Big Blue Marble        Big Blue Marble Bookstore        Big Blue Marble
A neighborhood bookstore for Mt Airy and beyond


> Skip to Kids' Events

Friday, March 27, 7:15pm.
Poetry Aloud & Alive. Featured reader: David Moolten.
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, March 28, 2:00pm.
Learn to Love Poetry Again! A Workshop for Readers.

If you know you like poetry but don't know quite where to start reading, this workshop is for you!
Workshop is free; preregistration is required. More details on our Classes page.

Saturday, March 28, 6:00pm.
Reading and Writing Workshop with Victoria Brownworth, author of Ordinary Mayhem.

Award-winning Philadelphia journalist and author Victoria A. Brownworth will be reading from her latest book, Ordinary Mayhem: a Novel of Horror, as well as giving a free lecture/workshop on writing mystery and horror. Come for the reading from what reviewers are calling "A harrowing look at violence against women" and "a renowned journalist brings fiction to life with scenes that resonate with verisimilitude." Get tips from a well-known local writer on how to improve your own writing and get it published. Seating limited.

Victoria Brownworth is the author and editor of nearly 30 books as well as the editor-in-chief of the Philadelphia-based young adult publisher Tiny Satchel Press. Brownworth's work is familiar to Philadelphians through her work as a columnist and a features writer for both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. She was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for her work as a columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News. She has also written extensively for other Philadelphia weeklies, including PGN and The Independent Voice and for Philadelphia Magazine. She won the 2014 Society of Professional Journalists Award for enterprise reporting and the Keystone Award for beat reporting. Brownworth has taught writing at Temple University, Community College of Philadelphia, Rosemont College and University of the Arts.

Sunday, March 29, 3:00pm.
Artist Stuart Shils on the Art of Seeing.

Painter Stuart Shils will present his newest book, a collection of photographs taken in Germantown called because I have no interest in those questions..., and present a talk on how photography can help us take notice visually of what is right before our eyes but often unseen. The talk will be followed by a free ekphrastic poetry workshop at 4 pm (see below for registration details).

Stuart Shils says: "I'm a painter and not a journalistic photographer, and I'm not using the camera for literary story telling about objects, society, politics or any aspect of the surrounding culture, other than visual engagement. On the first day of a college art history class in freshman year, my professor said: "we see in terms of who we are," which implied to me that it was not so much a matter of what is 'out there' as much as our ability to notice and to make sense of how we see based on our alertness as readers. So since then, regardless of medium, 'seeing,' which is differentiated from 'looking,' has been THE primary pursuit for me. I use the words 'reframing the ordinary' to describe my encounter with the everyday via the viewfinder. The images in my talk are not intended as "art" photographs; instead they are working photographs that document the nature of my own curiosity and also provide accessible visual pathways that take the viewer through the playful fun of exploring what is out there and reveal the marvels to be seen by returning repeatedly to the same place."

Sunday, March 29, 4:00pm.
Not Just to Look But to See: an ekphrastic poetry workshop.

Artist Stuart Shils describes his primary pursuit as "seeing" rather than "looking." At 3 pm he'll be discussing the art of seeing in his new photography collection because i have no interest in those questions... The talk will be followed by a new-work workshop, led by Elliott batTzedek, in which we'll write for different lengths of time in response to Stuart's photographs and selections of poems that focus how we see.
Both the talk and the workshop are free. Seating for the workshop will be limited, so preregistration is required. Email: Attendance at the talk is a requirement for the workshop.

Tuesday, March 31, 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. March's book: Ruby by Cynthia Bond.


Wednesday, April 1, 7:00pm.       National Poetry Month Event
Three Humorous Poets on April Fool's Day.

Hal Sirowitz, Amy Barone, and Ron Kolm, all known for injecting humor and candor into their poetry and story-telling, will entertain guests at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore on April 1.

Amy Barone's new chapbook Kamikaze Dance was published by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has appeared in CityLitRag, First Literary Review-East, Gradiva, Impolite Conversation (UK), Maintenant, Philadelphia Poets, and The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow, among other publications. She spent five years as Italian correspondent for Women's Wear Daily and Advertising Age. Her first book, Views from the Driveway, was published by Foothills Publishing.
Ron Kolm is one of the founding members of the Unbearables literary collective, and an editor of several of their anthologies: Crimes of the Beats, The Worst Book I Ever Read, and The Unbearables Big Book of Sex!. Ron is a contributing editor of Sensitive Skin magazine and the editor of the Evergreen Review. He is the author of The Plastic Factory and the co-author, with Jim Feast, of the novel Neo Phobe. A collection of his poems, Divine Comedy, was published by Fly By Night Press, and his new one, Suburban Ambush, was just published by Autonomedia.
Big Blue Marble favorite Hal Sirowitz is an internationally known poet and the author of five books of poetry: Mother Said (Crown/Random House 1996); My Therapist Said (Crown/Random House 1998); Before, During & After (Soft Skull Press 2003); Father Said (Soft Skull Press 2004); and Stray Cat Blues (Backwaters Press 2012) which was awarded the 2013 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry. His work has been translated into thirteen languages including Icelandic, Turkish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Macedonian.

Sunday, April 5, at 2:00pm.
Peeps 2015!

It's back! Our 2nd annual Peeps Diorama Contest! More categories, more prizes, and more fun. Get it on your calendar now, and get out and buy some peeps while you have plenty of color choices. Dioramas may be dropped off starting Sunday, March 29th. Popular Voting begins Saturday, April 4. The Party and Final Judging are Sunday, April 5th, at 2 pm.

    This year our age categories will be
  • 7 and under
  • 8-12
  • 13-18
  • 18 and up
  • and a new Professionals Class, for you artists and designers.
    Your diorama should be
  • Made of Peeps! Chicks, bunnies, etc., the major players in your scene (and anything else you can imagine) should be made of Peeps. Extra points will be awarded for using the widest variety of Peep products!
  • Staged in a shoebox. Nothing larger than a boot box, please.
  • At most PG-13. No one wants Peep-mares, trust us.
    More details:
  • Each entry must include a card with the title of your scene, your name, your age, and a way to contact you (phone, email, carrier Peep). Only the title of your scene will be displayed publicly.
  • All entries are due in the bookstore by Sunday, April 5th, at 2:00 pm. To be eligible for Popular Votes, your diorama must be in the store by Saturday, April 4th, at 4 pm.
  • Winning entries will remain on display until Saturday, April 11th. You must arrange to pick up your diorama by April 12th if you wish to keep it, otherwise we'll be happy to deliver it to the Great Peep in the Sky.

Wednesday, April 8, 7:00pm.       National Poetry Month Event
Red Dashboard Press Reading Series.

Elizabeth Aiken Stelling, editor of Red Dashboard Press, brings friends Marion Deutsche Cohen and Barry Gross for a great evening of poetry to Big Blue Marble.

Born in Fort Worth, and raised in Carrollton, Texas, on Stockyard Rodeos and Pioneer Days in the '60-'70s, Elizabeth Akin Stelling is a wife, mother, chef, a writer, and activist. She is managing editor of Red Dashboard LLC, Z-composition, Annapurna and Cowboy Poetry, and has works published in vox poetica, Referential Magazine, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Curio Poetry, Wordgathering, River Review, Tuck Magazine, CrazyLitMag, Literary Mama, Texas Observer, and culinary trade magazines. Chef E's food poetry has been heard on CroptoCuisine Radio, out of Boulder, CO. She is also a current member of Texas State Historical Association.
Marion Deutsche Cohen's latest poetry book is Lights I Have Loved (Red Dashboard Press, NJ), and her latest memoir is Still the End: Memoir of a Nursing Home Wife (Unlimited Publishing, IN), the sequel to Dirty Details: The Days and Nights of a Well Spouse (Temple University Press). Her books total 24, including Crossing the Equal Sign (Plain View Press, TX) -- poetry about the experience of mathematics -- and the forthcoming Closer to Dying (WordTech Editions). She teaches math and writing at Arcadia University, where she has developed the course Truth and Beauty: Mathematics in Literature.
Barry Gross doesn't remember exactly when he first wrote "Observe and Record" in one of his journals, but he uses that phrase from time time to remind himself why he writes. He has participated in poetry readings in New Hope, Newtown, Trenton, Philadelphia, and Souderton, where many of this book's poems have been performed. He's worked as a department store Santa Claus, a stadium beer vendor, window washer, bartender, waiter, cook, proofreader, and in newspaper production, and he currently works as a teacher. Barry reviewed books for the Times of Trenton, and his work has been seen in The Mill Hunk Herald, The North Colorado Review, and the Bucks County Playhouse Best of Talk Story 2014. Coiled Logic, a Red Dashboard LLC Press production, is his first chapbook.

Offsite Event! Wednesday, April 8, 8:00pm, at the Keswick Theatre.
An Evening with David Sedaris.

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, Sedaris has become one of America's pre-eminent humor writers. The skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness shows he is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. More information at

Thursday, April 9, 7:00pm.
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series presents Michele Belluomini (originally scheduled for January).

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, 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: Snail mail: CX/Women's Writing Series, 4530 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705.

Michele Belluomini's work has been published in a number of journals, including Sinister Wisdom, American Poetry, The Mad Poets Review, Philadelphia Poets, and Apiary online, among others. Her poetry has appeared in the anthologies Faces of the Moon, COMMONWEALTH: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, and a number of Poetry Ink anthologies. The chapbook Crazy Mary and Others won the Plan B Press Chapbook competition in 2004. Her new book, also from Plan B Press, is Signposts for Sleepwalkers. She has read at many places in the Philadelphia and surrounding area, most recently for the "Moveable Beats" series in Philadelphia and the "Otherwise -- Poetry" series in Collegeville, PA. Visit Michele at

Thursday, April 9, 7:00-9:00pm.
The Art of Craft: A series of craft classes for poets, poetry fans, and writing teachers.

First of six sessions, though you can sign up for them separately. More details, including cost and registration info, on our Classes page.

Friday, April 10, 7:00pm.       National Poetry Month Event
Back to Its Roots: Poetry as Music with the bands Words In Flight and SHEEP.

Join us as we welcome two area acoustic bands driven by the power of poetical lyrics.

Words In Flight is a 5-piece acoustic, eclectic band, performing mostly original music written by Drew Brightbill. Though the genre is Indie Folk Rock, the feel stays true to the intimacy of a singer/songwriter medium.
The band SHEEP is an experimental music movement based on positivity and the love of life.

Saturday, April 11, 7:00pm.
Topside Press author Ryka Aoki comes to Philadelphiato read from her novel He Mele A Hilo (A Hilo Song).

Ryka Aoki is a writer, performer, and educator who has been honored by the California State Senate for her "extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of transgender people". Ryka's work appears in the anthologies Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (Seal Press), and Transfeminist Perspectives (Temple University). Ryka has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her chapbook, Sometimes Too Hot the Eye of Heaven Shines, won the RADAR's 2010 Eli Coppola Chapbook Contest. Her first full-length volume, Seasonal Velocities, was released in 2012 by Trans-Genre Press.

Sunday, April 12, 1:00-5:00pm.       For Kids and Teens!
Story Corners Specialty Writing Workshop for Kids: Write Your Own Mystery!

Become a detective this Sunday afternoon and create your own mystery using clues, alibis, suspects, you name it! If we don't have time to write the whole story, you will walk away with a fully formed story idea to take home! (Ages 9 and up)
Cost and registration information on our Classes page.

Wednesday, April 15, 1:00-2:30pm.
Writing the Short Story with Katherine D. Stutzman.

First of six sessions. More details, including cost and registration info, on our Classes page.

Wednesday, April 15, 7:00pm.
Mark Economic Inequality Day with Local Contributors to the new anthology Class Lives: Stories from Across the Economic Divide.

Class Lives is an anthology of narratives dramatizing the lived experience of class in America. It includes forty original essays from authors who represent a range of classes, genders, races, ethnicities, ages, and occupations across the United States. Born into poverty, working class, the middle class, and the owning class--and every place in between--the contributors describe their class journeys in narrative form, recounting one or two key stories that illustrate their growing awareness of class and their place, changing or stable, within the class system.

Together, these essays form a powerful narrative about the experience of class and the importance of learning about classism, class cultures, and the intersections of class, race, and gender. Class Lives will be a helpful resource for students, teachers, sociologists, diversity trainers, activists, and a general audience. It will leave readers with an appreciation of the poignancy and power of class and the journeys that Americans grapple with on a daily basis.

Patience Rage is a writer and a storyteller in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, where she lives with her granddaughter, Ishaiah, and Susan, the love of her life. Her work ranges from mentoring groups of young black boys and men of color to painting houses to event organizing to writing and performing her stories. Her pieces have been published in Aviary, City Paper, and other publications. Her interests also include cultural competency workshops and cross-class dialogue groups. In 2005, she was awarded the Leeway Art and Change Grant for her work with women survivors of incest. She has a bachelor of arts from Goddard College.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Sarah Burgess currently lives in Philadelphia. After teaching for four years in New Orleans, she completed a master's degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Burgess combines her deep interest in education with her advocacy of progressive taxation to support public schooling in Philadelphia. She is also a member of Resource Generation, which supports young people with wealth who want to use their resources to support social change.
April Rosenblum is a writer, educator, and activist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Bridges, New Voices, and Jewish Currents and in the books Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice and the International Encyclopedia of Protest and Revolution. In 2007, the Jewish Forward named her one of the fifty most influential Jews in the United States for her teaching tools for activists on anti-Semitism.
Editor Maynard Seider blogs for Class Action and is a sociologist and past president of the faculty union at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He is the author of A Year in the Life of a Factory and writer/director of the documentary Farewell to Factory Towns?

Thursday, April 16, 7:00pm.       National Poetry Month Event
Poetry with Elvis Alves & Bernadette McBride.

Join us for an evening of two, very different, rich poetic voices. Elvis Alves just moved to the Philadelphia area from Brooklyn; Bernadette McBride is the director of the Poets Reading Series at Farley's, our sister independent Bookshop in New Hope, PA.

Elvis Alves was born in Guyana and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He is a graduate of Colgate University and Princeton Theological Seminary. Elvis is the author of the poetry collection Bitter Melon. His poetry has appeared in several journals and magazines, including Sojourners, Caribbean Writer Journal, StepAway Magazine, and Colere. Elvis is a Pushchart Prize in Poetry nominee. He writes for the GoodMenProject and for the Compulsive Reader. Elvis lives and teaches in Newtown, PA.
Bernadette McBride is the author of Waiting for the Light to Change. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, has been published in the UK, and read by Garrison Keillor on NPRs program, "The Writer's Almanac." She is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, won second-place for the 2006 international Ray Bradbury Writing Award, and was twice a finalist for the Robert Fraser Poetry Award. She has taught Creative Writing at Temple University and leads workshops in poetry, often on the intersection of art and writing, as well as fiction and memoir writing. She directs the monthly Poets Reading Series at Farley's, an independent Bookshop in New Hope, PA, and her own readings include appearances on Public Television in New York City and PhillyCAM in Philadelphia. She is a former poet laureate of Bucks County, PA.

Friday, April 17, 10:30am.
Shabbat Storytime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

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, 5/15
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.

Visit Us

551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119


Public Transit Directions

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

Join Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our events mailing list(s).

To change lists, click "Update Profile" link within a newsletter.

Follow Us

Check out our Blog
Follow us on Twitter

Contact Us



  • info
  • orders
  • outreach
  • web manager

  • Book Clubs

    Final Tuesday, 7:15pm.

    Fourth Thursday, 7:00pm.

    Final Wednesday, 7:15pm.

    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.

    Monthly on Fridays, 10:30am.

    Read events for kids