2016 Poets & Writers Festival

21st Annual
Poets & Writers Festival
At Community College of Philadelphia
Reading events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, Feb. 4th, 2016 Charles Frazier The Great Hall, 2nd Floor Winnet Building, on 17th Street between Callowhill and Spring Garden Streets

COld Mountain


The Poets & Writers Festival Features Charles Frazier, winner of the National Book Award: Writing History, Place, and the Natural World with Charles Frazier
Doors open at 11:00, Event starts at 11:30.
Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St. in the Great Hall (2nd Floor of the Winnet Building, located on 17th St. between Spring Garden and Callowhill Sts.)

One Book, One Philadelphia featured author Charles Frazier will discuss his writing process and how he incorporates an imagery-rich sense of setting and history in his fiction. A Q&A and book-signing will follow. This free program is open to the public. Large groups should rsvp to kmcquain@ccp.edu (preferred) or 215-751-8346.

Charles Frazier was born in 1950 in Asheville, North Carolina and grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1973, received an M.A. from Appalachian State University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina in 1986.

Cold Mountain, his highly acclaimed first novel, was an international bestseller, and won the National Book Award in 1997. It traces the journey of Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army - the story is based in part on Frazier's great-great-uncle , W. P. Inman. A movie adaptation was released in 2003. His second novel, Thirteen Moons, was published in 2006, with an $8 million advance from his USA publisher. His third novel, Nightwoods, was published in 2011.

Monday, February 8, 2016
12:30 – 2 p.m.
Pavilion Building, Klein Cube, 2nd floor

Join CCP's Drop the Mic for the Premiere Party for their Spoken Word Poetry Competition (a 2015 Emmy Award Nominee!)

Come see student performances, watch the first episode and enjoy pizza plus other light refreshments.

The Drop the Mic Spoken Word Poetry Competition, hosted by Dr. Michelle Myers, associate professor of English, features Community College of Philadelphia students. The six, one-hour episodes air on CCPTV beginning Feb. 8, 2016, and air daily at 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Feb. 10, 7:30 pm
Cold Mountain: The Opera


Reduced price tickets to the related opera based on Cold Mountain are available for students through Student Life in S1-19 starting Jan, 19th, the first day of the spring term, on a first-come, first-served basis. $15 is the discounted price—less than half the already special rate! Students must use their Colonial Card to purchase the tickets. Tickets are for Wed. Feb. 10 at 7:30 at the Academy of Music, an historic 1857 theater at Broad and Locust Streets that has been used in such films as The Age of Innocence.

Thurs. March 17, 9:30 – 11:10

in C2-28, 2nd Floor of the Center for Business & Industry (CBI) at the corner of 18th and Callowhill Streets
Poets Tim Seibles & Dawn Manning: Looking Closely – How Poets Expand the World through Image.  Join these two poets for a reading and discussion on how poems help us see the world in new ways. Open to poets and non-poets alike!

buffalo head

tim seibles

Poet Tim Seibles was born and raised in Philadelphia, and now he teaches at Old Dominion University. He is the author of Fast Animal and Buffalo Head Solos, among other works. He has been nominated for the National Book Award. His poems focus on themes "of racial tension, class conflict, and intimacy from several directions at once in poems with plainspoken yet fast-turning language" (The Poetry Foundation). Praising Seibles’ ability to “navigate the terrain of American pop culture in order to ponder the state of the American psyche,” Bookslut reviewer Joey Rubin states in a 2005 review, “If Frank O'Hara's meandering monologues were meant to capture the performative design of Abstract Expressionism and Allen Ginsberg's forceful riffing was meant to mimic the jazz stylings of Charlie Parker, then the back-bending, image-splicing, lyrical narratives in Tim Seibles's sixth collection of poetry Buffalo Head Solos should invoke the fast-flipping frames of Hannah-Barbara animation. Seibles's cartoon imagery, and cartoonish muscling of language, however, are not just trying to make us laugh. Which is to say, Seibles is playful—but he's not kidding around.”


dawn manning

Dawn Manning's debut poetry collection, Postcards from the Dead Letter Office, is published by Burlesque Press. Poet Traci Brimhall writes, "Each place these poems visit is enriched by detail and defined by absence, by 'all we leave unsaid, all we can't say'." Manning is a writer, photographer, and rogue anthropologist living in the Greater Philadelphia area. Many of her poems specialize in compression, and she often favors the Japanese tanka as a literary form. A recipient of the Edith Garlow Poetry Prize, her poetry has also won the San Miguel Writer’s Conference Poetry Prize and the Beullah Rose Poetry Prize.  Her poems have been published through Crab Orchard Review, Fairy Tale Review, Silk Road Review, Smartish Pace, Unsplendid, and other literary journals.

Mon., April 4, 2016
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in C2-28, 2nd Floor of the Center for Business & Industry (CBI) at the corner of 18th and Callowhill Streets

Faculty Showcase of Writers. Join college faculty members to hear their latest literary works. Refreshments will be served! The line-up includes:
Poets & Writers Faculty Showcase 2016 Lineup of Writers

  • In addition to being a professor of English at CCP, Tracey Lewis-Giggetts is the author of nine books including her latest novel, The Search for Susu. Her work as a freelance writer has appeared in numerous publications, including Philadelphia Weekly, The Chronicle for Higher Education, The Guardian, and Ebony.
  • Joseph Kenyon’s fiction and poetry have appeared most recently in Split Rock Review, Stoneboat, and Deep Water Literary Journal. His first novel, All The Living And The Dead, will be published by Mill City in April.
  • Brian Goedde is new to the English faculty at CCP this year. He has an MFA from the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program, and he has written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The Huron River Review, and Thought & Action, a peer-reviewed journal published by the NEA.
  • Julie Odell's short fiction has appeared in journals such as Five Chapters, New World Writing, Atticus Review, and most recently The Intentional. Her non-fiction has been featured on NPR and was selected for the new anthology This I Believe: Philadelphia. A 2004 MacDowell Colony fellow, she holds an MA in creative writing from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. She has completed three novels.
  • A former Fulbright scholar, Vijay Lakshmi (Chauhan), has published her short stories in several journals including Wasafiri, Orbis, Paris Transcontinental and the South Asian Review. Her fiction has also appeared in collections, such as Searching for Sita, A Rainbow Feast: New Asian Short Stories, and Bridges: An Anthology of Global Fiction. She has just finished a novel.
  • Thomas Jay Rush is the owner of a small internet-based software company, a fact he chooses to ignore, focusing instead on writing short fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. Jay teaches writing at the Community College of Philadelphia. He lives with his family in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania.
  • Steve Reed is an adjunct professor of English at CCP and is reading stories from his novel, Secret Combinations, which are interlocking stories of the unchallengeable history of the United States. He has a MFA from Brown University and teaches Creative Writing at Penn State Abington.

Sat., April 16, 2016

Field Trip
Field Trip to Split this Rock Poetry Festival in Washington, DC. CCP students should consult with their English professors about how to sign up for the trip, or contact Jeff Markovitz at Jmarkovitz@ccp.edu.

All events are held at Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130.

Room Location:

  • The Winnet Student Life Building is located on 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets. The Great Hall is on the second floor.
  • The Cube is located on the second floor of the Pavilion Building on 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.
  • The Center for Business & Industry is at the corner of 18th St. and Callowhill St.
  • Photo IDs are required for guests entering college buildings (Student IDs, a driver’s license, etc).

Thank you to partners in the Office of Student Life, the Division of Liberal Studies, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the English Department. Special thanks to One Book, One Philadelphia. For more information, visit “Spring Poets & Writers Festival – Community College of Philadelphia” on Facebook.


Sponsored by the Office of Student Life –  Jeff Markovitz and Kelly McQuain, co-facilitators