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How to Love a Poem: A Poetry Party!
Jan01

How to Love a Poem: A Poetry Party!

Come join us as we party with poetry! WHEN: Thursday, February 11th TIME:    7pm to 9pm WHERE: Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Rd. Elkins Park, PA Poetry lovers, we invite you to join us as we celebrate the season of love and the coming of Valentine’s Day with an evening of sharing poetry aloud. Local poets Margaret Sayers and Annie Boagni will lead an evening of poetry readings and recitations in which all are welcome. Some of you may wish to read a poem aloud to the group, and others might like to just listen. Either way, we’ll join together to appreciate the beauty of poetry. *Note: Please BYO adult beverage! About our Co-Hosts Margaret Sayers is a lover of poetry with a long list of favorite poets including Tony Hoagland and Kay Ryan. When she is not busy with her family, her multiple psychology jobs, or volunteer work, she writes poetry as well as flash fiction and short stories. Margaret is especially drawn to poems that capture the beauty of everyday and unexpected moments. Annie Boagni is a high school teacher who has always been enamoured with words. When her 2nd  grade teacher wrote on the chalkboard: “Do you have the audacity to doubt my veracity or even insinuate that I would prevaricate?” she swooned. Since then, word work and word play have been a part of her everyday life. In addition to her pithy, and sometimes witty commentary on high school student essays, Annie writes poetry and fiction. AGENDA: 7 – 7:30pm: Meet and mingle, enjoy refreshments. (We’ll provide some, but please feel free to bring!) 7:30pm: The readings begin. Guests are invited to read a poem. If you’d like to read, please email lynn@openbookphilly.com to sign up ahead of time. Your name will be placed in the hat and on the night of the event we’ll pull out names in random order and you will be invited up to share your poem of choice. If you are a poet, you are welcome to bring a piece of your own to share. We’ll also have copies of poems at the event to choose from. Keep in mind that the theme of the evening is love!  [Note: one poem per reader; time limit 5 minutes per reading.] Recitation: Did your high school English teacher make you memorize Chaucer or Frost or another well-known poem? Throughout the evening, we’ll invite guests to trot out that old poem and recite it for us. You may win a prize! The program will run until about 8:45pm. Open Book Bookstore will also have a selection of poetry books available for purchase. Call...

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Reading Children’s Picture Books: an Event for Adults
Dec30

Reading Children’s Picture Books: an Event for Adults

So many children’s picture books contain strong affirmative messages and beautiful art — all at a level that can be very meaningful to adult readers.  Join us for a gathering of adults reading children’s books! You’ll hear from our expert speakers some of what goes into creating a children’s book and what makes it great (or not!). DATE:   Thursday, March 3rd TIME:    7pm to 8:30pm PLACE: Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027 What’s on the agenda for this evening: Heather Devlin Knopf, artist and children’s book author and illustrator, will talk about her illustration process, from thumbnails and clay sculptures to photo reference and final artwork. She’ll also address a frequently asked question, “Which comes first…images or words?” Julia Rix, a watercolor artist, will talk about the beginning stages of developing a children’s book illustration project as well as review some books that inspire her. Lynn Rosen of Open Book Bookstore will talk about the characteristics of a good children’s book, what has changed lately in children’s book publishing, and what makes a classic a classic, all based on interviews with current children’s book editors. During the event, we will look at and read a selection of children’s picture books, including classics and new publications, and discuss what we like about them. This evening is also great opportunity to select some new books for your children and grandchildren, or for gifts. Feel free to bring along a favorite children’s book or two of your own to share! Also, we will be providing you with a list of the books we discuss, and they will be available for purchase as well. Heather Devlin Knopf will sign copies of her illustrated book, The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, written by Diana Prichard. Refreshments are included! ABOUT THE PRESENTERS Heather Devlin Knopf is an artist/designer, educator, and children’s book writer and illustrator. In 2013, Heather illustrated The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, written by Diana Prichard and published by Little Pickle Press. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Graphic Communications Management, Heather later completed an MFA in Illustration at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. She is represented by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and also teaches at Moore College of Art and Design and Philadelphia University. Originally from Boston, Heather now calls Philadelphia her home. Her two, highly imaginative boys continue to be a source of inspiration. Julia Rix earned an M.Ed. in Art Education from Tyler School of Art and taught Art, English, and ESL for Abington School District for 11 years.  She is a member of the local artists’ cooperative MamaCITA and her...

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A Conversation for Caregivers
Dec03

A Conversation for Caregivers

Are you a caregiver? Come join a presentation and community discussion about resources for family caregivers. The conversation will be led Elkins Park neighbors Melissa Twersky, geriatric social worker, and YosaifAugust, life coach and author of Coaching for Caregivers: How to Reach Out Before You Burn Out. Melissa is part of a national conversation about caregiving, organized around the book The Age of Dignity by Ai-Jen Poo (books will be available for sale). Yosaif is currently doing a national speaking tour for the Christopher Reeve Foundation’s Caregiver Day program, presenting the concepts from his latest book. Join the conversation to share your concerns, meet others in a similar position, and learn new information. DATE:  Thursday, January 14, 2016 TIME: 7 TO 8:30PM LOCATION: Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Rd, Elkins Park, PA 19027 Call 267-627-4888 or email lynn@openbookphilly.com with questions or for more...

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A Night of Readings About Social Justice
Nov30

A Night of Readings About Social Justice

DATE: Thursday, December 17th TIME:  7pm to 8:30pm PLACE: Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027 What do Genetically Modified foods, Freedom Summer of 1964 and building community through urban agriculture all have in common? They are themes that can be found in the novels and short stories of The Head & The Hand Press. Of course these themes are also all social justice issues. But as The Head & The Hand Press upholds its mission to tell stories that have the power to “change and entertain,” this Philadelphia publisher has added a literary depth to these issues that are at the forefront of progressivism in the United States. If your love of literature intersects with your passion for social justice, then please join The Head & The Hand Press and The Open Book Bookstore as we welcome Jon McGoran reading from his food advocacy essay “Long Range Meal Planning,” Simone Zelitch reading from her civil rights novel Waveland and Nic Esposito reading from his urban farming essay collection Kensington Homestead. Jon McGoran is the author of six novels, including the biotech thrillers Drift and Deadout, as well as their forthcoming sequel, Dust Up (April 2016), all from Tor/Forge Books, as well as the novella After Effects, from Amazon StoryFront. Writing as D. H. Dublin, he is also author of the forensic thrillers Body Trace, Blood Poison and Freezer Burn, from Penguin Books. His short fiction and nonfiction can be found in a variety of anthologies, and his short story “Bad Debt” received an honorable mention in Best American Mystery Stories, 2014. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, and a founding member of the Philadelphia Liars Club, a group of published authors dedicated to writers helping writers. Simone Zelitch’s previous books include Louisa, which gained a starred review from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus as well as praise from the New York Times. She also the author of Moses in Sinai and The Confession of Jack Straw. Once a Peace Corps Volunteer in Hungary, Simone is now a professor at the Community College of Philadelphia where she coordinates the English Degree and established the Creative Writing Certificate Program. After developing urban farm projects in West Philadelphia with the organization Philly Rooted, Nic Esposito now co-manages Emerald Street Community Farm with his wife Elisa as well as their own homestead populated by their son, Luca, a dog, a cat, and a whole bunch of chickens. He writes about social change, urban farming and sustainability for blogs and magazine and spoke on urban farming at the 2010 TED X...

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Mind the Gap:  Rereading the Classics — A Literature Class
Nov22

Mind the Gap: Rereading the Classics — A Literature Class

If you go for a ride on the “tube” (the London Underground), you’ll hear a recording telling you to “mind the gap” as the doors are closing. I’ve always loved that phrase! Here I use it not to warn you about train safety, but to address a different gap: the missing books in our education. There are so many classic books we always meant to read but never got around to. Or maybe we just didn’t read them quite as attentively as we might have when they were assigned in high school or college. Now is the time to revisit them and, this time, to really appreciate them! “Mind the Gap” is an ongoing series in which we’ll return to and reconsider a variety of literary classics and learn why these books live on and are as fresh and meaningful as when they were first published. We’ll also experience the pleasure of finding new meaning in an old work, a book we are reading now at a different time in our lives, with different experiences behind us which lead to new insights. The class will be led by Lynn Rosen, an experienced teacher, editor, and publishing expert. Lynn holds a Master of Arts in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and an Honors Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught writing and publishing at Drexel University, Temple University, and the University of Pennsylvania, and she previously ran the Graduate Publishing Program at Rosemont College. Lynn has spent much of her career in the New York publishing world working as an editor for Random House and other publishing houses, and running her own literary agency for eight years. She is the author of several books, including Elements of the Table: A Simple Guide for Hosts and Guests. She and her husband Evan Schwartz own and run the indie Open Book Bookstore in Elkins Park, PA. Lynn also runs the Open Book program of book discussion classes and author events, which includes the popular class “Hot Off the Press.” Each class meeting will focus on one author and one significant work by that author. Class will open with an introduction by Lynn Rosen in which she will provide a brief biography of the author’s life and an overview of their body of work. Lynn will touch on critical opinion and analysis of the author’s work and look at the overall impact of their life and work. Following this, the class will join Lynn in a discussion of the particular book selection. Class participants are asked to read the selected book to prepare for...

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