August Reading & Workshop

I am happy to be on tap for two dates–a reading and a workshop on character building to start off the month.

AUGUST 4th ART LOOP, 5 – 9 PM at the Delaware Contemporary

1st Friday (Dennis)

Continue reading “August Reading & Workshop”

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. Continue reading “A First State Reading Series”

Literary Reading

Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. 

Literary Reading at John Dickinson Plantation

field postcard final

Join two local authors representing the Delaware Division of the Arts’ Individual Artist Fellowship Program for a literary reading at the home of one of the state’s most treasured historical figures.

Ramona DeFelice Long of Newark and Russell Reece of Bethel will share stories and discuss the value and impact of place in their writing. Following the reading will be a site tour and colonial craft.

John Dickinson Plantation is located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, Delaware.

The Plantation is located southeast of the Dover Air Force Base on Kitts Hummock Road (County Road 68). Kitts Hummock Road intersects with the northbound side of Delaware Route 9, one-half mile northeast of the intersection of Route 9 and U.S. Route 113.

Contact Information
Phone: (302) 739-3277

John Dickinson Plantation Facebook Page

This program is free and open to the public. It is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and with support from the Delaware Division of Humanities and Culture.


How To Give a Public Reading

Because I am away at a conference today, I am going to cheat and repost a guest blog I wrote for the Sisters in Crime National website.

It’s a two-part series on How to Give a Public Reading.

Part 1 is called  Four Tips for the Performance Author

Part 2 is called Four Tips for the Performance Author, part 2.

All you need now is an audience or an open mic!


Tomorrow’s topic: Sunday is a day of rest. Monday’s topic will be How To Follow Up a Conference.

Guest Blogging at Sisters in Crime National

Today I’m pleased to be the guest blogger at Sisters in Crime National’s blog.

My topic: Tips to help a shy author give a dynamic public reading or book talk. This is a two-parter, using a 4-P (Plan, Prepare, Practice and Psyche Yourself) system.

Part 1 of The Performance Author runs today. More follows tomorrow, same time, same place.  Don’t be shy! Come on over.


Literary Reading at NCCo Library

Five members of the Written Remains Writers Guild have been invited to participate in a literary reading at the New Castle County Library in Old New Castle, Delaware.

The reading will be Saturday, April 16, in the library’s community room. The event will begin at 2:00 p.m. and a “meet the authors” reception will follow.

I will have the pleasure of acting as emcee for this event. Please join us!


I am happy to be joining the board of directors of the Delaware Literary Connection as a Member-at-Large.

The DLC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the literary arts in Delaware.  Membership includes poets, novelists, short story writers, essayists, journalists, video producers and those who just enjoy writing and want exposure to it.

The DLC promotes the literary arts and literary artists through events, conferences and workshops. For the past three years, the DLC has sponsored a Fall reading to honor a well-known American artist and to allow local writers to share their work via an open mic session. In 2008, the event was “Channeling Poe” to salute Edgar Allan Poe. In 2009, it was “Cooling it with Kerouac: A Beat Generation reading.”

This year’s reading is “Sing the Body Electric: A Reading to Celebrate Walt Whitman.” It will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2010 at the Deer Park Tavern in Newark, from 4-7:30 p.m.  Writers are invited to attend and participate in the open mic following the program.

I am pleased and honored to join the DLC board and look forward to a fun and fruitful partnership.

Ode to an Open Mic

wherein I attend a poetry reading and decide that, if other writers can write poetry, maybe I can…what?!? Me, write poetry?

Last night, I attended a poetry reading, followed by an open mic. This particular gig, the 2nd Saturday poets, has been running in Delaware since 1983. That’s right, ’83. That’s a lot of rhyming words under the bridge.

Except that poems don’t necessarily rhyme anymore, and haven’t in a long time. Even I know this.  For the 2nd Saturday crowd, readers don’t have to read a poem at all. Prose poetry is acceptable. Flash fiction is cool, too. Whatever piece of art you’d like to share with the group is good.

I didn’t read last night. I attended the event because members of my critique group are regulars. I also wanted to check out the event because I’ve been asked to do a public reading with a fellow Delaware artist. The reading is not until August, but already I’m considering what to present. How to showcase my work. I’m in the supporting cast of this reading, so that gives me flexibility—I don’t feel the need to share something perfectly polished to impress the audience. I can experiment, maybe read a goofy piece, or a work I’m not sure will ever get published, but is fun to read out loud. Not a lot of pressure on me, because I’m reading to support a friend.

Last year, when Bob Davis and Abby Millager and I did the public reading required by our Delaware Division of the Arts fellowships, we hosted an open mic. Our grants were a show of support from the state and its taxpayers; we wanted to be gracious and give other artists the opportunity to share their work in public. Writers I’d never met signed up and got up on the podium and affirmed, again, that a writer’s desire to share is stronger than  shyness or insecurity or nervousness, or rejection.

I didn’t read last night because it was my first time at 2nd Saturday, and some kind of rookie etiquette told me to wait and see. After Jeffrey Little and Josiah Bancroft, the featured readers, did their thing, a dozen braver souls than I approached the open mic. Some were funny, several were touching, a couple (I confess) were a bit incomprehensible to my unaccustomed-to-hearing-live-poetry ears. One moved me to tears.

There was no pay to read; no published credit or critique. The reader got nothing out of the couple or three minutes before the crowd other than fulfilling the desire to share their words, to participate.

It takes a lot of things to be writer: courage, perseverance, good grammar, a story to share, a desire to say. It takes something else to stand before a group, even in a trusting atmosphere, and read your words. Courage? Ego? I don’t know, but I felt it—and something else.

I wanted to write a poem.

The problem with that is, I don’t write poetry. I haven’t since high school. I’m not sure I know how. I write fiction, non-fiction, some memoir; I write for adults, children, young adults. I’d write for aliens if I knew the right language. But poetry is the foreign land of writing to me, and I have no idea how to navigate it.

And yet, last night at the open mic, listening, I grew an idea. A poetical idea. And now the open mic is speaking to me, too.

This is a surprise, and because of that, it feels like a gift. And to use a cliche, who looks a gift horse in the mouth? This is the allure of art. I listened to poets read, and it made me want to write poetry.

No wonder this group has been going since 1983.