logo 2.png

Book Clubs and Reading Series

Poetry is Not a Luxury


For 2018 - 2019 Poetry Is Not a Luxury is switching to an event series rather than a monthly book club. Check back for the full schedule.

Led by Elliott batTzedek, MFA,  is an event series focusing on the best contemporary poetry. We discuss poetry as poets do, listening for sound, playing with language, considering joy and sorrow. No quizzes on "hidden meanings" here - reading poetry should be a journey, not a standardized test! And you can expect visit from some of Philly's best poetic voices.

Woke &


Woke and Well Read logo.jpg

Woke & Well-Read is a new book club starting this fall, facilitated by Jamila Latham. The group meets the 3rd Tuesday and Wednesday of each month, from 7 – 8:30 pm. Both nights are the same discussion - the club meets on two nights to make space for everyone who wants to join in.

Woke & Well-Read will look at life through the eyes of African American authors. We will explore some of the legendary greats as well as contemporary favorites and writers who are up-and-coming. Our space will be open and respectful and also unafraid of the heated passions that arise when confronting issues faced by African American communities. The book club is open to everyone, and rooted in Black culture. We welcome diversity because we know that diverse ideas can birth fresh answers. The group expects that some of the books we read will challenge our understanding of our histories, some will explore popular topics in African American communities, and some will make us laugh heartily.

Facilitator Jamila Latham is a social worker, inspiring writer, and local entrepreneur.  She enjoys good conversation and bringing people together, a combination that inspired the Woke & Well-Read Book Club. She says “There is a real need for us to get acquainted with these authors. By doing this we are preserving African American heritage and building generational, ethic, and cultural bridges.”

November 13/14   Buck: A Memoir by M.K Asante (moved one week sooner because of Thanksgiving)

December 18/19  Becoming by Michelle Obama

January 15/16   The Wedding by Dorothy West

February 19/20 Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

March 19/20 The Untelling by Tamari Jones

April 16/17  Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

May 14/15  The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

June 18/19 We are Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union

The Body is Not An Apology Book Club

body is not apology icon with words.jpg

The Body Is Not an Apology Book Club

a shared project of Big Blue Marble Bookstore and Springboard Studio

The Body is Not an Apology Book Club is being organized by Melanie Jones, Fat Activist and Certified Abundant Yoga Instructor, and Elliott batTzedek, poet, activist, and Events Coordinator at Big Blue Marble.  Through reading and discussion, we intend to support, educate, and share issues about body acceptance, spiritual growth, and loving ourselves to the fullest. (yes, pun intended)

We’ll be meeting the third Thursday of every month at 8:15 pm at Springboard Studio, 530 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia.  The book club will directly follow Melanie’s weekly modified yoga class “You Don’t Have to Teeny to Be a Yogini.” The club is free and open to all – the yoga class, should you want to attend, is $15/session.

Books are available through Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Lane. Each month’s selection will be 10% off.

We’ll be alternating fiction and nonfiction, and bringing an intentional diversity of voices!

August 16   Hunger by Roxane Gay

September 20  The Body is Not an Apology Chapters 4 &5

October 18  Exile and Pride by Eli Clare, part 1

November 15 Exile and Pride by Eli Clare part 2

January 17 Exile and Pride by Eli Clare part 2 (November’s meeting was snowed out!)

The Mysterious Benedict Society Book Club for Boys

benedict icon.jpg

New at Big Blue Marble - a monthly book club for boys ages 10 - 12!

Run by parents, The Mysterious Benedict Society Book Club for Boys helps young readers expand their horizons, have fun, and read some AWESOME books.

The November selection is Gordan Korman's "The Hypnotists."

The December selection is "Jinx" by Sage Blackwood, on Friday 12/29 @ 3 pm.

To find out more, email coordinator Erin Mooney at erinrosemooney@gmail.com.

Poetry Aloud & Alive

New Logo.jpg

Poetry Aloud & Alive is the longest-running reading series at Big Blue Marble. Created by The Mad Poets Society, the series is organized by poets Mike Cohen and Dave Worrell. Each month has a featured reader and an open mic.

The series is usually booked each December for the following year. To find out how to read, contact the Mad Poets Society.

Upcoming Featured Poets

August 25: David Kertis
September 22: Hiram Larew
October 27: Nina Schafer
November 17: Rau Greenblatt
December 15: Mike Cohen and Dave Worrell

3rd Fridays with 30 West

thirty west logo.jpg


Dungeons & Dragons

D&D cropped.jpg

Philadelphia Indie Publisher Thirty West presents a monthly reading series every 3rd Friday @ Big Blue Marble. Come out to see local and area poets, fiction writers, memoirists and more! Live stream for our social media audiences.

Many months have special guests and topics - see our calendar for more information. ThirtyWest books and our features' publications will be available at the register.
BYOB in a relaxed, summer evening in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia!




Big Blue Marble hosts an ongoing table of players ages 9-13 on Thursdays from 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm.


New players, from novice to pro, are welcome.

Philly Poetic Resistance

Philly Poetic Resistance is on haitus until winter. For more information, contact organizer Laurie Pollack at webpoet1@aol.com.

Rad Parents' Book Club

Our Rad Parents' Book Club is currently on hiatus.