Rhythm & Verse: A Literary and Music Salon

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May 3, 2019

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

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.









Barry Wahrhaftig
Barry Wahrhaftig is the founder, lead guitarist & vocalist for the Hot Club of Philadelphia Gypsy Jazz Band. He's been part of the jazz, rock and blues scene around Philly for many years. He studied Classical guitar at Temple University with the late Peter Segal. Jazz studies with Howard Alden, Gypsy Jazz with Stephane Wrembel in NYC, and with Fapy Lafertin in Holland. Wahrhaftig has taught workshops and private lessons in classical and folk guitar and Gypsy Jazz. He's written extensively about Gypsy Jazz for 'Just Jazz Guitar' magazine, Djangobooks.com, Robin Nolan's 'Gypsy JazzGuitar Secrets,' and his blog; www.GypsyJazzGuitarOnline.com.

The Hot Club of Philadelphia are an acoustic ensemble, dedicated to playing 'Gypsy Jazz.' That's the term used to describe the music pioneered by the legendary original 'Hot Club of France Quintet,' which was led by guitarist Django Reinhardt and Violinist Stephane Grappelli.

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.

Ellen Palestrant
South African-born writer, artist, and filmmaker, Ellen Palestrant, currently resides in Arizona. She was educated in South Africa and Britain and immigrated with her family to the USA in 1987.

Palestrant is a game inventor, hydroponic farmer, special education teacher, television scriptwriter (adult documentary and children's animation), documentary producer, college instructor (English, Humanities, Creative Writing) and co-publisher of a college press.

Her published books include Nosedive, Johannesburg One Hundred, Remembering Dolores, Have You Ever Had a Hunch? The Importance of Creative Thinking, I Touched a Star in My Dream Last Night, Pretzel on Prozac: The Story of an Immigrant Dog, The World of Glimpse, If you can make it, Mr. Harris, so can I, KOPTOE: Transcending Boundaries: The Comrades Marathon, Conversations About Creativity, Let's Do Hunch, Creativity Workbook for Individual Participation and Groups, and Quotes About Creativity.

Visit here website www.EllenPalestrant.com for more.

Selected Authors - May 3 2019

Deidra Greenleaf Allan (What She Heard the Room Say) has been published in American Poetry Review, Haibun Today.com, Poetry Miscellany, Puerto del Sol, West Branch, Umbrella, and Wind Magazine, among other print and online journals. In 2001 she was selected as Montgomery County Poet Laureate in a competition judged by Robert Hass. She has received a Leeway Emerging Artist Award and been a finalist for a Pew Fellowship in poetry. Her poem "Apostrophe to the Living" was selected in 2012 by Musehouse as its Poem of Hope poster.

Elizabeth Austin (Sway) is a poet, photographer, and visual artist. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has appeared in the Schuylkill Valley Journal, See Spot Run, Foliate Oak, Driftwood Press, and Anti-Heroin Chic, 3Elements Review, and Sybil. She currently lives in Newtown, Pennsylvania with her two children. Find her on Instagram at @elizabethbeingqueen.

Mike Cohen (Routine) 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 Croll (The Beat) was born in Pottstown, grew up in Schwenksville, and graduated West Chester University She is a former elementary school teacher, a teacher of English language learners, and a massage therapist. Her book, The Gift Forthcoming, is a collection of poems about love, beauty, and spirit. Carole's work has appeared in various publications, and she has been awarded by the Nevada Poetry Society, Poets and Patrons of Chicago, and the Illinois State Poetry Society.

Steve Delia (Dance) is closing in on 42 years of writing poetry. He has been writing memoirs for three years but he's not telling everything! His last book of poems, The Alphabet Concerto and can be purchased on Amazon. Steve and poetry pal Mike Cohen have been conducting interviews with poets which can be viewed on You Tube. Steve is also part of the just write it group that meets at Upper Moreland library once a month

Jo Freehand (Discovering the #NewWorld #OcasioCortez), poet and mixed-media artist, is contributing editor for River Heron Review and founder of Peace of Paper, a nonprofit that provides art materials for creative expression for children and adults in times of distress. Her book of poems, Whatever You Thought, Think Again, is hot off the Read Furiously spring 2019 press. Jo lives in Langhorne with her partner who graciously accepts (most) of her invitations to dance and/or hula hoop.

John Kitch (Dancing to the Music) is retired and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA. During the course of the many chapters in his life, questioning the world around him was a consistent pursuit throughout. He has recently self published a small collection of his favorite reflective writings on Amazon, entitled... As I See It: Life Questions Are Worth Asking.

By day, Lenny Levy (Two to Tango!) is a mild-mannered Federal employee. But when he leaves work, he slips into the closest telephone booth and morphs into a creative talent who writes plays, including several that have been performed and one that won a contest. To hone his playwrighting skills, Lenny has acted on stage, in independent films, including three leads, and performed standup comedy. His writing skills extend to being a scriptwriter, editor, poet, and lyricist.

Steve Nolan (The Blessed Way) has been published in: Passages North, U.S. 1 Worksheets, The Florida Review, River Heron Review, Gypsy (Amnesty International Edition), Schuylkill Valley Journal, Vox Populi and many others. His poems were featured on Morning Edition, National Public Radio, 24 September, 2007 upon his return from Afghanistan in a story called, "Mother, Son Share War Experiences." He is the author of "Go Deep" a collaboration of poetry and painting with the artist, NJ DeVico.

Fereshteh Sholevar (Dancing in My Bones), the Iranian born poet and writer, immigrated to Germany and later to USA in 1978. She got her Master's degree in Creative writing at Rosemont College, Pa. She writes in four languages and has authored 6 books of poetry, a novel, and a children's book. She won two awards in Philadelphia poets, Pa Poetry Society second prize in 2004. She also won three prizes in Pennsylvania Poetry Society in March 2019. Her new bilingual poetry book (English-French) is out and Available @ Amazon.com: Of Dust And Chocolate.

Wendy Fulton Steginsky (Stravinsky's Firebird Ballet, London 1970) 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 (Views from the Telemetry Unit) is the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotion and The Last Commandment. He has published in numerous print and online journals including, The Wax Paper, Hummingbird, IthacaLit, Hedgerow, and North of Oxford and is a Contributing Editor for The Saturday Poetry Series in As It Ought to Be Magazine. Find him online at alantoltzis.com and follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @ToltzisAlan.