It’s hard to predict what AWP will look like this year, as the conference returns to an in-person event (while also offering virtual passes). Last year was entirely virtual, and the 2020 event, held in early march in San Antonio was… a debacle. If Twitter is any indication, folks attending in person are nervous (to interact with humans again), excited (to interact with humans again), and completely baffled by what to wear. Others are bowing out due to ongoing concerns over COVID-19 safety and, in many cases, chronic symptoms brought on by long-haul COVID.
The one thing that’s certain is that Philadelphia, the host city, is an excellent place to spend a literary long weekend. To that end, we reached out to some of our favorite Philly-based writers for their recommendations—where to eat, drink, visit, and (of course) buy books. We also combed through the prodigious offsite event listings and spotlighted the most FOMO-inducing readings and parties. It’s an embarrassment of riches, really. Enjoy!
EAT: Café y Chocolate, 1532 Snyder Ave
There is a lot of venerable Mexican food in Philadelphia—everyone has their favorite spot, a lot of it down in South Philly. I particularly love breakfast at Café y Chocolate and believe that someone who writes poems could write one about their chilaquiles.
DRINK: Baltimore Avenue abundance, Baltimore Ave & 50th
If you want a break from downtown and don’t mind getting on the trolley, you could spend several happy hours on Baltimore Avenue. There’s dueling pizza and beer at the far ends of Clarkville and Dock Streets, then two different awesome Ethiopian coffee options between Alif Brew and Cafe Buna. While you’re in the area, check out the utterly wonderful shops Vix and Ceramic Concept at 50th and Baltimore.
VISIT: The Colored Girls Museum, 4613 Newhall St
This is an out-of-the-way time commitment, but it will change your life. It’s a house museum and also a universe with artwork and memorabilia in various mediums. In order to visit, you have to schedule a tour. These are led by the founder Vashti DuBois; they are multifaceted and completely unforgettable.
EAT: South Philly Barbacoa, 1140 S 9th St
Don’t be deceived by the no-frills look of this Mexican spot—Chef Cristina Martinez just snagged her fifth James Beard award nomination this week. They keep odd hours and operate with a “you get what we made” menu, but whatever you get will probably be the best taco you’ve had in your life. Plus, a visit to Barbacoa puts you in the heart of the Italian Market, an open-air market that’s been in operation since the 19th century, and is now home to a variety of international cuisines, with one strip in particular also known as “Little Saigon.”
VISIT: Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street
This one’s probably on your radar already, but what can I say—sometimes the tourists get it right! A multilevel mosaic garden created by artist Isaiah Zugar, the Magic Gardens really do have a fairy tale-like quality, but in a a totally Philly way (being that the mosaic is made of broken glass, garbage, and other found objects). The grounds also have a rotating folk art exhibition inside. The PMG is a nonprofit that does a lot of great community outreach work, so it’s doubly worth the price of admission. A great palate cleanser for after you’ve had your fill of dark and spooky at the Mütter.
VISIT: A Novel Idea, 1726 E Passyunk Ave
There are a lot of really great indie bookstores in Philly—please go see a few of them and buy a lot of books!—but A Novel Idea has fulfilled a personal dream of mine: having an indie bookstore within walking distance of my house. A community hub for literary events, local artists, and beginner witches, this is a great stop for any book-lover. Plus, it lands you in the epicenter of the East Passyunk section of South Philly, which boasts a cute and very walkable “main street” vibe, tons more good food, and some of my favorite dive bars in the city. (Hi, Lucky 13 and P.O.P.E!)
EAT: The Franklin Fountain, 116 Market St
You hear “Philadelphia,” you think “cheesesteak.” But local foodies will tell you that the real must-try sandwich is the roast pork, Italian greens, and sharp provolone sandwich at DiNic’s in the Reading Terminal (just look for the long line at lunchtime!). And you can’t go wrong with a treat from the Franklin Fountain, the city’s olde-time-y ice cream parlor, where all of the ice creams and toppings are made in-house.
DRINK: Charlie Was a Sinner, 131 S 13th St
The cocktails and mocktails at Charlie Was a Sinner in Midtown are some of the city’s most delicious and innovative. My favorite’s the Beast of Burden (bourbon, Brazilian banana liqueur, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and Turkish fig). My husband loves the Hedonist (tequila, mezcal, chai, pear eau de vie, cider, and cinnamon). Nondrinkers will not feel left out with the No Regrets, starring housemade zero proof gin, lemon, and sparkling water, or the Blackberry Ginger Soda.
VISIT: Cherry Street Pier, 121 N Christopher Columbus Blvd
Take a walk toward the Delaware River and the Cherry Street Pier, a reclaimed piece of old waterfront infrastructure. Once, this soaring space was a municipal pier and warehouse. Now, it hosts food stands, art and crafts for sale, art installations, artists’ studios, and events such as live music and film screenings. There’s also a waterfront garden that’s the perfect place to sit with a snack—or a good book!
EAT: Kalaya Thai Kitchen, 764 S 9th St
Kalaya, a Thai restaurant a few blocks from my house, is also one of the best restaurants in the country (seriously!) thanks to the skill of Chef/owner Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon. My favorite dishes are Pla Tod Kamin (fried monkfish tossed in turmeric sauce), Laab Hed Yang Jae (Primordia mushroom salad), and the side dish Pad Ma Kua Yao Tao Jieow (stir-friend eggplant with fermented soybean sauce). Like a lot of restaurants in Philly, it’s BYOB.
DRINK: Dirty Frank’s, 347 S 13th St · Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, 1200 E Passyunk Ave
· Le Caveau, 614 S 7th St · Bar Poulet, 2005 Walnut St
For a dive, try Dirty Frank’s or Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar. For a sweet, quaint wine bar, try Le Caveau, above the Good King Tavern. For a good cocktail, try Bar Poulet—which also bills itself as “the world’s fanciest fried chicken joint.”
VISIT: DiBruno Brothers Piazza, 930 S. 9th St
I don’t want to jinx anything, but if Philly happens to want to show off with some unseasonably warm weather in late March, an incredibly pleasant place to pass a couple of hours is the DiBruno Brothers Piazza on in the Italian Market. The Italian Market itself is worth seeing. Tourists might recognize it as one of the places through which Rocky ran, and it does have a tourist element, but it’s also actually quite a useful place for people who live in the vicinity as well (read: me)—it offers really affordable produce in open-air stands; delicious takeout or dine-in options at places like Blue Corn, Nourish, and Casa Mexico; famously good charcuterie selections at the original DiBruno Brothers and Claudio’s; and wine and beer at the DiBruno Brothers’ bottle shop. Take a stroll, round up some delicious snacks and drinks, and then enjoy them at a free outdoor table in a lot overlooked by a wine-and-cheese mural. You won’t regret it.
EAT: Fu-Wah Mini Market, 810 South 47th St
It’s a cliché to say “this place has everything,” but Fu-Wah really does, from loose bags of cilantro and cheap fresh vegetables to high quality homemade fig newtons and Graeter’s ice cream to their most important item: banh-mi hoagies. Roast pork or tofu are my personal favorites but everyone has their own opinions. Episodes of Law & Order playing in the background and the proximity of Lee’s Deli on the corner (where you can get a piece of life-changing homemade carrot cake for $2) makes this spot truly perfect.
DRINK: The Ranstead Room, 2013 Ranstead St
It’s a nondescript door down what seems like a dark trash alley but when you find it and wait a while and then they let you into this speakeasy/bar, you know you have truly ARRIVED. It’s an absurdly small and dark space, basically just someone’s really fancy living room dripping in velvet and individually lit oil paintings of naked babes but the booths are freshly leathered and the drinks are exceptional. A place to come to celebrate that new book deal or just being with your best people after two long years.
VISIT: Franny Lou’s Porch, 2400 Coral St
There’s just a sharp, special feeling from going to your very favorite coffee shop and nowhere gives me that feeling more than Franny Lou’s, a community space with super tasty food & beverages. My personal favorite is the “Anti-Capitalist” breakfast sandwich with a “Sick ‘n Tired” Ginger Beer, but the menu is a rotating cornucopia of sandwiches, smoothies, baked goods and more highlighting womxn activists of color and movement catchphrases. It’s special and cozy as hell in there and everything tastes good.
EAT: Sabrina’s Cafe, 1804 Callowhill St
DRINK: Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N Front St
VISIT: Mütter Museum, 19 S 22nd St · Autumn mural, 629 S 9th St · Milkcrate Cafe, 400 E Girard Ave
My ideal time in Philly would include a visit to the Mütter Museum, brunch at Sabrina’s in South Philly, swinging by my favorite mural on 9th before picking up my buddy Rocco in Fishtown to go record shopping at Milkcrate then dancing at Kung Fu Necktie. My very favorite Philly thing to do is take a long walk while talking to a friend, like the hours-long one that spanned my first novel, 2 a.m. at The Cat’s Pajamas.
Philly is full of more good food than a body can hold, and there’s way more to experience than is possible in three days. So my first thought is: plan to come back! But while you’re here, eat at Flambo Caribbean Restaurant on Broad Street. It’s a cozy place with great doubles and macaroni pie. For drinks, go to Gojjo, the best unsung Ethiopian spot in West Philly, where the music is on point and you’re sure to make friends. And then visit the historic Paul Robeson House and Museum to experience Philly’s cultural history and see what’s good in the community arts scene.
My partner and I first lived in Philadelphia in 2011-13, two glorious, low-rent years, right before returning to New York so I could get my MFA at Hunter College. My picks reflect that initial encounter with the city, when it stole my heart and made me realize for the first time that life was conceivable (and pretty awesome) outside of New York City.
EAT: Tommy DiNic’s, 51 N 12th St
Reading Terminal Market is an amazing spot to get produce, specialty foods, and my favorite, a huge sandwich with brisket, cheese, and broccoli rabe from DiNic’s, a century-old Italian sandwich shop.
DRINK: Bodhi Coffee, 410 S 2nd St
This tiny coffee shop has the best coffee in Philly in my opinion, and it’s in my favorite neighborhood, Old City. When my partner and I used to live nearby, we’d go on long walks through the cobblestone streets of Old City and always ended up getting a coffee here.
VISIT: Vox Populi and nearby galleries, 319 North 11th St
The site of my first studio in Philly, this old industrial building is also home to Vox Populi, the best known artist-run space in the city, and to a group of incredible smaller artist-run spaces. My favorites are Marginal Utility, Grizzly Grizzly, and Practice Gallery.
A famously walkable city, Philadelphia also boasts a plethora of independent and secondhand bookstores. New Door Books, whose anthology Ways of Walking comes out this May, asked some local writers and avid walkers to share a few favorites worth the amble. Compiled by Justin Coffin, Ann de Forest, Doug Gordon, Mickey Herr, Hannah Judd, and Debra Leigh Scott.
Past the historic sites surrounding Independence Hall, the neighborhoods of Society Hill, Queen Village, and Bella Vista each offer their own inflections on Philadelphia character. Farther south takes you into the vibrant heart of South Philly, a once solidly Italian enclave now infused with Vietnamese, Mexican, and young hipster vibes.
Mostly Books, 529 Bainbridge Street (1.2 miles, 26 minutes)
Mostly Books is one of those magical secondhand bookstores that seems to go on forever, room-after-room, including hidden staircases. The deceptive front building leads to some 50,000 books and 5,000 square feet. Don’t enter looking for anything in particular but open yourself to an endless array of possibilities. Run by third-generation bookseller Joe Russakoff and his partner, Sharon Bruce, it’s a place to spend an hour or two. Don’t miss the boxes of intriguing vintage photographs.
Molly’s Books and Records, 1010 9th Street (1.3 miles, 26 minutes)
Mostly Books’ Joe Russakoff’s sister Molly has also followed the family’s used books tradition. While there’s a tempting selection of fiction, children’s books, and records here, it’s the cookbook collection that really sets Molly’s apart. It’s easy to be inspired in the middle of Philadelphia’s Italian Market, chock-full of the best ingredients and cooking accoutrements (Fante’s Kitchen Shop is next door). Molly’s back room is dedicated to all things food, from classic cookbooks to food writing and obscure vintage tomes on entertaining etiquette.
Head House Books, 619 S. 2nd Street (1.5 miles, 33 minutes)
Head House Books is a beloved locally owned, independent bookstore “straddling the historic Philadelphia neighborhoods of Society Hill and Queen Village.” Head House Books reflects the area’s charming colonial style and offers a warm atmosphere stocked with a varied selection of curated titles, reflecting their belief in reading what matters, not in stocking what sells quickly. Offering literary events and readings, Head House Books has been a vital part of the community since 2005.
Brickbat Books, 709 S. 4th Street (1.4 miles, 30 minutes)
Featuring one of the most enticingly curated shop windows in Philadelphia, Brickbat Books offers an equally artful feast for eye and mind in its intimate honey-toned interior. Located on Queen Village’s iconic Fabric Row, the shop specializes in art, architecture, and children’s books, both used and new. A discerningly selected collection of poetry, graphic novels, ephemera, and records makes Brickbat a treasure trove of rare and unexpected delights.
Partners and Son, 618 S. 6th Street (1.5 miles, 32 minutes)
Founded right before the pandemic by partners Gina Dawson and Tom Marquet, this bookstore/gallery just off South Street goes with what it likes. Partners and Son curates comics and graphic novels, art books and magazines, and art and more from independent presses, keeping a nice variety of local Philly artists and writers available. Not so much a place to go to the shelf and find what you’re looking for as a place to look around and discover something you didn’t know you needed.
A Novel Idea on Passyunk, 1726 E. Passyunk Avenue (1.8 miles, 38 minutes)
A Novel Idea is the three-year-old brainchild of designer Alexander Schneider and writer Christina Rosso-Schneider, who wanted to bring a community-minded bookstores and event space to their neighborhood. They have a special interest in magick, fractured fairy tales, women’s issues, and social justice. In the last decade the Passyunk Square district has boomed with trendy restaurants and upscale shopping, but it still includes traditional shops, family businesses, and historic row houses.
After a stroll (or a Rocky Run) along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s own Champs Elysée, to tour the Barnes Foundation or the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a short detour north takes you the Fairmount neighborhood, home to historic Eastern State Penitentiary, the place Charles Dickens most wanted to visit on his tour of America.
Bookhaven, 2202 Fairmount Ave (1.2 miles, 28 minutes)
Bookhaven is a long-time labor of love by Ricci and Rolf Andeer. Used books of all varieties crowd the tall shelves and sometimes bump out to the floor. If you can’t find something, just ask: the proprietors seem to know every volume of inventory and its exact location. The neighborhood sports coffee shops and hips bars as well as this gem of a store.
For those seeking a longer meander, cross the Schuylkill River and pass through the verdant campus of the University of Pennsylvania into tree-lined West Philadelphia, an assortment of Victorian neighborhoods, diverse, funky, and proud to share the motto “Keep West Philly Weird.” (If time is short, University City is a 10-15 minute ride via trolley lines (green) and the Market-Frankford El (blue), which can be caught underground from 13th Street Station and City Hall.)
House of Our Own Books, 3920 Spruce Street (2.3 miles, 49 minutes)
A dreamy used bookstore in a creaky Victorian, House of Our Own benefits from Penn’s proximity: the upstairs nonfiction section boasts a diverse variety from anthropology to physics, all stuffed into floor-to-ceiling shelves.
The Last Word Bookshop, 220 S. 40th Street (2.4 miles, 49 minutes)
Another used bookstore with a wide variety—an especially good fiction selection and a surprisingly robust number of graphic novels and comics, including some indie publications off the beaten track. Be sure to give a pat to their resident tuxedo cat as you’re wandering the shelves!
Making Worlds Bookstore and Social Center, 210 S. 45th Street (2.8 miles, 59 minutes)
One of the newer additions to the West Philly literary scene, Making Worlds’s modest storefront sits among falafel shops, Ethiopian restaurants, and an Argentinian cafe—an ideal spot to percolate political exchange. This nonprofit cooperative book shop is committed to centering “people whose voices aren’t often centered,” and the selection of books, from social philosophy to practical handbooks to BIPOC literature, children’s books, and graphic novels, reflects the collective’s mission.
It’s been over two years since the last in-person AWP in San Antonio, and as writers very anxiously prepare themselves for literature’s biggest ever summer camp reunion, many are wondering how to spend their evenings catching up with as many of their colleagues as possible. If you are one such writer, the following might help. (For more events, you can check out the offsite listings at AWP.)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23
Featuring Emily Maloney, Edgar Gomez, Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn, and Kristin Keane, and hosted by Lilly Dancyger.
Head House Books, 619 S 2nd St. 7 to 8:15pm
Wednesday Night Poetry at The Fire
Confirmed poets include: JP Howard, Jessica Cuello, Caridad Moro-Gronlier, Sarah Browning, Chloe Martinez, Nicole Callihan, Jen Karetnick, Sarah M. Sala, Meghan Sterling, Julia K. Dasbach, Julie Bloemeke, and more. WNP is the longest running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country and The Fire is Philly’s oldest open mic.
The Fire, 412 W Girard Ave. 7 to 9pm, $10
MoCo Underground & Readings on the Pike Offsite Reading!
Featuring Chris Gonzalez, Melissa Scholes Young, Sofia Fey, K.B. Carle, Jose Hernandez Diaz, Taylor Byas, Zach Powers, Hananah Zaheer, and more.
1219 Vine St. 7 to 9pm
Voicemail Poems at the Pen & Pencil Club
Readings from Voicemail Poems contributors Jason B. Crawford, Warren C. Longmire, Sarah Matthes, Sadie Dupuis, KB, Loisa Fenichell, Raena Shirali, and Daniel Nester.
Pen & Pencil Club, 1522 Latimer St. 8 to 10pm
THURSDAY, MARCH 24
Hosted by Natalie LIma, featuring readings by Gabriel Dozal, Libby Flores, Minda Honey, Jared Jackson, Marcos Damían León, Shanda McManus, Ofelia Montelongo, Elizabeth Owuor, Annabelle Tometich, Christine Kandic Torres, David Joez Villaverde.
The Raven Lounge, 1718 Sansom St. 5:15 to 6:30pm
Women’s Voices, Women’s Stories: An Evening of Memoir
Featuring readings by Jeannine Ouellette (The Part That Burns), Athena Dixon (The Incredible Shrinking Woman), Jayne Martin (The Daddy Chronicles), Gina Frangello (Blow Your House Down), and Lilly Dancyger (Negative Space).
A Novel Idea on Passyunk, 1726 E Passyunk Ave. 6 to 7:30pm
Poems & Stories by the Cheburashka Collective in Solidarity with Ukraine
Readings by poets, translators, and writers, including Katya Bratt-Pfotenhauer, Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, Anna Fridlis, Anna Halberstadt, Hilah Kohen, Olga Livshin, Neon Mashurov, Gala Mukomolova, Luisa Muradyan, Alina Pleskova, Bela Shayevich, Larissa Shmailo, and Lana Spendl.
Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut St. 6 to 8pm
The Experimental Issue: Mizna’s Offsite Reading
Featuring readings from George Abraham, Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman, Tracy Fuad, Glenn Shaheen, Yasmine Rukia, and Issam Zineh.
Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, 3645 Lancaster Ave. 6pm
The Claw: A Reading
Readings by Piyali Bhattacharya, Ariel Delgado Dixon, Stephanie Feldman, Carmen Maria Machado, Sara Nović, and Asali Solomon. Cosponsored by The Lucid Fiction Program and The Creative Writing Program. Register here.
Kelly Writers House Arts Café, 3805 Locust Walk. 6 to 8:30pm
BSL, The OS, 11:11, & CMP at Lot 49 Books
Readings from Black Sun Lit, The Operating System, 11:11 Press, and Contra Mundum, featuring Vidhu Aggarwal, Steven Alvarez, Jared Daniel Fagen, Rainer J. Hanshe, Ginger Ko, Danika Stegeman Lemay, Elæ Moss, Vincent James Perrone, and David Leo Rice.
Lot 49 Books, 1713 S 6th St. 6 to 9pm
The Iowa Review & Michigan Quarterly Review Reading
Featuring contributors Evan Anders, S. Erin Batiste, Jerri Bell, Katie Berta, Ru Freeman, Camille Guthrie, Bret Shepard, and Stella Wong.
MilkBoy Philadelphia, 1100 Chestnut St. 6:30 to 8pm
The Arkansas International & Massachusetts Review Present: An Evening of Poetry & Prose
Featuring readings by Krys Malcolm Belc, Leila Chatti, Joseph Earl, Mag Gabbert, Mark Mayer, Raena Shirali, and Marcela Sulak.
Art in the Age Tasting Room, 116 N 3rd St. 6:30 to 8:15pm
Featuring readings by Matt Bell, Jen Fawkes, Joy Baglio, James Han Mattson, Hilary Leichter, Alex Difrancesco, and Melissa Scholes Young.
Love City Brewing, 1023 Hamilton St. 6:30 to 7pm
Coffee House, Feminist Press, and The Rumpus Present
Featuring readings by Eloisa Amezcua, Grace M. Cho, Gabrielle Civil, Megan Fernandes, Megan Milks, Bishakh Som, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, and Marco Wilkinson.
Yards Brewing Company, 500 Spring Garden St. 7 to 10pm
Mockingbird and Okay Donkey!
Featuring readings by Aubrey Hirsch, Jennifer Fliss, DW McKinney, K.C. Mead-Brewer, Naz Knudsen, Tara Campbell, Veronica Montes, Madeline Anthes, Dani Putney, Ellen Rhudy, and Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez!
Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine St. 7 to 9pm
A Reading by Birds LLC, Fence, Fonograf Editions, & the CSU Poetry Center
Featuring readings Sommer Browning, Lauren Hunter, Vanessa Jimenez Gabb, Jennifer Kronovet, Krystal Languell, Jessica Q. Stark, Anne Lesley Selcer, Rodrigo Toscano, Charles Valle, Jan Verberkmoes, Sean Williamson, and Tobias Wray. BYOB.
PhilaMOCA, 531 N 12th St. 7 to 10pm
Hannah Tinti, Mira Jacob, Jai Chakrabarti, & Marie-Helene Bertino—Small Odysseys: 35 Stories
Edited by Hannah Tinti and published in partnership with the Selected Shorts literary radio program and live show, Small Odysseys presents never-before-published short stories by contemporary authors.
Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St. 7:30 to 9pm
FRIDAY, MARCH 25
Writers Walk through Philly
Ways of Walking, New Door Books invites Explore Philadelphia in the company of local writers such as Nathaniel Popkin, Rahul Mehta, Mickey Herr, David Hallock Sanders, and Ann de Forest, in honor of New Door Books’ Ways of Walking. Walks will leave the Pennsylvania Convention Center every half hour starting at 2 pm.
Blue Stoop Booth, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. 2 to 4:30pm
Omnibus House Party with WR, PBQ, & RHP
Featuring readers from Writers Room, Painted Bride Quarterly, & Red Hen Press: Norman Cain, Keyssh Datts, Lauren Lowe, Sarah Browning, Kyle Brown-Watson, Sadie Shorr-Parks, Paul Siegell, Kazim Ali, Carlos Allende, Jan Beatty, Melanie Conroy-Goldman, Lara Ehrlich, Carleton Eastlake, Beth Gilstrap, Sadie Hoagland, Jim Peterson, Diane Thiel, John Weir, Joan Nockels Wilson, and Yuvi Zalkow.
Ross Commons, Drexel University, 229 N 34th St. 6pm
A TriQuarterly Reading
Hosted by Parneshia Jones and featuring readings by Amina Gautier, Kien Lam, Colleen O’Brien, Cynthia Dewi Oka, and Talin Tahajian.
The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection, 21 N Juniper St. 6pm
Office Hours & Bespoke Crossover Reading
Readings by poets including Kazim Ali, CAConrad, Benjamin Garcia, Kai Coggin, N.K. Iguh, Meghan Pinto, Jerome Murphy, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Wo Chan, Andrea Cárdenas, Irene Villaseñor, Sarah M. Sala, and C. Quintana. Lineup is subject to change.
Tabu Bar, 254 S 12th St.
SEMO Press & Laurel Review Offsite Reading
Featuring readings by Mary Biddinger, Whitney Collins, Robert Long Foreman, Juan Morales, Jessica Reed, Caleb Tankersley, John Vanderslice, and Ursula Villarreal-Moura.
Cartesian Brewing, 1326 E Passyunk Ave. 6 to 7:15pm
Tinderbox Editions Reading
Featuring readings by Laynie Browne, BK Fischer, Athena Kildegaard, Cindy King, Carley Moore, Kevin O’Rourke, Bo Schwabacher, Lesley Wheeler, and publisher Molly Sutton Kiefer.
Chapterhouse Cafe & Gallery, 620 S 9th St. 6pm
Adroit Journal, Deep Vellum, Gulf Coast, Noemi Press, & Pleiades Offsite Reading
Featuring readings by Aurielle Marie, Megan Fernandes, Ananda Lima, Ruben Quesada, Angela Voras Hills, Sophia Terazawa, Mike Soto, Derrick Austin, Karyna McGlynn, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Jackson Bliss, and Megan Kaminski.
Loews Hotel Whiskey Room, 1200 Market St. 6 to 8pm
Iterant Mag, Gigantic Sequins, Rose Metal Press, & Ruth Stone House at Young American Cidery
Featuring readings by Aaron Angello, Kristin Bock, Michael Chang, Loisa Fenichell, Mónica Gomery, Ben Grossberg, John James, Candace Jensen, Elizabeth Deanna Morris Lakes, Molly Ledbetter, Ben Pease, Leanne Ruell, Sasha Stiles, and Bianca Stone.
Young American Hard Cider, 6350 Germantown Ave. 6:30 to 8pm
Getting Off(site): A Sex and the Single Woman Event
Featuring contributors from the Sex and the Single Woman anthology: Melissa Febos, Seema Reza, Minda Honey, Natalie Lima, and Melissa Faliveno. Followed by Broad Hall’s Friday night dance party with Rich Medina (reduced $5.00 cover for reading attendees).
Broad Hall, Divine Lorraine Hotel, 699 N Broad St. 8 to 9:30pm
Choice Words: Writers on Abortion Benefit for Abortion Liberation Fund
Featuring readings Annie Finch, Kazim Ali, Cherise Pollard, Saida Agostini, Camonghne Felix, Daisy Fried, Teri Cross Davis, Caitlin McDonnell, Julie Kane, Kristen Ghodsee, Purvi Shah, Susan Rich, Josette Akresh-Gonzales, Ellen McGrath Smith, Elæ Moss, and Larissa Shmailo. Optional donations benefit the Abortion Liberation Fund.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Samuel MV Hamilton Building, 128 N Broad St. 8 to 10pm
SATURDAY, MARCH 26
Growing From Our Roots: An Asian Debut Author Showcase
Featuring readings by Jean Chen Ho, Shelly Wong, Kyle Lucia Wu, Haolun Xu, Joan Kwon Glass, Jessamine Chen, Bo Schwabacher, Natasha Rao. Sponsored by Kundiman South. Hosted by Joshua Nguyen & Susan Nguyen.
1219 Vine St. 7 to 8pm
Gritty Surrealism: An Absurd Philly Party (SOLD OUT)
Featuring life advice Philly-style from Marie-Helene Bertino, Carmen Maria Machado, Asali Solomon, R. Eric Thomas, and Gritty, played by Kristen Arnett, plus a dance party with DJ John “The Liberator” Morrison. $15.00 in advance, $25.00 at the door. Tickets include three complimentary drinks. Hosted by Blue Stoop, American Short Fiction, Electric Literature, and Lanternfish Press.
1906 Rittenhouse Square. 8 to 11:45pm
From special library collections galore (the handwritten manuscript of Ulysses! Charles Dickens’s stuffed raven, Grip!) to fascinating museums, historic bookstores, and writer-friendly parks, Philly is an excellent place to spend a literary long weekend. As W.C. Fields once said, “I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.”