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May 19, 2015: Kelli at Hemingway's in Pittsburgh, PA

I'll be featured at Hemingway's along with Nancy Krygowski, Richard St. John, and Philip Terman on Tuesday May 19 at 8pm.

Address: 3911 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Free and open to the public.

Febrary 23, 2015: Kelli at La Mama in NYC!

I'm excited to announce that I'll be part of the Women's Poetry Happening / Poetry Electric reading at the world renowned off-off Broadway La Mama Experimental Theatre Club!

Where: 74A East 4th Street (bet 2nd & Bowery) New York, NY 10003

When: Monday Feb 23rd, at 8pm.

Tickets are $10.

January 24, 2015: Little Patuxent Review Reading in Columbia, MD

I'll be sharing new poetry in the launch reading of Little Patuxent Review's Winter 2015 Issue.

When: January 24, 2015, 2pm
Where: Oliver’s Carriage House, 5410 Leaf Treader Way, Columbia, MD 21045

February 24, 2014: Big George at Westfield State University

I'm excited to announce that I'll be performing Big George at Westfield State University.

Date: February 24, 2014.
Time: 7:30pm.
Location: Westfield State University's Dever Stage, Westfield, Massachusetts.
Cost: Free and open to the public. All ages welcome.

Septemeber 19, 2013: Salon 7 Benefit

I'll be speaking at Salon 7, a benefit for the New Hazlett Theater, about my experience as the first artist in their Community Supported Art Performance Series. Click here for ticket info!

August 10, 2013: New Hazlett CSA Performance Series

I'm thrilled to announce that I've been selected to perform my one woman show Big George in the New Hazlett CSA Performance Series! For information about the show, click here. For the official press release, click here.

July 31, 2013: Cave Canem Pittsburgh Reading

Participants in Cave Canem's 10-session Pittsburgh workshop "Being Ourselves in Our Poetry," share poems honed in class. Instructor Kelli Stevens Kane will read and host.

Reception follows. Free and open to the public. Kaufmann Center, 2nd Floor Large Conference Room, 1825 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

For the official press release click here.

June 15, 2013: Americans for the Arts Convention

I'll be appearing in a private event at the Americans for the Arts National Convention in Pittsburgh PA, as one of the featured artists of the New Hazlett Theater's CSA Performance Series.

April 26, 2013: Performance @ Gallery Crawl in Pittsburgh's Cultural District

Catch a preview of me and the other the artists featured in the upcoming New Hazlett CSA Performance Series at 937 Liberty Avenue above Bricolage, in the Gallery Crawl on Friday April 26, 2013 at 6pm!

April 11, 2013: Eleven Benefit Dinner Performance

I had the honor of performing a poem at an exclusive dinner benefit event for the New Hazlett Theater at Eleven Contemporary Kitchen. All proceeds were generously donated to the New Hazlett, allowing them to continue to provide production support to local artists in their world-class venue.

January 6, 2013: Kelli's Poetry on Radio Feebs

I'll be featured on Radio Feebs again! 17:30 to 18:00 Paris time, 11:30am to Noon EST. And 04:00 to 04:30 Paris Time, 10-10:30pm EST. More details below. Tune in here to listen.

The show will re-air at 10pm EST on: Wednesday March 13, Sunday March 10, Wednesday February 13, Sunday February 10, Wednesday January 23rd, and Sunday January 20th.

December 23, 2012: Kelli's Poetry on Radio Feebs

Another international appearance! I'll be a featured poet on Radio Feebs, an internet radio station based in Europe. Poetry by Kelli Stevens Kane and William James. Music by Adam Murphy and Josue Febles. The show will air on Sunday Dec. 23, 17:30 to 18:00 Paris time, 11:30am to Noon EST. Tune in here to listen.

October 1, 2012: One World Cafe Virtual Reading Series

My first international podcast is now available here! Hear poems from "Hallelujah Science," and a lively discussion about all things KSK. Hosted by Claire Hart of Munich, Germany, the One World Café Virtual Reading Series, published on Her Circle Ezine, is an online magazine of women´s creative arts and activism.

Her Circle Ezine has an international staff based in North America and Europe and readers all over the world.

From their site: "By celebrating artists and writers whose work addresses the social issues of our time, we strive to bring these issues to the fore, whilst reaffirming connections between art, politics, and life."

A Reading and Conversation Series for the Community

MAY 30, 2012, 6:30pm: Series Opening and Light Refreshments
Trinity A.M.E. Church, 2700 Wylie Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15219

June 25, 2012, 5:30pm: Kindness in The Hill
Hill District Library, 2177 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

July 15, 2012, 4:00pm: Men and Women of Grace
Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1000 Bryn Mawr Rd., Pgh. 15219

August 16, 2012, 6:30pm: Close as Family
Trinity A.M.E. Church, 2700 Wylie Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Kane will read from her oral history manuscript, "Big George's Wylie Avenue." The manuscript celebrates the legacy of Pittsburgh's Historic Hill District in stories told by people who knew her late grandmother, Hill District matriarch Georgetta Holmes Stevens (aka Big George). Kane will encourage audience discussion on themes of family, community and home.

Said Kane, "Big George used to visit funeral homes whether or not she knew the deceased person. In trying to figure out why, I managed to collect a treasure trove of stories about what made family and community strong in her era." Kane added, "We have August Wilson's Hill; we have Teenie Harris's Hill; and now we have this portrait of The Hill from a woman's perspective."

The Series is free, and will be videotaped.

Funding for the series was provided by The Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Fund, an initiative of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments.

July 14, 2012: Kelli on SLB Radio

I'll be discussing "Big George's Wylie Avenue: Wisdom of The Hill" live on The Saturday Light Brigade: Award-Winning Public Radio for Kids and Adults, this Saturday July 14, at 7:50am, on 88.3 WRCT Pittsburgh. The show can be heard on additional stations listed here.

UPDATE: You can hear the interview at this link. Click forward to 7-8am. My segment starts at 7:50am.

May 26, 2012: Kelli on KQV Radio

I'll be discussing "Big George's Wylie Avenue: Wisdom of The Hill" with Elaine Effort on KQV Radio, 1410 AM, Pittsburgh at 6:30am and 5:30pm on Saturday May 26, 2012.

UPDATE: You can hear the interview at this link after Sala Udin--second segment of show--at the 5 minute mark.


May 25, 2012, 8pm: An Evening with Kelli Stevens Kane
August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

A one woman show featuring original poetry, theater, and oral history rooted in Pittsburgh's Hill District.

Reconnect with who you're meant to be in a dynamic and transformative evening of performances by Kelli Stevens Kane. In her stage debut of three original literary works, 'Big George's Wylie Avenue,' 'I Never Laughed So Much at a Funeral,' and 'Hallelujah Science,' Kane invites you to greet the world with a renewed sense of courage and freedom.

Directed by Mark Staley.

This is the public presentation of Kane's work as an August Wilson Center Fellow, and is free to the public. Click here for the press release.


May 17, 2012, 5:30pm
Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

I'll be featured in Culture Club: Art21 Season Six: History & Glenn Ligon at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The museum was interested in having a poet's take on Glenn Ligon's conceptual painting "Prisoner of Love #1," since the painting includes text. I'll be engaging museum guests in discussion--hope to see you there!


Big George's Wylie Avenue: Wisdom of the Hill, Memory Lane--Hill District Style

Where: Hill House Senior Services (private event)

This event is closed to the public.

Funding for the series was provided by The Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Fund, an initiative of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments.


This year's class of Flight School Fellows gets to ask me anything they want about budgeting. Through Flight School I've discovered that I love budgeting so I'm hoping I can help others to do the same!

This event is closed to the public.

April 16, April 9, March 19, 2012: PRIVATE RESIDENCY in PITTSBURGH, PA

As part of my August Wilson Center Fellowship, I'll have the pleasure of working with 4th and 5th graders at Miller African Centered Academy in Pittsburgh's Hill District. My grandparents raised my dad, aunt, and uncle in The Hill, and my literary work--the oral history, play, and poetry manuscript-- is rooted in The Hill, so I can't wait to share my work with these students!

This residency is closed to the public.


I'll be reading the part of "Woman in Gray and White" in "The Swallowtail Project," a choreopoem written by Bianca Spriggs and directed by Kim El. This staged reading is part of the monthly August Wilson Reading Roundtable series at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

Where: 980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

When: 7pm


I'll be part of a Cave Canem reading at The Carnegie Museum of Art with Terrance Hayes and Yona Harvey in an evening of poetry and conversation inspired by the visual arts exhibit Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story.

Where: Heinz Galleries, Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080

When: 7pm


I'll be reading with Angele Ellis in the International Women's Day celebration at Penn State Greater Allegheny.

When: 12:15-1:30pm

Where: Crawford Building, Room 102

UPDATE: Here's a photo from the event!

February 17, 2012: POETRY READING in NEW YORK, NY

The Poetry Project at St. Marks' Church is honoring the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology with a celebratory reading, and I'll be participating!

Where: St. Mark's Church, 131 East 10th Street, New York, New York 10003

When: 10pm

Cost: Free


I'll be one of the featured poets in Soulscapes presented by the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

UPDATE 1/17/12: The event has been canceled. Please visit the Kelly Strayhorn Theater website for other great events!


I just confirmed that I'll be performing at TEDxWomen Pittsburgh.

Where: The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., Pittsburgh, PA, 15212

When: The event takes place from 1-8pm. I perform at 2pm.

The Event Program: Page 1, Page 2, and Page 3.

October 21, 2011: POETRY READING in NEW YORK, NY

I'll be the spotlight poet in the Son of a Pony Reading Series opening for award winning poet James Richardson.

Where: Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

When: Doors open at 5:45pm, reading starts at 6pm

Cost: $7 admission includes free drink

Click here for more information, and here for the event flier.

Update: After the reading at Cornelia Street, I went to Occupy Wall Street and did a poem through the human mic! And then I was part of the crowd with Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie at Occupy Columbus Circle. What a night!

October 13, 2011: POETRY READING in NEW YORK, NY

Aimee Herman and I will be featured poets! The reading is presented by DDAY Productions.

Where: Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

When: 8-9:30pm

Cost: $3


I'll be reading from "The Bluest Eye," by Toni Morrison, as one of the featured readers at the "fREADom: A Celebration of the Right to Read" Banned Books Reading. Also featured will be Jasiri X, Karl Hendricks, LUPEC, Bricolage Production Company, and Chris Rawson.

Where: University of Pittsburgh, Frick Fine Arts Building, 15260

When: 7-9pm

Cost: Free and open to the public

Read an article about the event.

Click here for the event flier.


As a member of Pittsburgh's Steel City Slam Team, I had the honor of kicking off the 2011 National Poetry Slam in Cambridge, MA, performing the opening poem for the 300+ competing poets!

Where: Le Meridien Cambridge-MIT, 20 Sidney Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

When: 3:30pm

UPDATE 8/16/11: Teammate William James provides a great recap of the National Poetry Slam--including the opening poem, which I already know will be one of my favorite performances of my entire life!

After changes in the original team line-up due to availablity issues, members of the 2011 Steel City Slam team are Adri, Alaina Marie, Brian Francis, William James, and myself. There were 75 teams from across the nation competing at the slam. In addition to performing the opening poem, I served as Team Alternate and Assistant Coach.


I'll be reading at the First Annual New York City Poetry Festival! I'll be appearing in a group reading presented by The Mom Egg. This two day festival is free and open to the public.

Where: Governors Island, Stage 2, New York, NY

When: 4pm


As part of the Steel City Slam Team, I'll be part of a reading and discussion with high school students from the University of Pittsburgh's Young Writer's Institute.

This event is closed to the public.


Tonight's Team Showcase is your last chance to see the Steel City Slam Team perform before we head to Nationals! Adri, Alaina Marie, Brian Francis, Kelli Stevens Kane, and William James will each perform a mini-feature after a short non-competitive open mic.

Two chapbooks will be available for purchase: William James's new Busted Futures/Gentle Dreams, as well as our new Steel City Slam Team anthology chapbook called 5972 (in honor of the Shadow Lounge).

Where: Shadow Lounge, 5972 Baum Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15206

When: 9:30pm

Cost: $5 COVER//18+


I'm excited to be reading at the longest running poetry series in Pittsburgh! Ziggy Edwards, Sheila Carter Jones, Joan Bauer, and Kris Collins will also be featured.

Where: Hemingway's, 3911 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

When: 8pm


I'll be part of a group reading in NYC presented by The Mom Egg! Members of Above the Bridge Writers Café will also be featured. One of the poems I'll read is the opening poem from the current issue of The Mom Egg. I think it's one of the best poems I've ever written, but it was rejected eleven times!

I debuted this piece at the Sunstar Music Festival, an occasion which inspired me to find a musical, audience participation solution to reading it (after a more than a decade of feeling like it wasn't working onstage). I can't wait for the NYC debut of this new improved version!

Where: Word Up Bookstore, 4157 Broadway @ 175th St, NYC, NY 10033

When: 6:30-8:30pm


I'll be doing my first Cave Canem reading as a first year Fellow at Cave Canem’s 16th Annual Retreat!

Where: University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Village Hall, 15601

When: 7:30pm


I've been asked to HOST a slam at Fleeting Pages! Fleeting Pages has inspired me to take a risk, and I hope the inspiration reaches you too!

This will be a slam for everyone! I'm inviting folks to expand the concept of slam poetry.

From the event description: "Have fun, take a risk, and show us what only you can do. The world needs it! All poets welcome. First time slammers welcome!"

Cost: $5

Prize: $100

How it works: Sign up at 8:30, slam starts at 9pm sharp. First 20 people get on the list. Three minutes max per poem. Judges will be chosen from the audience and encouraged to score based on originality and content as well as performance. We'll go three rounds. Poets: don't limit yourself to "slam" poetry. Highest scoring poet takes $100!

Advance sign up: Email hello(at) or RSVP on Facebook.


Angele Ellis and I are reading together at Fleeting Pages, the temporary bookstore that will go into the East Liberty Borders location in May.

Event description: A poetic journey with Kelli Stevens Kane and Angele Ellis. Join us for poems that combine earth and spirit, movement and music.

How does it work: Angele and I will alternate--this will be fun!

Where: Fleeting Pages, 5986 Penn Circle South, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

When: 7-9pm

Cost: $5 (children under 12 are free)

Check out the gorgeous event flyer by Chris Ellis!

UPDATE 5/9/11: Wow! Despite the fact that Angele and I only had one conversation in preparation for this reading, and no rehearsals, our work blended together seemlessly. We each did three alternating 15 minute sets. Sometimes the poem I'd end with would be the perfect segue into the piece she'd begin with. And vice versa. Between the two of us we had poetry, play scenes, oral history and fiction. And Fleeting Pages really is magic. Go there. Buy books. Bring them food! I also just have to say that I love giving readings, and I love connecting with the audience. This is exactly what I want to do when I grow up. And I'm doing it!


I'll be part of An Afternoon of Poetry, a group reading celebrating National Poetry Month at the Braddock Carnegie Library! As an added bonus, an hour before the reading folks can come to the Transformazium in the library and make a print of one of my poems to take home!

Where: Braddock Carnegie Library, 419 Library St., Braddock, PA 15104

When: Print my poem 2-3pm, Poetry Reading 3-5pm

Info: "The event starts with an open studio with Transformazium as well as tours of the library at 2pm. Transformazium along with poet Kelli Stevens Kane will have a special treat for you waiting at the neighborhood print shop, please stop by. The poetry reading is from 3-5pm. The event is free with a couple of bites of treats though donations would be welcomed and would be on behalf of the library."

My set: I go on around 4:20 and will read for 7-10 minutes.

Cost: Free to the public

UPDATE 5/5/11: This may have been the loveliest poetry event I ever participated in! Edward Murray and his wife Alicia put in a lot of work and thought to make it a great experience!

First of all the Carnegie Braddock Library is gorgeous. I believe this is the first Carnegie Library and many of the original features are still in place. Before the reading we were in this lovely room that felt like a big parlor. Lots of refreshments spread out on tables for everyone.

And folks got to print my poem! It felt like the hint of having a book--seeing people walk around carrying my words! And then we got to read on the big stage. I met some new poets and heard some great work. And the ceiling was painted with clouds and our seats were velvet and old metal.


My Flight School Fellowship is ending! On the last day, all the Fellows, myself included, will present our work to the public. During my presentation I'll have a couple of big announcements!

Where: Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 477 Melwood Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

When: 6-9pm

How does it work: Each artist will do a three minute presentation.

Cost: Free! But due to limited seating please RSVP to Flight School.

UPDATE 4/26/11: Last night I announced a couple of things for the first time ever: It turns out that all the creative work I've been doing over the past 15 years is in fact one thematically connected body of work! More on that to come. Additionally, I just found out that I've been awarded a merit-based scholarship to a playwrighting workshop at the Norman Mailer Center!


I'll be one of four featured writers at The New Yinzer Presents...!

Where: Modern Formations Gallery, 4919 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

When: 8pm

Cost: $5 or a pot luck dish

Here's a link to the lovely event flyer by Mike Marsh!

UPDATE 4/22/11: I did it again--I began reading a poem from flat on the floor. The poem is called "Scrape" and the last time I did it was at the August Wilson Center in July 2010. The poem needs special effects, and since most venues don't provide them, my challenge is to see if I can levitate off the stage...


I've made it to the Steel City Slam FINALS!

I went to many events this year as performance "practice," not unlike a yoga or meditation practice. I wanted two things: 1) to work on handling the variables on any stage, and 2) to encourage other poets by unapologetically offering my work, even when it didn't "fit in."

Turns out everyone's work fits everywhere--the range of work at an event is as wide as we're willing to risk. In this spirit, I hope more non-"slam" poets come to slams in the future. And beyond the slam, I hope more poets who are trying to find the courage to share their work in any venue will take the leap. The risk is worth it.

Where: Shadow Lounge, 5972 Baum Boulevard, Pittsburgh PA 15206

When: 9:30pm

Cost: $5

UPDATE 4/18/11: Check out the cool event flyer!

UPDATE 4/19/11, 6:20pm: My Facebook status update from the night of the finals: "The funny thing about me getting to the finals is I'M NOT A SLAM POET! Even funnier? Me being there proves there's no such thing as a slam poet! I like audience participation. I like poetry. I like interesting people. And look where it got me! You're invited. It's going to be a wild night o fun!"

UPDATE 4/19/11, 1:00am: I threw down--you guessed it--my ballet poem and although I did not "win," I feel like I did! I've put a lot of work into performance in the last nine months, and am happy with my progress. Nine months ago I didn't think I was the type of person who could perform with out paper. Now I do it all the time.

I've also bonded with people who inspire me. The secret benefit of sharing work with others? The people you'll bring into your life.

Congratulations to 2011 Pittsburgh Slam Champion Alaina Dopico! She was incredible and is eligible for the 2011 Individual World Slam. Stacey Waite, who came in second, is eligible for the Women of the World Slam. They qualify to represent Pittsburgh at the 2011 National Poetry Slam with fellow teammates William James, Thomas Lehner, and alternate, Brian Francis.

The feedback I got tonight? It was my best delivery of that poem yet. Yay! A secret thought I had? I was hoping for a mic stand with an arm so I could get the stand away from me, but the multiple variables in performance continually fascinate me. I love the complexity.


A featured reading on the Vernal Equinox at my childhood library? YES!

I'll be reading poetry and excerpts from my oral history manucscript about Pittsburgh's Hill District in the Sunday Poetry and Reading Series.

I prepped a little differently for this reading. Usually I nail everything down tight beforehand. This time I chose my material in advance, but I'm allowing myself the freedom to decide what to read in the moment--based on what I'm feeling, and what I sense is needed in the audience. So it's equal parts prep and whim: my personal Equinox. Hope to see you there!

Where: Carnegie Main Library, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

When: 2-3pm

UPDATE 3/20/11: Three readings in three days. My kind of weekend! My experimental "recipe" made from equal parts prep and whim "tasted" DELICIOUS! I let everyone in on the risk. I brought a ton of poems and oral history excerpts. It was wild to have chosen a few things wondering "Why was I moved to bring this?" and then hear afterwards that it was someone's meaningful moment. I loved this openness--a new kind of trust in myself and in the audience.

UPDATE 3/22/11: Check out this great review!


Surprise appearance! I'll be reading one poem tonight to kick off the "Speaking Of..." reading series. Come early seats go fast!

Where: Amani Cafe, 507 Foreland Street, Pittsburgh PA 15212

When: 8pm

Cost: $5 at the door, BYOB

UPDATE 3/19/11: Another standing room only event! In honor of tonight's Supermoon I read a moon poem called "(64)" from "Hallelujah Science" that involves some movement on my part. I wonder what my poems will look like in performance a year from now?!?

March 18, 2011: POETRY READING in NEW YORK, NY

If you know my work, you're probably wondering what I'll be doing at a Dada Poetry Salon! When I saw the call for entries for Maintenant, I didn't think I had any Dada poetry to offer. But when I saw there was a group reading in NYC for the selected poets, I was inspired to look harder! I was surprised to realize that my Table of Contents poem from "Hallelujah Science" could be a perfect fit. So now, on top of it all, I'm a Dada poet!

Where: Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

When: 6pm

UPDATE March 19, 2011: This event sold out! Maintenant 5 is a gorgeous publication that includes a wide range of interesting work--bravo Three Rooms Press! I love going to NYC and knowing more and more local poets. It's starting to feel like a second home. I can't wait to go back!


I'll be performing a ten minute poetry set between acts at the Sunstar Music Festival: A Celebration of Women in Music.

Details from the festival website: "Shara Worden/My Brightest Diamond: Mixing elements of opera, cabaret, chamber music, and rock, My Brightest Diamond is the project of multi-instrumentalist Shara Worden. A classically trained musician, Worden dazzles audiences with her avant rock performances. Featuring performances by singer/songwriter Bridgette Perdue, poet Christina Springer, poet Kelli Stevens Kane, and DJ Mary Mack."

The SUNSTAR Women in Music Festival, which is presented by the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, runs from March 2-5, 2011.

Where: Shadow Lounge, 5972 Baum Boulevard, Pittsburgh PA 15206

When: 9pm

Cost: $10

UPDATE 3/3/11: SUNSTAR in the news!

UPDATE 3/5/11: Wow. Shadow Lounge was standing room only for this event and the audience had incredible energy. I took a big risk by trying a new idea: asking for audience participation in a poem called "(83)." This was one of the poems I'd asked Staycee Pearl to take a look at (see Kelli's Research, Part 3 below). The risk paid off. The result was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had on stage!

UPDATE 3/12/11: Check out the gorgeous SUNSTAR program and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater's news about SUNSTAR Success! It felt great to be part of one of the three sold out shows!

CANCELED February 17, 2011: POETRY READING in PITTSBURGH, PA CANCELED AVA Lounge: Soulscapes, 8pm


I'll be reading from and discussing my oral history manuscript in the People's University Lecture Series!

Event Description: Who held our families and communities together in prior generations, and can their stories help us find wholeness today? In this presentation, poet and oral historian Kelli Stevens Kane will read excerpts from her oral history manuscript about Pittsburgh's Hill District. A discussion will follow.

Where: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Quiet Reading Room - First Floor

When: 3pm

UPDATE 2/9/11: This went as well as it possibly could have. The house was packed. The most amazing thing to me was reading the first excerpt, then looking up and seeing people with tears welling up in their eyes. It's clear there's a need and a demand for this material across gender, racial, and generational lines. I got EIGHT requests to present at other venues, and can't wait to share more!


Tune in to WYEP 91.3 FM on January 19 at 7:30pm or January 22 at 6am to hear me on Prosody, a radio show featuring the work of poets and writers. I'll be reading from and discussing my first poetry manuscript, "Hallelujah Science," with Renée Alberts. WYEP is an NPR affiliate which can be heard in Pennsylvania and surrounding states.

UPDATE 3/26/11: My appearance on Prosody, can now be heard here. It's also available on iTunes!


I was invited, along with a few other local poets, to perform and talk to Peabody High students about poetry. They were one of the most respectful and tuned in audiences I've ever encountered. A few students shared their work with us. Um--were teenagers in my day this talented? Peabody High students deserve recognition for inspiring the visiting poets.

November 13, 2010: POETRY READING in New York, NY

I'll be part of a group reading featuring poets, fiction writers, and essayists of The Mom Egg journal, edited by Marjorie Tesser.

Where: Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, NYC

When: Saturday, November 13, 2010

Time: 1:30-3:45pm

Cost: $5

UPDATE 11/16/10: This summer I wrote a poem called "Hardened" that digs into the darker side of my early ballet training. The first time I read this poem out loud, I realized it was impossible and absurd to stand still reading it, so I took a risk and added dance movements. I debuted the piece at the August Wilson Center in July 2010.

When I was invited to read at this reading--at Bowery Poetry Club in NYC--walking distance from the Joffrey Ballet School (where I spent a summer in the eighties studying ballet on a partial scholarship) I knew I wanted to up the ante and do this poem there from memory, while dancing. So, over the last month I've practiced the poem daily, rehearsed it at open mic after open mic, and even enrolled in an Afro-Modern Dance class at the August Wilson Center to refresh my training.

I'm beyond happy to report that the performance went really well this weekend. It's an amazing feeling to realize I arrived in NYC for a reading without any poems on paper, pulled this off and got a great audience reaction. My personal review? I know I held back a little. I do enough improv in the piece that each performance is a gamble. I do the poem barefoot and was afraid of splinters. Fear is stage pollution. I love the risk and challenge of this piece and am aiming for a performance of it where nothing is held back!

November 2, 2010: OPEN MIC in PITTSBURGH, PA

Okay so Pittsburgh's Shadow Lounge has such a great vibe--eclectic crowd, big welcome livingroom feel--go there. The mic opens up every Tuesday at 9pm. 3rd Tuesday is a Poetry Slam. Every other Tuesday is "Release: Live Open Mic." I've done the slam a few times (see my Dec. 15, 2009 post below for more info on that), but last night I finally participated in "Release." Here you will see poets, dancers, musicians, folks doing all three. No boxes to think out of here. Love it.


I'll be a featured poet at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture! This event is part of offCenter, the AWC's summer performance series.

Where: 980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222

When: I'll be doing two sets--one in the 6:30-7:30 slot, and one in the 9:30-10:30 slot.

UPDATE 8/7/10: Got to wait in the "green room" before each set. Very rock star. I'd just come from VONA, and Brian Francis, also featured, had just come from Cave Canem. We decided to radiate our post-workshop magical energy off the stage.

I did two very different 15 min. sets, including reading one piece lying flat on the floor, a brand new (longer) one while dancing improv ballet (did ballet for 10 years and have just begun to write about it), and a bunch more. I have never felt more uninhibited on stage. Thank you AWC!


I've never been to one of these but it sounds interesting and I'm going to participate: Poetry Without Walls, 14th Annual OPEN READING.

Here's a description of the event from the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange calendar of events: "No featured sign-up lists...everyone welcome... bring your poems, books, & the words..."

Where: Garfield Art Works, 4931 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

When: 8 p.m.

UPDATE 6/6/10: I feel lucky that each time I've tried a new event in Pittsburgh, I connect with good folks. This event was no exception. Check it out next year!

June 1, 2010: OPEN MIC in PITTSBURGH, PA

I finally made it to an open mic at Hemingway's. I wasn't sure which of my poems to read, so I made a game of trying to pick one that had connecting elements with the work of the four featured writers (who, by the way, were all excellent). Magically, I did have a poem that fit the bill. It's titled "(40)," and is one of the poems that was recently accepted to Mythium Literary Journal. I'd never read it to an audience before, and was happy to get lots of positive feedback. Make it to one of these readings if you can.

April 25, 2010: POETRY READING in NEW YORK, NY

I've been invited to read in Greenwich Village! It will be great to meet and read with other contributors to the upcoming issue of The Mom Egg. Here are the details:


Celebrate Poetry Month and pre-party for Mother’s Day!

Friends and family welcome (though this reading is geared for adults).

The Mom Egg publishes sharp, articulate, inventive work by mothers about everything, and by everyone about mothers and motherhood.

Marjorie Tesser, Editor.

Where: Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

When: 6-8pm

Cost: $7 (includes one drink or food credit)

UPDATE 4/28/10: Hats off to Marjorie Tesser for putting an amazing reading together. A great space, combined with well-chosen work, performed by a warm community of writers, made it an exceptional night.

SUNSTAR Women in Music Festival: Canceled!

2/9/2010: I'm excited to announce that I just got invited to read at the kickoff of Kelly-Strayhorn Theater's SUNSTAR Women in Music Festival on March 6, 2010. I'll post more details as they become available.

2/16/2010 UPDATE: Unfortunately the festival has been canceled. Be sure to check out other KST events!

December 15, 2009: POETRY SLAM in PITTSBURGH, PA

Itching to perform again, I found the opportunity as a first time participant in the Steel City Slam which takes place at the Shadow Lounge on the third Tuesday of each month at 9pm. This is a very welcoming environment for newcomers. Although there is a competitive element to any slam, this one is equally supportive, and included a wide range of styles. If you are thinking about trying it as a performer or audience member, definitely check it out. I had lots of fun, met some great local poets, gave two good performances and got lots of positive feedback. A perfect night.


Hip Mama, The Parenting Zine presents a reading by Pittsburgh writers:

Deesha Philyaw, Christina Springer, Melissa Sokulski, Kelli Stevens Kane, Robin Monroe, and Hip Mama short fiction contest winner Amanda Gilby, reading from her piece featured in Issue 44: The Creativity Issue.

This latest issue honors and celebrates musicians, writers, and artists who can nurture their kids and their art.

Where: Rebellious Nature Radical T-Shirt & Fair-Trade Gift Shop & Art Gallery.

When: 7pm

This reading is part of Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn.

For Deesha's blog coverage of the event click here. I will personally say that this reading was one of the most compelling that I ever attended, and the writers hope to read together again. It also reminded me how much I've missed performing, and I can't wait to do more.

UPDATE 4/7/10: Rebellious Nature has closed its brick and mortar location, but they are still selling shirts online.

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Photo by ASK