Rhythm & Verse: A Literary and Music Salon

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May 18, 2018

Heather Plank
Heather is an Philadelphia-based actress whose favorite roles include Mom in My Very Own Polar Bear (Act II Playhouse), Jennie in Chapter Two (Pegasus Theatre Project), Dr. Smith in Heart/Lung (Sketch Club Players), and Patsy in Side Man (Players Club of Swarthmore). She also performs with Liberty City Radio Theatre and will be improvising with Better Than Bacon this spring. Her next role is Rowena in Biloxi Blues at Act II this fall.

Jessi Meisel
Graduate of Stockton University, Jessi is a director, choreographer, stage manager, and performer from South Jersey. Thrilled to make her debut at the salon, she has just recently choreographed Sweet Charity with Bridge Players Theatre Company. Past onstage credits include: Robin Starveling in A Midsummer Night's Dream: a Musical Comedy (BPTC), Second Nun in House of Blue Leaves (SCTC), and Kafka in Words, Words, Words (Road Co.).

Nancy Sirianni
Nancy Sirianni is a singer/songwriter from Long Island, NY. To her credit: two critically acclaimed CDs with her former band, the scoldees, whose many performances include: national music festivals Woodstock 99, Kerrville Folkfest and Bethlehem Musikfest; clubs The Bottom Line in NYC, Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, Whisky-A-Go-Go in LA, and Jazz Café The Duke, the Netherlands. Seven of Nancy’s songs have been licensed by film & TV. Solo credits include performances at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and as an opener for Taylor Hicks at Poughkeepsie’s Mid Hudson Art Centre.www.nancysirianni.com for more.

Jon Lauter
Jon Lauter, an extraordinary lead guitar player who will likely make you weep. Jon regularly “sits in” with several bands on Long Island, and credits include a live performances at The Barn at Levon Helm’s in Woodstock, NY.

Selected Authors - May 18 2018

Sandra Becker (Penance) was Bucks County, Pennsylvania Poet Laureate, 2014, selected by Kim Addonizio. Her published books: Dread Islands by Kelsay Books in 2015, Imperfect Matter by WordTech in 2013, At the Well of Flowers by Virtual Artists' Collective in 2011, and Foreign Bodies by Carolina Wren Press in 2004. On September 27, 2014, Becker's poem, "A City Girl Feeds Country Cows," was read on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac. Becker loves artistic collaborations and interpretive dancing.

Mike Cohen (Whoseits and Watchamacallits) 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 Café Improv, the Pen and Pen Club, the Hedgerow Theatre, Fergie's Pub, Harlem's Apollo Theater, and neither least nor last, Philadelphia's Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Steve Delia (Road kill) has been writing poetry for 41 years. He has read in many bookstores, libraries and coffee houses. He has read on WXPN. He has read at Cafe Improv as part of the "Dueling Poets" with Mike Cohen. Steve and Mike are currently conducting interviews with poets which can be viewed on youtube. Steve won first prize at the 2015 Philadelphia Writers Conference. He currently has a new chapbook called "The Alphabet Concerto."

Ray Greenblatt (Under the sink) is an editor on the Schuylkill Valley Journal and teaches a poetry course at Temple University. His work-Twenty Years on Graysheep Bay-is an experimental novel, half poetry and half prose (Sunstone Press, 2017). His newest book of poetry is Nocturnes & Aubades (Parnilis Pub, 2018).

Roy Isen (The Prison Visitation Room) recently retired from a long career as a videographer. He photographed, edited and produced documentaries, feature stories, entertainment and comedy pieces. He has also covered the often sensationalist fodder of daily TV news. Roy has won three Emmy Awards for his work behind the lens. He is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio in Havertown, PA.

Jeffrey Ethan Lee (Color schemes) Lee's novel: The Autobiography of Somebody Else (White Pine Press, 2016). His dramatic poem: identity papers (Colorado Book Award finalist, 2006). identity papers (Drimala Records CD, a 2006 Grammy Award nominee). His poetry book: invisible sister (2004). Color Schemes (2015 Moonstone's poetry chapbook prize finalist). Towards Euphoria (2012 co-winner of the Seven Kitchens Press editor's poetry chapbook prize). The Sylf (2003, Sow's Ear Poetry Chapbook prize-winner.) Strangers in a Homeland (Ashland Poetry Press chapbook, 2001).

Maura McInerney (Invisible) loves to tell stories as a writer and lawyer. She is the Legal Director at the Education Law Center, a non-profit legal organization that advocates for educationally at-risk children. A former stutterer, Maura loves to do community theater and karaoke. She is mom to two terrific adult kids.

Karen L. Smith (Grace's Grip - for Collette Suicer) is a percussionist, playwright, director, producer and poet. She is leader of two musical groups: Weez The Peeple and Sistahs Laying Down Hands. Karen has played with many groups and performing artists and was lead percussionist for the Mann Center for Performing Arts Artist in Residence Program. Karen has written several plays- most recently: Legacy the play and Legacy II, and Where are the Tubmans? Karen is currently the Program Manager for the Philadelphia Jazz Project.