Nasty Women Poetry Reading – 10/15/17

Sunday October 15, 2017 – 2pm

Moonstone Poetry @ Fergie’s Pub presents 

Nasty Women Poets:

An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse

1214 Sansom Street

Philadelphia, PA 

 

An anthology of poems from women who proudly celebrate their own nastiness and that of other women who have served as nasty role models; poems by and about women defying limitations and lady-like expectations; women refusing to be “nice girls;” women embracing their inner bitch when the situation demands it; women being formidable and funny; women speaking to power and singing for the good of their souls; women being strong, sexy, strident, super-smart, and stupendous; women who want to encourage little girls to keep dreaming.

This timely collection of poems speaks not just to the current political climate and the man who is responsible for its title, but to the stereotypes and expectations women have faced dating back to Eve, and to the long history of women resisting those limitations. The nasty women poets included here talk back to the men who created those limitations, honor foremothers who offered models of resistance and survival, rewrite myths, celebrate their own sexuality and bodies, and the girlhoods they survived. They sing, swear, swagger, and celebrate, and stake claim to life and art on their own terms.

With Grace Bauer, Kim Bridgeford, Emari DiGiorgio, Corie Feiner, Ona Gritz, Harriet Levin, Lynn Levin, Carolina Morales & Nancy Reddy.

Each participant will read her own poem and at least one poem by another contributor not in attendance. Books will be available for purchase.

GRACE BAUER‘s history of resistance began when a nun told her that the greatest thing a girl could grow up to be was a virgin. Having failed at that particular life goal, she became a poet instead. She hates being called Miss, Ma’am, or Little Lady, but these days, takes nasty as a compliment. The idea for this anthology came to her in the shower. Her books include MEAN/TIME, The Women at the Well, Nowhere All At Once, Retreats & Recognitions. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Arts & Letters, the Colorado Review, Poetry, Rattle, and the Southern Poetry Review. Her awards include an Academy of American Poets Prize, Individual Artist’s Grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Nebraska Arts Council, and fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. Bauer is currently a senior book prize reader for Prairie Schooner and teaches at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

KIM BRIDGFORD is an award-winning poet, editor, college professor, fiction writer, and critic. She writes primarily in traditional forms, of which the sonnet is her form of choice. She is the director of Poetry by the Sea: A Global Conference. She is editor-in-chief at Mezzo Cammin, a journal of poetry by women and was formerly the editor of Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose. She received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry and a poetry fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Her book In the Extreme: Sonnets about World Records received the 2007 Donald Justice Poetry Award.

EMARI DIGIORGIO is the author of Girl Torpedo (Agape, 2018), the winner of the 2017 Numinous Orison, Luminous Origin Literary Award, and The Things a Body Might Become (Five Oaks Press, 2017). She’s the recipient of the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize, the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize, and a poetry fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She’s received residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Sundress Academy of the Arts, and Rivendell Writers’ Colony. She teaches at Stockton University, is a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poet, and hosts World Above, a monthly reading series in Atlantic City, NJ.

ONA GRITZ is the author of the poetry collections, Geode, (Main Street Rag 2014), and Left Standing, (Finishing Line Press, 2005). Together with her husband Daniel Simpson, she is co-author of Border Songs: A Conversation in Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2017), and co-editor of More Challenges For the Delusional: Prompts, Poetry, and Prose Celebrating 25 Years of Murphy Writing Workshops (forthcoming, Diode Editions). She is also an essayist, memoirist and children’s author. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Ploughshares, and elsewhere.

COROE FEINER is an award-winning poet, performer, and educator. Called, “wonderful” by The New York Times, and “stunning,” by Backstage Magazine, she is the author of the poetry collection, Radishes into Roses, and the children’s book, Who Was Born at Home? Corie is the former poetry editor of The Washington Square Review, and the esteemed Bellevue Literary Review. She was the 2011 Poet Laureate of Bucks County, PA.

HARRIET LEVIN is the author of Girl in Cap and Gown, which was a National Poetry Series finalist, and The Christmas Show, which was chosen for the Barnard New Women Poets Prize. She is coeditor of Creativity and Writing Pedagogy: Linking Creative Writers, Researchers and Teachers. Levin’s honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Catagnola Award, the Ellen La Forge Memorial Poetry Prize, the Pablo Neruda Prize, and a PEW Fellowship in the. She currently teaches and directs the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing at Drexel University. Her debut novel, How Fast Can You Run is an IPPY and Living Now Awards winner.

LYNN LEVIN is a poet, writer, translator, and the author of six books. Her most recent collection of poems is Miss Plastique, a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in poetry. She is the co-author of Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets, a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in education/academic. Levin has received 13 Pushcart Prize nominations, two grants from the Leeway Foundation, and is a Bucks County, Pennsylvania poet laureate. She teaches at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania.

CAROLINA MORALES is the author of four chapbooks of poetry, Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman (2015), Dear Monster (2012), In Nancy Drew’s Shadow (2010), Bride of Frankenstein and other poems (2008) each published by Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in the Journal of New Jersey Poets, Nimrod, Paterson Literary Review, Poet Lore, Presence, Spoon River Poetry Review and other journals. Awards include scholarships from the summer program at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA along with honorable mentions for an Allen Ginsberg Award and a Mill Wills Fellowship. Her one-act plays have been produced/staged in California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

NANCY REDDY is the author of Double Jinx, selected by Alex Lemon for the National Poetry Series and her chapbook Acadiana won the Black River Chapbook. Her poems have appeared in Linebreak, Memorious, Best New Poets, Poetry DailySmartish Pace, and elsewhere. She has been awarded a Promise Award from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, a Walter E Dakin Fellowship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a New Jersey Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship. She is Assistant Professor of Writing and First Year Studies at Stockton University in southern New Jersey.

Parting Words by Krisann Janowitz

Krisann Janowitz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any parting words or shout-outs to share with current students and faculty?

I have loved every minute of my grad school experience in the Writing Studies program. Experiencing genuine camaraderie from my very first semester of the program was more than I could have ever asked for. Then to make (hopefully!) lasting friendships with so many amazing professors and talented classmates truly spoiled me. Now that I have graduated from the program, I know that nothing will ever compare

Which Writing Studies course or course reading was most interesting or useful to you? Why?

Gosh, this is a tough one because I truly feel that every course I took has benefited and matured me in one way or another. I guess if I had to choose, I’d say I’m pretty darn thankful for Maureen Saraco’s Grant Writing course because without that I would not have gained the experience necessary for my internship last year and (fingers-crossed) a career in development.

But, of course I have to say that both April’s and Ellie’s poetry courses have proved useful to me. I often tell people that I got a degree in Writing Studies with an unofficial minor in poetry and I say that because I do feel that I received an MA and MFA experience all rolled into one. I know my poetry would not be nearly as strong as it is without the guidance of those two remarkable women.

How do you plan to use your Master’s Degree in your career? 

Currently, I’m primarily applying for editing, development, and communication jobs; all of which I would not have felt confident doing before this program. My dream is still to eventually get my PhD (before 40) and teach at the University level– and in that way the program is a great stepping stone for me.

Do you have any tips for future students about choosing classes, juggling the workload, or writing a thesis?

Pick the courses that excite you the most– have fun with it.

Understand that your professors are also juggling a very large workload and a certain amount of grace should be extended to them as you take their courses.

Try not to skimp on the readings; they were chosen for a reason by some very wise people.

Krisann just graduated from the program in May of 2017. Currently, she is working on getting her thesis published, a collection of poems that explore the interconnections between home and homelessness. You can also see her perform her poetry at Fergie’s Pub on July 26th at 7 pm.

A Poem by SJU Writing Studies Student Maura Shenker

Photo courtesy of the author.

Photo courtesy of the author.

 

Worldview Words That Describe How I Feel on a Sunday Morning in November After the Election – by Maura Shenker

 

 

 

 

Stomachacha-pained and ravanaged

my blue I’d blurry self. Eyerainful.

Blerked with nuked coffee

Infinite simile, intestinally twistoptic

 

My thoughts turn entrospectif

In the quiet of my domestisilo

 

Safety becomes my primary concern in this

Society of trumpeeting divisination.

With out honor; with out humor –

just a malignificent terrortumor.

 

Semi-radicalized extraspecticktocular

Intellectual pseudobscurbation

 

Corpse aquiver, mouth agape,

throat scorched with acid regretsting.

Unkind hindsight causes fleshtions

flashing: come up wanting (air)

 

Nerves blergomous in the silence

Ears straining for the clatterpanic of the

UPcoming

UPrising

 

Their carnivagorging all consuming,

crunch…crunch…McNibble…

As a family we break freak feast

Ribbonibulous time streaming out.

 

Maura Shenker is the Director of the Center for Professional Development, an SJU alumna with an MS in Organizational Development and Leadership, and current Writing Studies student. Maura has an MFA in Glass from Ohio State University and a BFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is a current board member of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation, a catalyst for sustainable development and community building in North Philadelphia, and lives in Kensington with her one-day-to-be husband, their two children (Maverick age 6 and Lucky age 3) and a very crotchety 17-year old dog.

 

 

Tackle – Funny in Less than 500 Words by Ryan Latini

Photo Courtesy of the Author

Photo Courtesy of the Author

Photo Courtesy of funnyinfivehundred.com

Photo Courtesy of funnyinfivehundred.com

 

 

Thank God it wasn’t hunting season,” was the last thing I could remember saying to Officer Bill before I blacked out. Usually, he wakes you with a clipboard smack to the forehead, but this morning it was the tapping of a No. 2 pencil. As I stirred, I could feel the eraser keeping beat out of time with the inherent beat of my hangover.

“What’s that song you’re tapping out?” I asked.

“Ain’t no song.”

Officer Bill stood and smiled, looking down as I rubbed my eyes. I squirmed on the floor of the holding cell, stretching toward the fluorescent lights. “

It’s Morse code for, you’re a goofy asshole. Your mommy is here to pick you up again. We’ve got another public intoxication award for you.”

“What do I win?” I asked, rising in the cell, rubbing my right eye.

“A court date.”

“A while since I’ve been on a date,” I said. “Who punched me?—Is it bruised? Feels a little swollen.”

“Murph did,” Officer Bill said. “In fact, he said you were trying to get a date with him last night. Want to see my rod, is what you said. It’s all in the report.”

“Oh!” I followed the officer down the hall toward booking. I remembered. “Fishing.”

“What?” He said, sitting down behind his desk with a squeaking swivel. I couldn’t see my mother standing two feet to my right, but I could smell her “out-and-about” perfume. My eye was swollen and nearly shut.

“It was a fishing rod. I have a new one. For catfish.” Officer Bill rustled paper. My mother sighed. I couldn’t look at her—literally or figuratively. “Graphite composite rod. Three bearing reel. Ergonomic design. Two-piece construction,” I said.

I didn’t see it coming, but pain suddenly blinded my good eye. My mom flicked the side of my head with her finger. “You’re a dumb boy. Fishing in the street?”

When the pain subsided, I remembered the night before, out front of the Spread Eagle Tavern, casting my fishing rod into the street. I remember the police approaching. I remember slowly reeling in, jerking the rod to bounce my jig worm on the asphalt. Officer Bill had asked for my license. “My fishing license?” I asked.

Officer Bill was gentle with me—the way he’s been since I was a teenager. My mother—not so gentle, but she has to “keep up appearances.” That holding cell is home for her just the same. We’ve left notes to each other carved on the rail of the cot.

After signing my rod out of the evidence room and placing it carefully in her sedan, down the center and out through the trunk, we sat in silence.

“What kind of bait were you using?” She laughed and slapped the dashboard. “Want me to drop you at the Spread Eagle?

“No,” I said. “Drop me off at the river. That jig hasn’t seen water yet.”

“You got your license?”

Ryan R. Latini is a freelance and fiction writer living and writing in the Greater Philadelphia Area. He received his M.A. in Writing Studies from Saint Joseph’s University, and is currently on the editorial staff of The Schuylkill Valley Journal. Contact him on Twitter, @RyanRLatini, gmail: ryan.latini856@gmail.com, and check out his website, The Narrative Report at www.ryanlatini.com.

Twelfth Night – by John M. Rafferty, SJU Writing Studies Student

john-rafferty

John M. Rafferty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelfth Night is a flash fiction piece inspired by the work of Raymond Carver. It is concerned with a man’s struggle to find work, and the unexpected place his search takes him.

I went on the audition as a favor to my friend, Cole. I’m not an actor and neither is he, but I used to work full-time on his construction crew. His wife, Maria, is an actor, and as Cole related to me over the phone, Maria had told him that they “were really very desperate” for more actors, just for small parts. I had been struggling so hard to get consistent work, I figured Cole might help me if I tried out for this community production. He told me it was Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

I practiced the lines they had sent me. I felt nervous, sick, the whole day of the audition. I drove to the church in the rain, about forty minutes. It was a medium-sized theater. Bright, clean, wood floor, royal-blue stage curtain. The director, Simon, and two other older people–one a man, one a woman–sat at a table. Simon had a grayish-white beard and was paunchy, friendly and relaxed. The older man and woman, late sixties, early seventies, were a little fragile in how thin they were. They both had white hair, too; the older woman, glasses. They all smiled as we said hellos and shook hands. I filled out a sheet with my basic information and walked up onto the stage.

I read for three small parts in total. At first, I felt it was going fairly well–and then better –but I had to do an accent next, which I fumbled: I was having so much trouble with the lines that I forgot to keep up the accent; the last character I improved, I thought, but it was all overwhelming. It appeared they were not impressed when it was over. I walked down off the stage and they thanked me for coming out and I thanked them for the opportunity and was courteous and well-mannered.

When I left, it was still raining, driving home, and I felt unbearably strange: I didn’t want to act and I never wanted to be in the production, but I felt like a failure now that it seemed as though I would not be offered a part. At home, I sat in the kitchen and felt worse. I was tired. Maybe if I did some leg work, found other actors to recommend, that would help. That might count for something.

I never heard from the theater. I got a gig, full-time, selling alarm services door-to-door. I hated it, but I had to stomach it. I went and saw the play. I was a little worried I might run into Simon or the older man and woman (it would be embarrassing), but I didn’t. I saw Cole watching Maria up on stage and wondered if there was any point in talking to them when it was over. But really, I focused all my energy in understanding what was going on upon that stage: Who was playing who and what the characters wanted, and if it worked out for any of them.

Thanks to John for sharing his work with us!