Rhythm & Verse: A Literary and Music Salon

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Featured Musicians for December 2019
Joseph Arnold with Eric Coyne

Joseph Arnold, jazz composer and violinist, and Eric Coyne, classical cellist, will present a fully improvised experience that melds sonic landscapes and forms from classical, jazz, folk, and world traditions, creating lyrical and inviting works that can be heard only at this live performance.

Featured Actors
Emma Gibson and Marcia Saunders

Contributing Artist
Tom Tansey

Friday, December 6th, 6:45pm
at Chestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse
20 E. Mermaid Lane, Chestnut Hill, PA 19118


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Emma Gibson
Emma Gibson is a writer, director, actor and producer, originally from the UK but now living in Philadelphia. In the UK she worked as an actress in London, Edinburgh, on tour and regionally around the UK in both new writing and classical theatre, for BBC radio drama, and film.

In Philadelphia she has worked with many local companies, and most recently performed in the Barrymore nominated production of Perfect Blue. She has also directed multiple classical theatre productions at The Shipley School. As the founding producing artistic director of Tiny Dynamite she has produced over 20 productions ranging from Scottish one acts, to full length plays that integrate complex technology in performance.

She is also the proud Mom to Oscar and Willow. Thanks to Susan for this wonderful opportunity. www.britishemma.com


Marcia Saunders

People’s Light: Over 85 productions including Cora in Morning’s at Seven, Ethel in Moon Over Buffalo, Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility, Stella in Stella and Lou, Mrs. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, Dotty in Noises Off, Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Skin of our Teeth, My Mother Said I Never Should, A Room Of One’s Own, Heartbreak House, Abelard & Heloise, Toys in the Attic, Memory of Water, The Stonehouse, Hamlet, The Misanthrope, The Taming of the Shrew.

Theatre Includes: Recently Paige in HIR at Simpatico Theatre, made her directorial debut at Candlelight Theater in Delaware directing Steel Magnolias. Off Broadway: The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (Atlantic Theatre Co.) Regional: The Wilma, Arden Theatre, Two River Theater, Quintessence Theater. Playing Claire in A Delicate Balance garnered Marcia a Best Supporting Actress award and she has received numerous Barrymore nominations including Best Actress for Stella and Lou and A Man from Nebraska.

Tom Tansey
Tom Tansey is an actor, producer, and proud former resident of Chestnut Hill. He was most recently seen on stage at the Steel River Playhouse in the regional premiere of Anna Ziegler's Boy and as Henry Higgins in the Broadway Theatre of Pitman production of My Fair Lady.

Other recent productions include The Christians at the Playcrafters of Skippack, Rounding Third with the Electric Theatre Company, the Barrymore-nominated production of 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Montgomery Theater, and the US premieres of Abi Morgan's Tiny Dynamite and Joe Penhall's Dumb Show in Philadelphia. Tom has also appeared on stage with People's Light & Theatre Company, Bristol Riverside Theater, Azuka Theatre, and Chestnut Hill's own Stagecrafters. Regional theatre credits include Psychopathia Sexualis, Over The Tavern, Book of Days, Twelfth Night, Richard III, and Lonely Planet.

Off stage, Tom lives in Collegeville with his lovely wife, Diane, without whom none of the above would have been possible.

Joseph Arnold
Joseph Arnold is a violinist, composer, and leader of the Joseph Arnold Orchestra. Joseph grew up studying classical and fiddle music and graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 2006 with a BA in Jazz Studies. He has experience playing with many different kinds of groups, including orchestras, small string ensembles, indie rock bands, jazz bands, blues bands, pop bands, a tango band, country and folk bands, as well as a far-out space rock improvisation group. “I’ve been playing violin since I was 5 years old,” he told us, “and have been learning it wherever I’ve been since then … For as long as I can remember I loved playing music, whether at concerts or for the plumber who came to fix the sink.” Joseph says he plays the violin “to find deep peace and awakeness in every moment of my life.” “His music fills a longing you may not have even known was there.” comments Joy R. of Philadelphia.

Eric Coyne
Cellist Eric Coyne has been an active teacher, performer, and chamber musician in the Philadelphia region since 2001. He currently teaches cello, music theory, and coordinates the string program and chamber music program at Community Music School of Collegeville, where he's been master faculty since 2009. He also taught cello, theory and sight-reading in the Suzuki Academy at Music School of Delaware from 2009 - 2019 . His performing commitments include Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, Symphony in C, of which he has been a member since 2001; Arcana New Music Ensemble; and Murmuration Improvisation Ensemble. Mr. Coyne holds a B.M. in Cello Performance from the University of Iowa, and an M.M. and Performance-Pedagogy Professional Certificate from Temple University.

Selected Authors - December 6, 2019

Mike Cohen (Bovine Mantra) hosts Poetry Aloud and Alive at Philadelphia's Big Blue Marble Book Store. His articles on sculpture appear in the Schuylkill Valley Journal. His wry writing has appeared in Mad Poets Review, Apiary Magazine, Fox Chase Review, and other journals. Mike has performed in venues including Princeton's Cafe? Improv, the Pen and Pencil Club, the Hedgerow Theatre, Fergie's Pub, Harlem's Apollo Theater, and neither least nor last, Philadelphia's Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Carole Ziegler (Spinelli) Croll (Things) graduated West Chester University with a B.S. in Education. She began her career as a first grade teacher at Collegeville Trappe Elementary School in 1973. After a move to the Chicago area, she became a licensed massage therapist, as well as a teacher of English Language Learners in the Wheaton school district. Her book, The Gift Forthcoming, is a collection of poems about love, beauty and spirit. Carole's work has appeared in various publications, and has been awarded by the Nevada Poetry Society, Poets and Patrons of Chicago, and the Illinois State Poetry Society.

Steve Delia (Fear of Poetry) has been writing poetry for 42 years. He has read in various book stores, coffee houses, libraries and other venues. He has read on WXPN. He is one half of the dueling poets with Mike Cohen. Steve has 6 books. his latest, The Alphabet Concerto. He has won prizes at the Phila Writers Conference including first prize in 2015. Look for Steve and Mike conducting interviews with poets on youtube.

Linda M. Fischer (A Homecoming) -Winner of the 2019 Philadelphia Writers' Conference poetry contest, Linda M. Fischer has published two chapbooks: Raccoon Afternoons and Glory (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry has appeared in Ibbetson Street, Muddy River Poetry Review, Poetry East, Potomac Review, Roanoke Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, SoFloPoJo, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Verse-Virtual, The Worcester Review, and elsewhere. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she is an enthusiastic gardener and lives in Swarthmore, PA. www.lindamfischer.com

Monica Borrin Flint (Forest Bathing) was born in England, where her parents had found refuge a few years earlier after their original country, Poland, was brutally conquered first by the Nazis in 1939 and then by the Soviets in 1945. She moved to the US in 1989 with her husband and two daughters, where she eventually met Dr. Chris Bursk who inspired her to write poetry.

Leslie D. Hamilton (She) wants to live in a world where differences are appreciated and the intrinsic value of women, children and people of color is celebrated. When the world doesn't live up to this ideal, she writes about it. A poet and storyteller with an MBA in marketing, Leslie has performed in numerous venues including the Barnes, African American Museum of Philadelphia, schools, concert halls and the inaugural MAAG Rocks Art Festival. She was recently published in Black, Brown & Beige. Follow her on Facebook at Leslie.d.hamilton247.

Dagmar Iris Hoell (Oyster Mushrooms For Alice)- Poetry and Storytelling has been in a way, a quiet, yet strengthening force in my life since the age of 33. I'am a 'young Crone' still making efforts to live a connected life to the awe and wonder of the Gifts. I was born in a very rural town of Southern Germany in 1948 and immigrated to Philadelphia in 1955. Poetry and Storytelling have been self taught .. nothing formal. In 2018 , i had the pleasure of meeting MaryAnne Miller , publisher and owner of Lucia Press. Together , my first two chap books : The Gazing Eye and Skizzenbuch have been published.

Jeffrey Ethan Lee (air and variations heretic psalm) Jeffrey Ethan Lee's novel The Autobiography of Somebody Else was published by White Pine Press (2016.) His poetry book, identity papers was a 2006 Colorado Book Award finalist and his first poetry book, invisible sister (Many Mountains Moving Press, 2004), was praised in American Book Review etc. Towards euphoria was co-winner of the editor's poetry chapbook prize from Seven Kitchens Press (2012). He won the 2002 Sow's Ear Poetry Chapbook prize ($1,000) for The Sylf (2003), and the chapbook Color Schemes was a finalist for their first poetry chapbook prize in 2015.

Ellen Murphey (Right Now: Mass Shootings in El Paso, Dayton) is an adjunct instructor at Arcadia University, where she teaches courses about gender, memory, coming out, and poetry. She has had poems published in Chiron, Blood & Thunder, and Apiary.

Steve Nolan (The Shaker at Hancock House)- BS in English from the University of Miami and Masters from Barry University, in clinical social work (25 years as a therapist and 30 years in the military ending his career as the Chief of Combat Stress for Paktika Province in Afghanistan). Publications: Passages North, U.S. 1 Worksheets, The Florida Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, River Heron Review and others; his poems featured on National Public Radio, September, 2007 upon returning from Afghanistan.

Faith Paulsen (Attention) is delighted to be included in Rhythm and Verse. Faith's poetry and prose have been published in many venues ranging in alphabetical order from Apiary to Wild River Review. One poem was nominated for a Pushcart. Her chapbook A Color Called Harvest (Finishing Line Press) was published in 2016. Most recently her work has appeared in the QuillsEdge Anthology 50/50: Poems & Translations by Womxn over 50, Mantis, Evansville Review and Terra Preta.

Wendy Fulton Steginsky (Twilight's Small Gestures) is the author of three books of poetry. She attributes her love for the art form to growing up on the shores of Bermuda where the sea's rhythms seeped into her bones and stayed. Her work has been widely published in the Caribbean and the U.S. She was selected as runner up to the 2017 Bucks County Poet Laureate. She resides happily in Doylestown, PA, returning as often as she can to Bermuda.

Alan Toltzis (Parking Lot Meditation) is the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotion and The Last Commandment. A two-time Pushcart nominee, he has published in numerous print and online journals including, Grey Sparrow, The Wax Paper, Hummingbird, IthacaLit, and Poetry NI. He serves as a Contributing Editor for The Saturday Poetry Series in As It Ought to Be Magazine and as an Editor for the Mizmor Poetry Anthology. Find him online at alantoltzis.com and follow him @ToltzisAlan.

Rebeckah Wyant (On Wing & A Prayer) -The yard sale sign called to out-of-town cousins. Besides, the farmhouse had always fascinated Rebeckah. $10 bought a box of Writing Books - several gems in the craft of fiction. Her interest morphed into a hobby. During the solitude of a winter writing retreat by the ocean, Rebeckah Wyant, an MBA amid MFAs, decided to pursue Creative Writing and Publishing degrees - to give life and honor to all those characters she has known, loved, and unloved.