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

Minter's back! 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. 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.

Thursday, September 18, 7:00pm.
Home-Grown Free-Range Poetry.

Big Blue Marble Favorite Blythe Davenport hosts a reading by Rosemont College MFA alumnae Phylinda Moore, Donna Wolf-Palaciao, and Courtney Bambrick.

Blythe Davenport has found her muse in Philadelphia, the city past and present, abandoned and inhabited, real and imagined. The role that Philadelphia played in United States history has a mythological quality. It is the home of icons both hallowed and reviled. It is a wonderful city to write about and call home. Blythe's writing can be found in Chronogram Magazine, the Painted Bride Quarterly, Mad Poets Review, and the PS Books anthology Forgotten Philadelphia: Art and Writing Inspired by Philadelphia Heritage Sites. Her first book, Second Oldest: A Poetic History of Philadelphia, was published in 2013.
Phylinda Moore lives in Philadelphia. Her poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Fuselit, Midwest Literary Magazine, Bogg, Miller's Pond Poetry Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Philadelphia Stories, Words & Images, Punchnel's, Liquid Imagination, and Milk Money Magazine. Moore holds an MFA from Rosemont College.
Courtney K. Bambrick is the poetry editor at Philadelphia Stories. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as Apiary, Certain Circuits, Dirty Napkin, Philadelphia Poets, Mad Poets Review, and the Schuylkill Valley Journal. Courtney currently teaches writing and literature at Holy Family University, Philadelphia University, and Gwynedd-Mercy College. She recently coordinated the third annual Children's Arts Program for kids at Old Academy Players in her neighborhood. She lives with poet Peter Baroth in Media.
Donna Wolf-Palacio's book of poetry, What I Don't Know, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her new book of poems, The Other Side, is being published this fall. She received an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University's School of the Arts. She has published in Poetry, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Voices, The Musehouse Journal, Intro, The Interpreter, and Writing from the Heart: Poems about Adoption. She wrote a collection of versions of Chinese poems, The Heart of the Dragon. She has taught a poetry workshop at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and was editor/consultant for the UARTS Poetry Review.

Friday, September 19, 7:00pm.
Cooking with Soul & Jazz.

Join Big Blue Marble as we host a night of food, soul, and jazz! Marilyn and Steve Carter of No Fret Cooking will be sharing their healthy-eating cookbook which comes with 2 CDs of music, one to cook by and one to dine by, composed and performed by jazz guitarist Steve Carter. Joining them will be Philly author Yanatha Desouvre, sharing his unique book and CD Savor the Moments, a collection of life stories from people all across the US, each one shared in a different bar over a different cocktail. The event includes food and drinks from the books, so eat a light dinner and join us for a wonderful late summer evening!

No Fret Cooking is a cookbook blending simple, healthy, yummy recipes accompanied by music to cook and dine by. If you had only one cookbook, this is it! Together food and music are paired that take you on a culinary adventure to nurture, tantalize, and stimulate your body, mind, and spirit as you prepare and enjoy your food. The focus is on fresh, local, organic ingredients without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Alternative ingredients are used to create gluten-free, dairy-free, raw, vegetarian recipes that even children love. A cookbook for everyone, and no fret, there is room for your own creativity and personalization.

Steve Carter, who taught guitar for 25 years at Berklee College of Music, composed, arranged, and performed all the songs on the two CDs that accompany No Fret Cooking. Learn more about Steve and his music at
Marilynn Carter has been cooking and working in the medical field since the age of 15. For the past 10 years I have been a wholistic health practitioner as well as a health and environmental awareness guide at Many Paths for Health. With a belief that the Food we eat is another path for health, No Fret Cooking evolved. Marilynn lives in Dover, New Hampshire with her husband and together they have two daughters and one grandchild. Learn more about Marilynn at or visit Marilynn's blog.

In the short story collection Savor the Moments, Yanatha Desouvre introduces Grayson Goodman, a traveling businessman and natural listener, who, in bars across the U.S., encounters people dealing with challenging situations. Through their conversation, he learns how they cope with the unexpectedly difficult circumstances and touches their lives with his stories. Inspired by true stories and one of Yanatha's professors at Lynn University, Savor the Moments includes stories about love, loss, compassion, and ultimately, the most powerful force in all of our lives--hope. Along with the book is an audio version featuring a soundtrack of music and lyrics that are undeniably contagious, successfully blending R&B, Jazz, and Spoken Word Poetry.

Yanatha Desouvre, a seasoned IT professional, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and Philadelphia, PA. He resides, with his wife and two beautiful children, in Philadelphia. He is currently pursing his Ed.D in Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his MBA in Marketing and Mass Communication and Media Management at Lynn University June 2010 and a Bachelor's Degree in MIS and Marketing at Drexel University in 2001. In addition to his constant writing and continued studies, Desouvre has created several successful mobile apps for iOS devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod touches app and Android devices: "Pre-K Math," "Proud to be Haitian," "Proud to be Jewish," "Kids Eat Free HD," "Pocket Poetry," "i love my dog," and "Proud Jamaican".

Saturday, September 20, 2:00pm.
Local Author Salon featuring Akilah Bixler, L.T. Woody, and Lee Fishman.

Akilah Bixler earned her B.A in English Literature from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, and her MBA from La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA. She was a Mt. Airy/Germantown resident and Weavers Way Co-op member. She worked for an environmental consulting firm before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Lost in the Dream is her first book and it is based on her personal journey. She now resides in New York, NY, with her husband of 19 years and their nine year old daughter and five year old son.
L.T. (Larry) Woody, author of the memoir IN BLACK IN WHITE, grew up in Baltimore's Harlem Park neighborhood. At age 13, he received an academic scholarship to attend St. Paul's Episcopal School in Concord, NH. IN BLACK IN WHITE is his coming-of-age story, an intimate glimpse into two very different worlds. Woody's journey from the tough streets of West Baltimore to the ivy-covered Halls of a New England boarding school serves as a survival guide for young people seeking something better.

L. T. Woody received a B. S. degree from Temple University. He lives in Germantown with his son Colin. He currently works with the Focus on Families Program, which is an initiative to get fathers more involved in the process of parenting their children.
Following a satisfying career as a senior manager at the Free Library's Parkway Central Library, Lee Fishman currently divides her time between writing fiction and counseling unemployed women at Dress for Success. The longtime Philadelphia resident has a BA from Temple University and an MS from Drexel's School of Information. Her latest novel, Mediums Guild, chronicles the adventures of a psychic single mom. Her first, Edge of a Dream, depicts the struggles of a young immigrant couple in Philadelphia.

Sunday, September 21, 2:00pm.
Reading with Rebecca Gibby, author of Forged in Philadelphia.

Author Rebecca Gibby introduces her new Middle-Grade novel Forged in Philadelphia. Set in the city in 1792, the story follows two young men as they press the boundaries of true independence: Adam, an apprentice blacksmith, and Christian, enslaved to Adam's family. It's 1792, and the war for independence has ended, but personal independence is still elusive for many. Adam is the son and apprentice to his father's blacksmith business but aspires to follow a different path and pursue a life in coining at the new Mint. Christian, their family's household slave, also yearns for freedom, especially after meeting and forming a relationship with Ona Judge, Lady Martha Washington's personal maid. Christian and Adam's strong bond casts them on a path that features Philadelphia in the forefront of the early abolitionist movement and reveals a side of the Washingtons that we seldom see. Forged in Philadelphia explores racial issues and foreign policy interwoven into family dynamics of the day. What makes this book unique is that central to the plot is the true story of the author's own ancestor, Adam Eckfeldt.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rebecca Eckfeldt Gibby honed her writing skills on children's drama and primary song lyrics. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree from Drew University. She lives in Chatham, NJ. This is her first novel.

Monday, September 22, 7:00pm.
Author Kyle Coma-Thompson presents his new book of short stories, The Lucky Body.

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.

Saturday and Sunday, September 27-28.
Write, Bind, Share: A Weekend Celebration of Zines.

Featuring top local Zine artists and an afternoon workshop for ages 14+ on how to create, print, and distribute your own zines.

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.


Thursday, October 2, 7:00pm.
A night of great new fiction with Eric Shonkwiler and Philly authors Joshua Isard & Matthew Jakubowski.

Eric Shonkwiler has had writing appear in Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Fiddleblack, [PANK] Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, and elsewhere. He received his MFA in Fiction from University of California-Riverside, where he was the recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Fellowship Award. His debut novel, Above All Men, chosen as a 2014 Midwest Connections Pick by the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, is about a farmer with PTSD struggling to keep his family and farm together in the wake of a near-future economic collapse and in the face of Steinbeckian dust storms, murder, and lawlessness unseen since the Wild West.
Joshua Isard is the author of the novel Conquistador of the Useless, and his short stories have recently appeared in journals such as Northwind, Wyvern Lit, and StoryChord. He is the director of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Arcadia University, and lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife, daughter, and two cats. In Isard's Conquistador of the Useless, our hero, Nathan, moves into the 'burbs with his wife. Life is good. He's a successful slacker. The boat starts to rock, however, when he innocently gives a copy of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle to a teenaged girl, and his neighbors are righteously appalled.
Matthew Jakubowski's writing has appeared recently in Fiddleblack, The Kenyon Review, Kirkus Reviews, and the Irish literary magazine Gorse. He edits the interviews section for Asymptote, a journal of world literature, and his essay "honest work" won a Charm Quark in the 2014 3QD Arts and Literature Prizes. He grew up in the United States, Germany, and Australia, and lives with his wife and son in West Philadelphia.

Tuesday, October 7, 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.

Tuesday, October 7, 7:00pm.
The Work of Jewish poet Tuvia Reubner, translated by Rachel Back.

Wednesday, October 8, 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'll read books that have inspired films and television series. Discussion includes a screening of the movie version! We meet the second Wednesdays of the month at 7:00pm. October's book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Thursday, October 9, 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 or email us at WomensWritingSeries(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Friday, October 10, 7:00pm.
Book Launch Party for Mt. Airy author Mark Lyons' Brief Eulogies.

Big Blue Marble is proud to host a Book Launch Party for Mt. Airy author Mark Lyons' Brief Eulogies at Roadside Shrines, a collection of stories that has already been named an "important landmark in the literature of multiculturalism."

"Lyons [is] a master storyteller who lets the human voice dominate. You can't help but care about these people," says Hal Sirowitz, a Philadelphia writer and former Poet Laureate of Queens, New York.

The collection of stories in Brief Eulogies constructs story shrines, or descansos ("resting places") -- intimate memorial shrines we glimpse at the edge of highways and rural roads that mark profound loss, but also serve as acts of redemption. A snake-handling preacher finds faith in a junkyard. A hitchhiker feasts on road kill with a hobo on the Great Plains and discovers the Cosmos. A Mexican-American Border Patrol officer arrests a mojado--a wetback--who asks him a question that makes him confront his own history. An artist whose paintings are rendered colorless by her abusive husband commits an act of vengeance and deliverance. Brief Eulogies are stories about communities and people finding ways to survive their histories, addictions, and fears. A collection that reminds us how our lives can change in an instant, usually when we're not looking.

Award-winning author Mark Lyons is the Director of the Philadelphia Storytelling Project (PSP), where he uses digital storytelling in his work with teens and the immigrant community. In his most recent work with PSP, Project HOME, he produced a series of audio stories on homeless veterans, collaborating with photographer Harvey Finkle. Lyons' past literary work includes writing, translating and co-editing Espejos y Ventanas / Mirrors and Windows, Oral Histories of Mexican Farmworkers and Their Families, published in English and Spanish. With twenty-five years of experience working in the Latino community as a health worker and community organizer, he was the director of the Farmworkers Health and Safety Institute. With a passion for community and storytelling, Lyons additionally serves as the editor of Open Borders, the Wild River Review series of immigrant stories. Mark has lived in Philadelphia for 45 years.

Saturday, October 11, 7:00pm.
Friends' Central School teacher Al Vernaccio presents his guide for teens and parents on navigating conversations on sex and sexuality, For Goodness Sex.

Thursday through Sunday, October 16-19.
Big Blue Marble Queer Literary Festival.

Check back soon for the full schedule.

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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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