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


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Wednesday, March 22, 7:00pm.
Poetry Is Not a Luxury Book Club -- with poet on hand!

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. March's book: Franklinstein by Sue Landers, who will be visiting us that night as we explore her hybrid poetry/prose collection that explores the complicated history of Germantown.
More details on our Book Clubs page.

Thursday, March 23, 4:30pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 4:30-6:30pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Thursday, March 23, 7:00pm.
A Night of Poetry with Hanoch Guy Kaner and Rosemary Cappello.

Big Blue Marble welcomes Philly poets Hanoch Guy Kaner and Rosemary Cappello for a night of poetry that extends from Philly to Italy, to Israel, and to Treblinka.

Friday, March 24, 7:15pm.
Poetry Aloud & Alive. Featured reader: Prabha Prabhu.
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 25, 6:00-10:00pm.
A Night of Fun and Fundraising for #Read4Refugees.

Concerned about the effects of T***p's policies on immigrants and refugees? Join us for a night of Fun and Fundraising in support of #Read4Refugees.
6:00 - 8:00 pm: Book Fair - join staff and special guests as we highlight books by immigrants and refugees. 20% of sales go directly to RefugePoint.
8:00 pm: A special showing of Persepolis. We'll bring popcorn, and invite y'all to bring other snacks. There'll be a raffle with Nifty Stuff with proceeds also going to RefugePoint.
Following numerous attempts by the current administration to suspend immigration from certain Muslim-based countries, a group of best-selling authors is banding together to support #Read4Refugees, a worldwide “read-in” aimed at supporting refugees. The campaign encourages people to support refugees by donating the money they would have spent on a night out, and instead, spend a night in reading. All donations raised go to RefugePoint, a nonprofit that identifies and supports “refugees who have fallen through the cracks of humanitarian assistance and have no other options for survival, in particular women, children, and urban refugees.” RefugePoint helps refugees resettle in countries such as Canada, Australia, and the United States and provides assistance with services such as healthcare, counseling, and business skills training.

Sunday, March 26, 1:00pm.
Reading Pesach: Haggadahs, Tales of Inspiration, Picture Books, and Omer Counting.

What does Passover mean to you? Big Blue Marble is gathering four different authors and artists to share their answers to this question through their work: poet and visual artist Deborah Gross-Zuchman, poet Susan Windle, and Rabbis Phyllis Berman and Arthur Waskow.
Deborah Gross-Zuchman's Passover haggadah, Seder for the 21st Century, was created for today's modern family. It is in English and Hebrew with transliteration so that everyone at the table can participate. It is inter-faith friendly and has an emphasis on social justice and freedom. It includes songs and is beautifully illustrated with Deborah's collages.
Poet Susan Windle shares Through the Gates--A Practice for Counting the Omer, a collection of letters and poems illuminating each of the forty-nine days of the Omer, the ancient Jewish practice marking the time from the spring festival of Passover to the summer festival of Shavuot, from liberation to revelation. The book is both memoir and guide for spiritual explorers of all traditions.
Rabbis Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman have two books (for this, out of dozens of books they’ve written). The Loooong Narrow Pharaoh is a delightful retelling and reinterpretation of the Exodus story, in which two brave and wise midwives resist the murderous and despotic commands of Pharaoh, and help lead the ancient exodus of the Hebrew people from slavery into freedom. Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus and Wilderness Across Millennia calls us to relearn and rethink the Passover story within different religions and causes, including social justice, ecological and feminist perspectives and how the Passover story has been adapted and used by African American as well as Christian and Muslim communities to provide insight and inspiration.

Sunday, March 26, 4:00pm.
Delores Paulk, author of The Paulk Perspective.

Germantown resident Delores Paulk reflects on her thirty-six years in a biracial marriage, and on her desire to share what she has learned with the hopes of introducing her readers to a whole new world of hope and understanding.

Sunday, March 26.      National Poetry Month Event
Submission Deadline for Dragon Song Poetry Contest!

Dragons! Poetry! Prizes! Glory! As part of "A Weekend With Dragons," on April 1st and 2nd, Big Blue Marble is hosting a Dragon Poetry Contest and Reading. Yep, Dragons. Give us your best ballad, sonnet, or pantoum. If you house an inner dragon, let them write the verse that sings the song of their dragon heart. Deadline to enter the contest is Sunday March 26th. Prizes and glory abound, including gift certificates to the store. You do not have to be at the reading to win, but we would love to see you there! Email no more than 3 poems in the body of the email to outreach@bigbluemarblebooks.com.
The reading is Sunday April 2nd at 6:30 pm. The Poetry Party will be fueled by fiery snacks and drinks. All are welcome to bring their dragon poem to read, even if they didn't enter the contest.

Thursday, March 30, 5:00-7:00pm.
Barack and Michelle Obama's Farewell Speeches Book Release Celebration.

The wonderful Indie publisher Melville House is releasing a small book with the stirring and necessary final speeches by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. We're celebrating with a mini-book release party! Stop in to pick up your pre-ordered copy, or buy a copy, during the party. We'll have snacks and will do a reading of both speeches starting at 6pm!

Friday, March 31, 10:30am.
Pre-Passover Shabbat Storytime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

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Saturday-Sunday, April 1-2, all day.
A Weekend with Dragons.

First of ongoing monthly theme weekends!

Saturday, April 1st
- 10 am – Story Time (geared for ages 2-4): Join us as we kick off A Weekend with Dragons with this special storytime for the young crowd - with stories gauged for kids aged 2-4. AAAANND we'll have a songleader on hand to lead "Puff the Magic Dragon"!
- 11am – Crafty Dragons (geared for ages 5+): Dragon egg/hatchling search, then make your own nest.
- 1-3pm – Your Personal Dragon: a writing workshop for kids, teens, and adults (ages 7+): What would your personal dragon act like? Look like? Write about your own dragon, and illustrate it if you like, then share your work. Click for more details.

- 4:30-6:30pm – A Special Dragon-Dense D&D Game (ages 10+): DM Wolfie will be running a special level 1 game for the weekend, for players age 10 and up. All of the characters will be Dragon-Borns (1/2 dragons) and will encounter dragons as they adventure. If you would like to play, please email outreach@bigbluemarblebooks.com. We need a headcount to know how many DMs to ask in! Also, please prepare your dragon-born character ahead of time!
- 6pm – Movie Night: Pete's Dragon (all ages)

Sunday, April 2nd
- 10 am – Story Time (geared for ages 4+) Join us for a special story time for ages 4+ as part of A Weekend with Dragons! We'll explore how two different kids learned to raise dragons, and a couple of pet dragons, too!
- 11 am – Make Your Own Dragon (ages 5+): Using branches, glitter, ribbon, and shiny swag, create your own dragon to take home!
- 2 pm – Queering The Dragon: A Reading, Discussion, and Workshop with YA Author Annabelle Jay (for teens and adults): Click for details.

- 6:30 pm - Dragon Song Poetry Contest Reading (ages 16+, National Poetry Month Event): Dragons! Poetry! Prizes! Glory! Click for details.

Wednesday, April 5, 7:00pm.
Understanding the Alt-Right.

Matthew Lyons’s CTRL-ALT-DELETE, is a thorough survey of the origins of the alt-right, a look at its constituent parts and beliefs at the present time, as well as observations about how its future relationship with the Trump administration may play out. Of particular interest, Lyons draws attention to the importance of sexism and misogyny within this movement, to its long-term “metapolitical” strategy, as well as to the tensions between the disparate groups that have found their home under its banner.

Matthew Lyons is a writer, parent, and archivist living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Many of his writings focus on right-wing political movements and responses to these movements by leftists, liberals, and the state. He addresses politics primarily in the United States but also in other parts of the world, especially Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia. He writes regularly for Three Way Fight, a radical anti-fascist blog, and his work has also appeared in New Politics, Upping the Anti, Z Magazine, The Progressive, Socialism and Democracy, and other publications.

Thursday, April 6, 4:30pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 4:30-6:30pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Thursday, April 6, 7:00pm.      National Poetry Month Event
We are not maps, nothing leads us to each other: 3 Poets.

Big Blue Marble is proud to welcome back three of Philly's best poets: Alison Hicks, Amy Small-McKinney, and Catherine Bancroft. Alison and Amy both have new books to celebrate - Alison's You Who Took the Boat Out, coming in March 2017 from Unsolicited Press, and Amy's Walking Toward Cranes, winner of the Kithara book Prize from Glass Lyre Press. All 3 poets prove that lyric poetry is the most powerful way to bring to light the hardest emotional journeys - while not all great truths are conveyed as great art, all great art conveys great truths! Click to display/hide poet bios.

Friday, April 7, 7:00pm.
Great American Superhero Singing and Seeking Same.

The Big Blue Marble is thrilled to be hosting a night of similar stories told in different media. Short story writer Sam Allingham's first collection, The Great American Songbook, follows more than 100 characters charting ever-changing relationships, while comics artist Lewis Helfand's Unmasked Seeking Same follows superheroes as they take on the ordinary challenges of speed dating and singles nights. Humor, heartbreak, Rogers & Hart, and superheroes! Join us!

A comic book writer with a wide range of credits both in and outside of the comic book industry, Lewis Helfand is the founder and publisher of Yellow Nightmares Press and the creator of Wasted Minute and 4320. When he's not writing his own comics, he spends his free time reading other people's comics and watching entire seasons of TV shows in mere days.
Sam Allingham grew up in rural New Jersey and Philadelphia. After graduating from Oberlin College, he worked for many years as a music teacher for adults and small(ish) children, before receiving an MFA from Temple University in 2013. His work has appeared in One Story, American Short Fiction, Epoch, n+1, The Millions, and Full Stop, among other publications. He currently lives in West Philadelphia and teaches at Temple University.

Saturday, April 8, 2:00pm.
Reading with DP Curran, author of Swampoodle.

DP Curran’s noir novel Swampoodle is set in the Irish section of North Philadelphia in the years between the Easter Uprising in Ireland and the boon years of Prohibition in the underworld of Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Seamus O' Suileabhain flees Ireland with a bounty on his head and arrives in America as James Sullivan. Here he enters the underworld of the protection of the O’Boyles, who are shielded by politicians at the highest levels of the city. Under the guise of a construction foreman, James emerges as one of the most brutal and effective enforcers of the underworld in Philadelphia and Atlantic City – skills that serve him well when he is pulled back to Ireland to settle a personal score.

Daniel Patrick (DP) Curran is an American novelist, who was born and resides in Philadelphia, PA. He is a best-selling author, and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2016.

Saturday, April 8, 7:00pm.      National Poetry Month Event
Recognition is something very like godliness: 4 writers.

Big Blue is happy to welcome two of our own, one returning guest, and one poet new to our store: Hal Sirowitz, Minter Krotzer, Philip Fried, and Ethel Rackin. Through lyric, pastiche, history, humor, essays, and memoir, all four writers engage in "elegant quarrels with the cruelty and ignorance of the world or, more precisely, its inhabitants." (as one reviewer describes Fried's work). If you love words that make you think with your head, heart, and gut, there is no other place to be. Click to display/hide author/poet bios.

Sunday, April 9 – Sunday, April 16.
Peeps 2017!

It's back! Our 4th 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 will be accepted starting Sunday, April 9th. To be eligible for Customer Favorites, dioramas must be delivered to the store by Thursday April 13th @ 6:00 pm. To be eligible for Celebrity Judge voting, dioramas must be delivered to the store by Sunday, April 16th, at noon. The Party and Final Judging are Sunday, April 16th, at 2 pm.
Click to display/hide THE DETAILS (deets for peeps).

Wednesday, April 12, 10:00am.
Special Story Time with Larry The Dog.

Join us for a special Wednesday morning story time with Larry the adorable pooch. Larry is going on vacation with Pete and the family to Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell and other great American historical landmarks. Explore the city with him!

Thursday, April 13, 4:30pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 4:30-6:30pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Saturday, April 15, 7:00pm.      National Poetry Month Event
The Body and the Machine.

Poets Leah Falk and Lee Nussbaum Fogel present an evening of words exploring bodies and visions.

Leah Falk is a poet whose work has appeared in Kenyon Review, FIELD, Blackbird, and many other journals. She runs programming at the Writers House at Rutgers University-Camden.
Lee Nussbaum Fogel is a Somatic Movement Educator, Reiki practitioner, and Interdisciplinary Artist who helps people live out their callings in accordance with their wellbeing and bodies' wisdom. She is the director and founder of The Visioning Body and teaches and performs throughout and beyond Philadelphia.

Sunday, April 16.
Peeps 2017 Party and Final Judging!

It's the Peeps Diorama Contest party and final judging! Final deadline for diorama submission at noon. The Party and Judging will begin at 2 pm. See above (4/9) for details.

Thursday, April 20, 4:30pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 4:30-6:30pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Sunday, April 23, 4:00-6:00pm.
On Sundays, We Write!
The Real Self in the Fictional World: a workshop for writers of fiction and memoir.

Peter Cherches' new book Autobiography Without Words posits him as an actual character in an assortment of fictional worlds - the opposite of the traditional fictionalized memoir which imposes a slightly other-than-real character in the real world. In his workshop, Peter will help writers of both fiction and memoir explore new ways of considering the fictional self, and of how to place that character in unfamiliar situations/settings.
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: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-real-self-in-the-fictional-world-with-peter-cherches-tickets-32470014688.

Called "one of the innovators of the short short story" by Publishers Weekly, Peter Cherches has just released the fiction/memoir hybrid Autobiography Without Words (Pelekinesis, 2017). He is the author of three previous prose collections, including Lift Your Right Arm, a series of flash fiction chained sequences. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and websites over the past forty years, including Harper's, North American Review, Fiction International, The Big Book of New American Humor and Billy Collins' Poetry 180. His first recording as a jazz vocalist, Mercerized! Songs of Johnny Mercer, was released in 2016. Cherches is a native of Brooklyn, New York.

Wednesday, April 26, 7:00pm.      National Poetry Month Event
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. April's book: TBA.

Thursday, April 27, 4:30pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 4:30-6:30pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Friday, April 28, 7:15pm.      National Poetry Month Event
Poetry Aloud & Alive. Featured reader: Victoria Peurifoy.
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.


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, 4:30pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 4:30-6:30pm!!
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: outreach@bigbluemarblebooks.com.

Fridays at 10:30am: 10/14, 11/4, 12/9, 1/20, 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.


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ADDRESS:
551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119

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


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  • Book Clubs

    POETRY IS NOT A LUXURY BOOK CLUB
    Fourth Wednesday, 7:00pm.

    BIG BLUE YOUNG ADULT BOOK DISCUSSION
    Newsletter Continuing!

    Visit our book clubs page


    Other Ongoing Events

    POETRY ALOUD AND ALIVE
    Fourth Friday, 7:15pm.

    ON SUNDAYS, WE WRITE!
    First and Third Sunday, 4:00-6:00pm

    New! ON FRIDAYS, WE FIGHT BACK!
    Fridays, 2:00-6:00pm

    Read our full events listing


    Just for Kids

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

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

    DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
    Thursdays, 4:30pm.

    Read events for kids