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January Readings in the 570: An Embarrassment of Riches
It’s January, and let’s face it, the fruitcake is all dried up. The tree is dark, the tinsel limp, and the kids have already grown tired of their new toys. Yes, it’s January in northeastern Pennsylvania, and we’re all a little bit bored after the huge holiday extravaganza. But thankfully, this January is a month just bursting with literary readings. In fact, you would have to work overtime to miss one of these great events. So whip out your iPhones and Google Calenders and make a note:
Sunday, Jan. 8, kicks off the Maslow Reading Series at the Barnes and Noble bookstore on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. This series features faculty members from the Wilkes University Creative Writing Program. This is a unique opportunity to hear real masters of their craft present their work. Three years ago, I sat in that same bookstore and heard Beverly Donofrio read from a new memoir she was writing. It was surreal, and a moment that changed my writing life. I strongly encourage you to check this event out. This year, the Sunday night reading will feature such established writers as: Christine Gelineau, Cecilia Galante, Jeff Talarigo, Nancy McKinley, Robert Mooney, John Bowers, and poet/memoirist Phil Brady.
The Maslow Reading Series happens all week long at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Sunday night is at Barnes and Noble on the Square and the rest of the week moves to The Henry Center Auditorium on the Wilkes campus, and features film samplers, plays and even an alumni reading on Thursday night in which I am honored to be included.
Saturday, Jan. 14, is the next Writer’s Showcase at New Visions Studio and Gallery on Vine St., in Scranton. The series was co-founded by Jason Lucarelli and Brian Fanelli, and will feature a number of local and regional writers including Dawn Leas, Rich Howells, Bridget McIntyre, Frank Sabina, Beth Burke, Tricia Kinney, and Jen Bokal. The Writer’s Showcase is unique in that it “will feature published local authors and at least one undergraduate or graduate student per reading to ensure new voices are heard and supported,” said Fanelli. Doors open at 7 p.m. and this event is also free and open to the public. I suggest you head over early and admire some of the local artisans’ work adorning the gallery’s walls. It’s a great space and a wonderful series.
Tuesday, Jan. 17, we head back down to Wilkes-Barre for the kick off to the Osterhout Free Library’s Poetry Series 2012, hosted by Rachael Goetzke, local writer and librarian.
Goetzke has rounded up some very talented writers to conduct these free workshops every third Tuesday of the month. The first is hosted by Goetzke, and starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Gates Lab at the Osterhout Free Library on South Franklin St., in Wilkes-Barre. For more information call Goetzke at 823-0156, extension 217.
Finally, my own reading series, Prose in Pubs, is back on Sunday night, Jan. 22 at Jack’s Draft House on Prescott Ave., in Scranton. This month we have another fabulous headliner, Laura E. J. Moran, who is a brilliant poet and has performed all over the country. Reading with her will be Gale Martin, Dawn Leas, and Dale Wilsey. The event, which I co-host with the super-spectacular Jim Warner, starts at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the over-21 public.
So put away the blinking Rudolph car hood ornament, detox the eggnog from your system, box up the ugly sweaters (on second thought maybe you should dry-clean them first), and head to any of these events. January is setting herself up to be anything but boring!

Amye Barrese Archer is a writer and teacher living in Scranton. You can read more about her at www.amyearcher.com.

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