A First State Reading Series

Delaware Literary Reading Series, 2016

 A new series of literary readings featuring Delaware authors sharing poetry and prose in artistic hot spots and historic places throughout the state kicks off in February in Newark.

CurrentsWriters from all three counties will read works to promote a new anthology showcasing Delaware authors. CURRENTS: Selected Poetry & Prose from the 2014 Cape Henlopen Retreat Writers is a collection of poems, short fiction, and essays from authors who were selected to attend the Delaware Division of the Arts’ biennial writers retreat. Twenty working Delaware writers contributed to the anthology.

The reading series will showcase places that inspire or encourage the art and culture of the First State. Venues include the Newark Arts Alliance in Newark, the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, the New Castle Court House Museum in New Castle, and the John Dickinson Plantation in Dover.

The Zwaanendael reading in April will feature poets, as April is National Poetry Month, and will be held in conjunction with Lewes’ Tulip Festival. In addition to the literary readings, tours will be offered to guests at the New Castle Court House Museum in June and the John Dickinson Plantation in October.

All four reading events are free and open to the public.

Featured readers will include award-winning authors published in a variety of genres; Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship winners in both poetry and prose; Pushcart Award nominees; and former Delaware Poet Laureate JoAnn Balingit.

CURRENTS was published in late 2015. It was edited by Delaware authors Jean Davis, Maggie Rowe, and Ramona DeFelice Long. It is available for purchase at area bookstores and online.


Newark Arts Alliance, Saturday February 27, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Zwaanendael Museum, Saturday April 9, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

New Castle Court House Museum, Friday June 17, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

John Dickinson Plantation, Sunday October 9, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

 Venue information:

The Newark Arts Alliance, 276 East Main in Newark, recently celebrated 20 years of serving the community. The mission of the NAA is to provide the citizens of greater Newark with the opportunity to explore and display their creativity, as well as to participate in cultural events that build community. The NAA showcases work by local artists and offers arts classes for students of all ages and skill levels. Art is displayed and sold in the exhibition gallery and the gallery shop. http://www.newarkartsalliance.org/ (302) 266-7266

The Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, was inspired by the town hall of Hoorn, the Netherlands. It commemorates the founding of Delaware’s first European settlement in 1631. This museum serves as a showcase for the Lewes area’s maritime, military, and social history with two floors of galleries and historical exhibits and artifacts. (302) 645-1148

The New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware Street in New Castle, was the first court and capitol building of Delaware and is the birthplace of the Delaware State. Built in 1732, the colonial and the first State Assembly met in this building. The museum is part of the First State National Historic Park and features an exhibit on the Underground Railroad, plus period paintings, furnishings and artifacts. (302) 323-4453

The John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, is the home of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, signer of the Constitution, and “Penman of the Revolution.” The house, known as Poplar Hall, was Dickinson’s boyhood home. The historic plantation and grounds offer a trip into the 18th Century America and the life and times of one of the leaders of the American Revolution. (302) 739-3277

For information about the historical sites, visit the State of Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs at http://history.delaware.gov/museums/index.shtml All sites are free and open to the public.

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