York City and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature with a minor in African American studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and two children. 'Til the Well Runs Dry is her first novel.

Friday, August 1, 8:30pm.
Mya Kay, author of the YA novel A Song for Jordan.

Philly girl Mya Kay returns home for the opening of her new Young Adult novel "For the Love of Jordan." She'll be reading, signing, and playing songs created from the book by Philly artist Royal Blu.

A Song for Jordan is the story of fifteen year old Jordan Crystal Myers, a gifted musician and vocalist who is searching for her father. All she knows is that he was a musician who left her mother when she was born; Jordan longs to have a relationship with the man who gave her the gift of music. But her search gets put on hold when she lands a competitive music internship in Atlanta with SyncDeep Music Group, a label run by one of her favorite musicians.

Saturday, August 2, 7:00pm.
Indispensable Poetry: An evening with Doug Valentine, Laren McClung, Tim Siebels, and Bill Ehrhart, contributors to the new anthology With Our Eyes Wide Open: Poems of the New American Century.

With Our Eyes Wide Open is an anthology composed of poets from America and around the world who write about the struggles of the world's outcasts, immigrants and working classes -- victimized and then forgotten as nations clash and wage relentless war. Although diverse in their ethnicity, experience, and writing styles, the contributing poets are united by a common interest in promoting peace, justice, and human welfare. They tell of Vietnam and Cambodia, Latin America, Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia, Chechnya, and Africa. They are concerned for the environment and the well-being of society as a whole, and in this respect they represent an emerging poetic consciousness which is helping to define and shape the imagination and language of the 21st Century.

William Daniel Ehrhart is an American poet, writer, scholar and Vietnam veteran. Ehrhart has been called "the dean of Vietnam war poetry." Donald Anderson, editor of War, Literature & the Arts, said Ehrhart's Vietnam-Perkasie: A Combat Marine Memoir is "the best single, unadorned, gut-felt telling of one American's route into and out of America's longest war." Ehrhart has been an active member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).
Laren McClung received a BA and MA from Arcadia University and an MFA from New York University. Her work has appeared in reviews including The Massachusetts Review, Cerise Press, The American Reader, PN Review, and War, Literature and the Arts. She has led writing workshops for residents at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island and for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She lives in Philadelphia and currently teaches at New York University.
Poet Tim Seibles was born and raised in Philadelphia. He earned a BA at Southern Methodist University and an MFA at Vermont College of Norwich University. Seibles is the author of several collections of poetry, including Body Moves (1988), Hurdy-Gurdy (1992), Hammerlock (1999), Buffalo Head Solos (2004), and Fast Animal (2012), which was nominated for a 2012 National Book Award. His work has also been featured in the anthologies In Search of Color Everywhere: A Collection of African American Poetry (1994, edited by E. Ethelbert Miller and Terrance Cummings), Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (2009, edited by Camille Dungy), and Best American Poetry (2010, edited by Amy Gerstler).

In a 2010 statement he shared in From the Fishouse, Seibles states, "I think poetry, if it's going to be really engaging and engaged, has to be able to come at the issues of our lives from all kinds of angles and all kids of ways: loudly and quietly, angrily and soothingly, with comedy and with dead seriousness. [...] Our lives are worth every risk, every manner of approach."
"Doug Valentine belongs to that precious remnant of journalists and historians with the wisdom to see our time, the integrity and courage to write about it, and the literary grace to bring it all chillingly alive. He takes us into that dark inner reality of policy and politics that Americans so tragically deny and evade, and gives us back a reflection there is no denying, no escaping. If there is hope for America at this moment of so many reckonings, it is out of pages like these." -Roger Morris on Valentine's book The Strength of the Pack about the rise of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Tuesday, August 5, 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, August 6 (first Wednesday), 7:00pm.
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 read books coming soon to film or TV. We meet the second Wednesdays of the month at 7:00pm. August's book: Life of Pi by Yan Martel.

Wednesday, August 7, 7:00pm.
Down the Shore @ Big Blue Marble.

Join us for a special summer event celebrating all things Jersey Shore! Novelist Louis Greenstein will be reading from his new book Mr. Boardwalk, about a boy who fell in love with the life and magic of the Boardwalk and as an adult struggles to regain both the memories and the magic. Acclaimed photographer Michael M. Koehler will be presenting his beautiful book of photographs, Seaside, a project born just before Hurricane Sandy, with these photographs collecting moments of a place and time that will never exist again. They document the Seaside Heights/Seaside Park boardwalk and the life around it.

Come early and get treats from Zsa's Ice Cream Truck! And rumor has it that saltwater taffy will be on hand.....

Louis Greenstein is an award-winning, professional writer and editor based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He writes and ghostwrites books, articles for trade magazines, white papers, case studies and more, as well as working as a developmental editor (AKA manuscript doctor). He is also a playwright whose work has been performed internationally and published by Dramatic Publishing. He's received commissions from Stageworks Touring Company and Theatre Ariel, and a playwriting fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He is the co-author of One Child Born: The Music of Laura Nyro, a critically acclaimed one-woman show starring co-writer Kate Ferber that has sold out Joe's Pub and the Laurie Beechman Theater in NYC and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
Michael M. Koehler grew up photographing in Philadelphia. After receiving a B.F.A in photography from New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2005, Michael traveled the country and abroad pursuing personal projects, interacting with the people and the landscapes. Michael has shown his work in galleries and museums in New York, Philadelphia, and Rome and had work published in numerous magazines and books including American Photo and Here is New York (Scalo Publishers). Michael has worked as a photojournalist for both the Philadelphia City Paper and the Philadelphia Tribune. Michael currently lives and works in New York City with his wife and son.

Friday, August 8, 10:30am.
Summer Shabbat Stortyime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

Saturday, August 9, 7:00pm.
Kevin Scott Hall, author of the new memoir A Quarter Inch From My Heart, with local blogger and columnist Mary Gulivindala.

Big Blue Marble welcomes two multi-talented writers and performers: New Yorker Kevin Scott Hall, an author, journalist, singer/songwriter, and teacher, and Chestnut Hiller Mary Gulivindala, a writer, poet, emerging screenwriter, humorist and spoken word artist.

A Quarter Inch From My Heart tells Hall's compelling story of taking in a refugee, Maurice, after Hurricane Katrina, until he "gets back on his feet". What transpires is a two-and-a-half year relationship, part roommate saga and part unusual love story. As Hall remains determined to help Maurice and be a stable force in his life, he re-examines the tragedies in his own past via flashback. The book examines why we make the choices we make, how we overcome the wounds in our lives and, most of all, how much we are willing to risk to save a life. Hall learns lasting lessons by re-visiting his own past and through the life and unexpected wisdom of Maurice.

Kevin Scott Hall, an adjunct lecturer at City College and Borough of Manhattan Community College, published his novel, Off the Charts!, a dark satire of the music business, in 2010. Prior to that, he worked for many years as a singer/songwriter in New York clubs, and released three recordings, including the acclaimed New Light Dawning. Hall writes entertainment features and has entertained dozens of celebrities for Edge Media Network, and he writes music reviews for www.bistroawards.com. Recently, Hall was named a 2014 Distinguished Artist by the historic Beaux Arts Society of New York.
Mary Gulivindala says: "I am a writer, poet, emerging screenwriter, humorist and spoken word artist. I am a teacher, mother, friend and much more. I am not a label. Out of tragedy comes comedy. I see hysterical in the simple. This is my head. I live an extraordinary ordinary life. I invite you to laugh, release and lighten up with me. I am inspired, creative, passionate and fiery. I have been through and will continue. I will put it down and hope you pick it up. I am exposed, vulnerable, honest and authentic. I am sarcastic and witty. My favorite thing to do is watch life and laugh and cry and start over again. I am an entertainer. I blog at http://1realgirlwriter.com/about/."

Wednesday, August 13, 7:00pm.
Big Blue Marble welcomes Maggie McNeill and her new book of short stories, Ladies of the Night.

Maggie McNeill's first published collection contains thirty-seven stories ranging from fantasy to reality and from comedy to horror, whose heroines are all quite different from one another but have one thing in common: membership in the world's oldest profession. But what makes them interesting isn't entirely bound up in their work; in fact, you may find that, with a few notable exceptions, they aren't all that different from other women you may know, either in fiction or in real life. The strange and fantastic situations they find themselves in, however, are another matter entirely...

Maggie McNeill was a librarian in suburban New Orleans, but after divorce economic necessity spurred her to take up sex work; from 1997 to 2006 she worked first as a stripper, then as a call girl and madam. She eventually married her favorite client, retired, and moved to a ranch in the rural Upper South. There she writes a daily blog called "The Honest Courtesan" which examines the realities, myths, history, lore, science, philosophy, art, and every other aspect of prostitution; she also reports sex work news, critiques the way her profession is treated in the media and by governments, and is frequently consulted by academics and journalists as an expert on the subject. She blogs at http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/.

Thursday, August 14, 7:00pm.
Reading with Cyma Shapiro, author of The Zen of Mid-life Mothering.

Cyma Shapiro, 56, is the writer and executive director of the art gallery show NURTURE: Stories of New Midlife Mothers, and the writer/creator of MotheringintheMiddle.com. Both endeavors are intended to celebrate midlife mothers -- women choosing motherhood over 40 through adoption, in vitro, natural childbirth, surrogacy, fostering, guardianship and blending stepfamilies. Cyma remains dedicated to providing this burgeoning group with a voice, face and forum. She recently published The Zen of Midlife Mothering (essays from MotheringintheMiddle) representing the work of 50 out of more than 110 contributors (570 posts) published in less than three years. The Zen is the first anthology written by and for midlife mothers (and fathers) currently on the market.

Friday, August 15, 2:30pm.
Summer Shabbat Stortyime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

Friday, August 22, 7:15pm.
Poetry Aloud and Alive. Featured reader: Lynn Levin.

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

Tuesday, August 26, 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. August's book: Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi.

Wednesday, August 27, 7:15pm.
Life Stories Book Group.

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, and different group members will facilitate. August's book: The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard.

Thursday, August 28, 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). August's book: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick.

Friday, August 29, 2:30pm.
Summer Shabbat Stortyime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

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Tuesday, September 2, 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, September 10, 7:00pm.
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 read books coming soon to film or TV. We meet the second Wednesdays of the month at 7:00pm. September's book: TBA.

Thursday, September 11, 7:00pm.
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series.

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 http://WomensWritingSeries.org or email us at WomensWritingSeries(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Wednesday, September 17 (third Wednesday), 7:15pm.
Life Stories Book Group.

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, and different group members will facilitate. September's book: Track Conditions by Michael Klein .

Thursday, September 18 (third Thursday), 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). September's book: Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith.

Friday, September 26, 7:15pm.
Poetry Aloud and Alive. Featured reader: Suzanne Gili Post.

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

Tuesday, September 30, 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. September's book: An Untamed State by Roxane Gay.


Classes at Big Blue Marble

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

Just For Kids

bead maze

New Time! Wednesdays, 10:00am.
Big Blue Marble Story Time

Come sing songs and read some of the best new and classic kids' books. Story hour is currently parent-led; staff will direct you to space, books, and where things go when you're done!

New! Fridays at 10:30am: June 13, July 11, and August 8.
Fridays at 2:30pm: June 20, July 18, and August 1, 15, and 29.
Summer Shabbat Stortyimes 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 215-320-0376215-320-0376.



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  • Book Clubs

    WOMEN OF THE WORLD BOOK CLUB
    Final Tuesday, 7:15pm.

    BIG BLUE YOUNG ADULT BOOK DISCUSSION
    Fourth Thursday, 7:00pm.

    LIFE STORIES BOOK GROUP
    Final Wednesday, 7:15pm.

    New! READ THE MOVIE BOOK CLUB
    Second Wednesday, 7:00pm.

    Coming Soon! MYSTERY BOOK CLUB

    Visit our book clubs page


    Other Monthly Events

    POETRY ALOUD AND ALIVE
    Fourth Friday, 7:30pm.

    Read our full events listing


    Just for Kids

    New Time! BIG BLUE MARBLE STORY TIME
    Wednesdays, 10:00am.

    New! SHABBAT WARMUP STORY TIME
    Alternate Fridays, 2:30pm.

    Read events for kids