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Thursday, April 23, to Sunday, April 26, all weekend.       For Kids and Teens!
Mt. Airy Kids' Literary Festival!

Come join us for the 9th annual Kids' Lit Fest! Authors, illustrators, crafts, music, a treasure hunt, and more! Free and open to everyone. Click here for full schedule!

Thursday, April 23, 7:00pm.       National Poetry Month Event
Big Blue Young Adult Book Discussion with Jen Sheffield.

Opening event of the Kids' Literary Festival! 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. April's book: Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate.

Tuesday, April 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. April's book: The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Thi Diem Thuy Le.

Wednesday, April 29, 7:00pm.       National Poetry Month Event
Poetry Liberation Front with Sekai, Jennifer Hook, Fran Gilmore, Janet Fishman, Alina Macneal, and Cassie MacDonald.

Wednesday, April 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. April's book: All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg.

Thursday, April 30, all day!       National Poetry Month Event
Poem in Your Pocket Day.

It's national Poem in Your Pocket Day! To celebrate, we invite you to come read us a poem from your pocket (or recite a poem from your head) and get 10% off an item. Don't have a poem? Visit our handy poetry vending machine! You also have the option of standing before our big open window on the second floor and declaiming your favorite poem to the store at large.

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Friday, May 1, 7:15pm. (rescheduled)       National Poetry Month Event
Poetry Aloud & Alive. Featured reader: Megan Gillespie.
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, May 2, 7:00pm.
A Night of Readings by Queer Artists of Color.

Celebrate the release of Nia King's book Queer & Trans Artists of Color by coming to see her and some of her favorite queer artists of color share their work!
Click here for bios.

Sunday, May 3, 7:00pm.       National Poetry Month Event
For Women Collective hosts a Nina Simone Birthday Celebration! Poetry, Spoken Word, Music, and More.
With: Debra Powell-Wright, Aziza Kinteh, Darlene Godwin, Jaz, KT Terry The Poetic Queen, Pat McLean, Nish Pugh, Rahnda Rize, and our guest from Sistahs Laying Down Hands, percussionist Karen Smith.

For Women Collective is a Philadelphia-based, international performance ensemble of twenty-six women of color from around the world, honoring the social change advocacy demonstrated by Nina Simone. The Collective, inspired by all of the Aunt Sarahs, Siffronias, Sweet Things and Peaches named in Simone's historical song, Four Women, use their voices to promote peace and healing, as they speak the truth about love and struggle in their lives. Members of the ensemble will be performing poetry and excerpts from their short stories from the collection For Women: In Tribute to Nina Simone, in which their writing appears. Their repertoire also includes songs made famous by Nina Simone. Collectively and individually, they are recipients of a variety of poetry writing awards.

Wednesday, May 6, 7:00pm.
Publishing for Poets.

Print journals, online journals, famous journals, upstart journals, submission services, contests, open reading periods -- how's a poet supposed to navigate all of this and still have time to write? In this 2 hour workshop, Elliott will introduce you to the world of poetry publications.
More details, including cost and registration info, on our Classes page.

Thursday, May 7, 7:00pm.
Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist.

"We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers" --Bayard Rustin
The Big Blue Marble is honored to host co-authors Jacqueline Houtman and Walter Naegle as they launch a new biography of activist Bayard Rustin. Written for all ages, Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist tells the story of one of the architects of the Civil Rights Movement -- the one left out of the official story for too long because he was Gay.
Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was an African American Quaker, pacifist, teacher, organizer, advisor, Gay man, and one of the most important, and least known, activists of the Civil Rights movement. An advisor to the Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and worked tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad. As an openly Gay African American, Bayard Rustin stood at the intersection of many of the struggles for equal rights.

Author Walter Naegle was Bayard Rustin's partner for the last decade of his life; author Jacqueline Houtman is a writer for children who helped shape this complex story into a form of high interest to adults and still accessible to middle school readers. The book was also shaped by Michael G Long, Bayard's official biographer and organizer of his papers.

Friday, May 8, 10:30am.
Shabbat Storytime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

Thursday, May 14, 7:00pm.
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series presents Sarah Sawyers-Lovett.

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! To request to feature, please visit http://WomensWritingSeries.org, email a 200 word writer's bio plus pic and public contact info (website/blog) to: cxwriting(at)gmail(dot)com, or message our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WomensWritingSeries. Snail mail: CX/Women's Writing Series, 4530 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705.

Sarah Sawyers-Lovett was born in Tazewell, Virginia. She isn't offended if you haven't heard of it. She lives in Philadelphia with her wife and their hedgehog, where she works at the Big Blue Marble and makes balloon animals for money. Sarah enjoys pickles, punks and coffee. She writes zines and blogs and you can find more of her work at punkjoanofarc.com. Sarah's first book, Everybody Else's Girl, was published in 2013 by Sweet Candy Press. Her long running zine, Tazewell's Favorite Eccentric, will be anthologized in book form later this year by Mend My Dress Press. Her current zine is called Safe Home, and she is the editor of the compzines Dangerous Damsels and The Worth of Water.

Sunday, May 17, 1:00-5:00pm.       For Kids and Teens!
Story Corners Specialty Writing Workshop for Kids: Advanced Writers' Workshop (must have taken a class with Cordelia before or show writing sample beforehand).

This class is a feedback-oriented workshop where students read each other's work ahead of time, and Cordelia facilitates the feedback structure. Cordelia will also provide a page-length story critique to each participating student. (Ages 9 and up)
Cost and registration information on our Classes page.

Sunday, May 17, 2:00pm.
Dottie Higgins-Klein of the Family & Play Therapy Center will talk about the wide range of possibilities for the power of play in resolving many childhood problems.

Tuesday, May 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. May's book: The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez.

Wednesday, May 27, 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. April's book: Two or Three Things I Know for Sure by Dorothy Allison.

Thursday, May 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. May's book: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger.


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!

Fridays at 10:30am: 4/17, 5/8 (date change)
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.

Sundays from 1-5pm: 4/12, 5/17, 6/28, 9/13, 10/18, 11/15
Story Corners Specialty Writing Workshops for Kids!

These workshops, led by author and teacher Cordelia Jensen, will combine games, craft points, and writing exercises to make for a fun and creative afternoon. Ages 9 and up.
More details on our Classes page.


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ADDRESS:
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

    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.

    Visit our book clubs page


    Other Monthly Events

    WRITERS' GROUP FOR CAREGIVERS - on hiatus
    First Tuesday, 7:00pm.

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

    Read our full events listing


    Just for Kids

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

    SHABBAT STORY TIME
    Monthly on Fridays, 10:30am.

    Read events for kids