Open Letter to White Poets

Poets, what is an artist’s responsibility to the political moment? Poet Danez Smith raises that issue here.
Read his powerful, succinct poem “juxtaposing the black boy & bullet” here:
#DanezSmith #Ferguson #poetry

Danez Smith, from Split This Rock

Poetdelphia: Ryan Eckes, Suzanne Parker, David Groff –Dec. 13!!!

Dec. 13 is our next Poetdelphia event with Eckes, Groff and Parker! See the event listing at this link:

In the meantime, you can also read a review of David Groff’s CLAY at the Huffington Post.

Groff, Parker, and Eckes on December 13th

We’re happy to announce Poetdelphia’s December 13th Reading and Salon line-up:


Time and Place:
Friday, December 13, 2013
6:30 – 8:00 pm
at Cups & Chairs Tea Cafe
701-03 S. 5th Street
(just below 5th and South)

DAVID GROFF is a poet, writer, independent book editor, literary scout, and teacher. His book of poems, Clay (Trio House Press, 2013) was chosen by Michael Waters as winner of the Louise Bogan Award. His previous collection, Theory of Devolution (University of Illinois Press, 2002) was selected by Mark Doty for the National Poetry Series and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle awards. He has co-edited two anthologies, Who’s Yer Daddy?: Gay Writers Celebrate Their Mentors and Forerunners, and Persistent Voices: Poetry by Writers Lost to AIDS. He completed the book The Crisis of Desire: AIDS and the Fate of Gay Brotherhood for its author, the late Robin. David has received residencies from the Anderson Center, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, Ragdale, the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Saltonstall Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. A graduate of Princeton and the Iowa Writers Workshop, he teaches in the M.F.A. creative writing program of the City College of New York.

RYAN ECKES lives in South Philadelphia. He’s the author of Old News (Furniture Press, 2011), Valu-Plus (forthcoming, Furniture Press, 2014), and other books. Recent work has appeared in The Rumpus,OnandOnScreen, GlitterPony, COYDUP, and Jupiter 88. He works as an adjunct at Temple University and Community College of Philadelphia. (Here’s Eckes’ recent poem in The Rumpus:

SUZANNE PARKER is a winner of the Kinereth Gensler Book Award; her collection of poetry, Viral, was published by Alice James Books in Sept. 2013. Her poetry has appeared in Drunken Boat, Hunger Mountain, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Rattapallax, and numerous other journals, and she is a winner of the Alice M. Sellars Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a Poetry Fellow at the Prague Summer Seminars. Of Viral, poet Carol Muske-Dukes writes, “These are relentlessly tender, impossibly empathetic poems— which echo and clarify the body of grief— ‘…the need to pass/through the impassable and land/in a space I fill, exactly.’ The emotional tension is unbearable, but sustained, just as the human heart goes on, after unimaginable loss.”

This Is Your Brain on Poetry

#poetry #music

I love this news! So many writers since the Imagists think it’s all image, image, image, but poetry is first processed in our brains as sound. Even when we read poetry on a page, our eyes translate the words into an internal monologue, and the sound of the word help conjure the word’s meaning. Sonics sometimes get lost in a lot of contemporary poetry, it seems to me. What do you think?

Ingram, Volk Miller, Gontarek! Friday, Dec. 14! 6 pm

Don’t be naughty this holiday season! Come to Poetdelphia! It’s only two days until POETDELPHIA’s next literary reading/salon! Read interviews with Mike Ingram (Barrelhouse editor), Leonard Gontarek (poet extraordinaire) , and Kathleen Volk Miller (Painted Bride Quarterly editor) on our page at See the link for details.


Our first Poetdelphia poem by John Timpane!

Here is a preview from one of our readers at the upcoming inaugural POETDELPHIA reading. We hope you can make it! Details are on our Facebook page and under our main Poetdelphia page.

“Autumnals” by John Timpane



autumn bereaving

rainswept thrusts time in broken

sequence glittering

passages fall like whispers

destiny space dense beyond

(beyond dense space des

tiny whispers like fall pas

sages glittering

sequence broken in time thrusts

rainswept bereaving autumn)


October’s inner

weathers turn changes exchange

sufferings bright suf

ferings exchange changes turn

weathers inner Octobers


taste after summer

concentrate soilsalts rainsweets

tang tomatolin

gus tangsweets rainsalts soil con

centrate summer aftertaste

Introducing POETDELPHIA!

Introducing POETDELPHIA, a new community of writers that hosts quarterly readings near where Passyunk Avenue meets South Street. We have a blog at . We are sponsoring our first reading this September. You can also learn more at .   Poetdelphia is not just about poetry; it’s also about poetic prose! Check us out and welcome us to the Philadelphia writing world by clicking “Like”!

What do other people have to say about the Philadelphia literary scene?

What do other people have to say about the Philadelphia literary scene? Check out this Ploughshares blog at

While I find the resource great, there are a lot of other terrific Philadelphia writers out there who are not mentioned. Hmmm… maybe we should brainstorm on our favorites. Stay tuned!