Today, we held our quarterly reading at Robins Bookstore, which we do to launch a new issue (the summer issue is hot off the presses now – click HERE to find free copies). It was a small group of readers, and they were all great.
Poet Eileen Moeller kicked off the reading. We’ve published her three times (no small feat with our particular poetry board!), and her reading was great, as always – funny, smart, insightful.
Next up was David Harris Ebenbach. We published David’s story “Shot” in our third issue, and we’re honored to publish another piece of his in our online issue (“The Forum” will be our July featured story). David managed to turn the story of a triple-X theater owner into a moving tale of loss and redemption. He’s working on a pornography-themed collection of stories, so stay tuned for steamy details.
I was happy to introduce Bill Connolly (whose poem “Highlights” appears in the summer issue) with the humble bio: Bill is an administrator from the Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional School District. Bill climbed on stage, saying how he was under-whelmed by his simple bio and he was honored to be included among such accomplished writers. That’s one of the things I love most about PS – when we have the chance to showcase both emerging as well as established writers. We’ve had many examples of writers whose work was first featured in PS, and they went on to great accomplishments. Our review system may not be perfect, but it’s so cool when we find gems like these.
Last up was poet Jason Jones, who said he liked his simple bio (Jason Jones is a graduate of Temple University. He lives and works in Philadelphia as an Editor for Taylor and Francs Group). Jason read his poem, “Physics” from the magazine, then recited three impressive works from memory.
I got home to some nice emails:
“What a great reading today — thanks so much for including me! Philadelphia Stories has now twice accepted some of my edgiest work, and I think it’s great you’re open to such things.” – David Harris Ebenbach
“Many thanks to all for your contributions to a wonderful event. It was a honor to be included and share the microphone with such talented writers.” — Bill Connolly
I have to say – these are the kind of things that keep me going. It’s not always easy to find the 10-20 unpaid hours a week to keep PS alive, but when I go to these events, and people come up and thank Carla and me for the work we do (how often does THAT happen at your day job?), I remember that this is the most rewarding thing I do. Sure, not everyone’s so generous, and we get the occasional nasty emails (the most recent favorite: “take me off your fricking list you linguistic twit”), but for the most part, I’m proud to promote local writers and artists. Too often, Philly is lost in the cultural shadow of New York, and that’s a shame. We have some kick-ass talent here.