Last night, Painted Bride Quarterly celebrated St. Patrick’s Day early with a poetry reading at Perch Pub, another installation in our reader-curated series. The room was packed, but there was plenty of food, drink and fun to go around.
First up was a reading by Thomas Devaney, who read poems from his forthcoming book The Picture That Remains, a collaboration with photographer Will Brown. We were honored to hear a lot of new work, and Tom was honored that the crowd often burst into spontaneous applause.
Sue Landers read excerpts from her latest book Franklinstein. a mash-up of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Gertrude Stein’s Making of Americans, and the history of one Philadelphia neighborhood. Obviously one should be the best reader for one’s own work, but Sue had an extraordinary delivery, slow and sober and so in-keeping with her tight, repeated lines and images.
Last up to bat was the night’s featured reader, Kevin Varrone. Kevin read from his most recent publication, a chapbook-titled baseball poem titled Eephus. Like baseball, the poem seemed both strategic and spontaneous, simple and complex.
As PBQ co-editor Kathy Volk Miller put it, “It’s like we called for a theme tonight: love Philadelphia!” Each poet’s work contained a little culture of the City of Brotherly Love, giving the entire room a unique sense of community. Overall, the night was one that only Painted Bride Quarterly folks could provide—plenty of libations, literature, and laughter.