Sunday, July 31, 2011

Goodbye to Another Independent Book Store

When I had my book store it always made me laugh when someone came in and asked if the store was a library. It was as if they couldn’t comprehend the thought of a person actually buying a book. I certainly didn’t make money on books and I stocked both new and used. The little money that I made was on sidelines, you know not the main thing the store is selling.  People looking for a gift would buy a jar of jam or puzzle or game much more often than they would a book.

It was also interesting to see the difference in attendance at events that were held there. I had numerous book signings and poetry readings, with the exception of Snoetry, which was the longest poetry reading ever in Northwest Pennsylvania history and had a packed house, less than a handful of people attended. The most attended events held at The Last Wordsmith were rallies for Barack Obama. Next in highest attendance were the Tarot card readings. I could always count on them! But even when people did attend the majority did not buy.  In regards to poetry readings, mostly poets attend these and poets rarely have money.

The Erie Book Store has been around for 90 years. Kathleen Cantrell has owned it for the past 32.  I attended Poetry Scene there fairly regularly since the closing of my own book store. It is a welcoming store with a coffee area about the size of the one in my store but with a real fireplace. Kathleen has tended her shop for more years than I was able to mine. It is a difficult decision to make when it’s time to set it free, whether it is because the cost of it has made it impossible to remain open or as in the case of The Erie Book Store, its mom just wants to retire. 

There are a couple of other independent book stores in Erie. Books Galore resides in a large, old house crammed from floor to ceiling with books both new and used and is well known for the best place to buy comic books. Werner Books is smaller but has a nice atmosphere and the owner is very helpful and easy to talk to. If there are more I am not aware of them, there are a few others in outlying towns though.

These stores do not have quite the atmosphere The Erie Book Store does with the rocking chairs in front of the fireplace to relax with a coffee and the history of Poetry Scene, which has not only been a place for Erie poets, storytellers and songsters to perform, but also where I have made so many friends, not to mention the store cat, Diggory! I’m so glad he will be retiring to North East for his golden years.

The Erie Book Store will truly be missed. The final four sessions of Poetry Scene start next Friday from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and will be every Friday thereafter until August 26. I hope that you will be able to attend one or all of them.

August Events

I've been away from the blog for a while. It's amazing how quickly time flies. And here it is the end of July so I have upcoming August events. Please let me know if you would like any added to the list and I'll happily add it.

Poetry Scene
The Final Four
6:30-8PM. open before every feature. Free admission.

Friday, August 5: Keith Moses
Keith brings his high-energy hiphop stylings to Poetry Scene for the last time.

Friday, August 12: Marilyn Hazleton
From Allentown, Marilyn specializes in tanka and other Japanese poetries.

Friday, August 19: The Final Poetry Scene at The Erie Book Store. Don’t miss our last Hoorah!

Erie Book Store closes the end of August.
Erie Book Store, 137 E 13, Erie PA 814 480-5671.

2nd Art Gang Organizational Meeting!
Bring your ideas and a friend! We're taking Tim Horton's by storm and having another awesome meeting there.
Monday, August 8 · 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Tim Horton's 209 E 12th St, Erie, PA 16503-1020

Second Tuesday
Tuesday, August 9
held every month at 7:00PM
The group is free and open to the public. Writers range from college-age to folks in their seventies, and from many backgrounds and life experiences. Some regular attendees have been nationally published and win prestigious awards. Anyone wishing to improve her or his craft through responsible feedback should give Second Tuesday a try.

The meetings last about ninety minutes, give or take. Short poetry is the most common genre, but any genre is welcome—short stories, short plays, and excerpts of longer works are often brought to workshop. Each author gets a turn to read his or her work, and then the group spends time discussing it (during which the author remains silent, taking notes). Then it is the author's turn again to respond to questions or ask further questions about the responses.
203 Old Main, Mercyhurst College Campus
Erie PA

Enhanced Poetry LIVE

Wednesday, August 10 · 7:30pm - 10:00pm recording artists Enhanced Poetry, the words-and-music duo, Chuck Joy words, Kurt Sahlmann music. Claude Braudis opens with his acoustic guitar. No cover

Bobby's Place

West Eighteenth and Cranberry
Erie, PA

Saturday, August 13 at 9:30 a.m.
International Women Writers Guild  
Erie Book Store, 137 E 13, Erie PA 814 480-5671

Collingwood Poetry Series 

Saturday, August 13 at 4:00pm
Cherie Bullock features then a rare performance in Toledo by John Dorsey followed by an open mic.
2413 Collingwood Blvd
Toledo, Ohio



2nd Annual Blues for Shoes Benefit

Sunday, August 14 · 3:00pm - 9:00pm


This is the 2nd annual blues for shoes benefit. This even includes live music from five local bands. These local bands donate their time and talents to help raise money for school uniforms, school supplies, shoes, and other necessities to help with a successful school year. The event also includes a chinese auction, 50/50, and door prize giveaways. Donations are accepted for this event. Please inbox me to donate money or items for the chinese auction. All money from this event will be donated to community organizations that deal with children and families.

BayBreeze Lounge
25 East 10th Street
Erie, PA

Poetry & Dinner Nights at The Woodlawn Diner (3200 Lakeshore Rd, Blasdell NY 14219) will resume in September.

Don’t forget to put on your calendar for September


If you are heading to another venue for this event and passing through Erie, stop in our venue and read too! We’d love to have you.

Saturday, September 24 · 12:00pm - 10:00pm
Do you want to join other poets around the USA and across the planet in a demonstration/celebration of poetry to promote serious social, environmental, and political change? 100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE is organizing a global event for September 24, 2011.
The features for the evening will be Heidi Blakeslee and Sara Ries @ 8:00 p.m
International Fellowship of Poets and Spoken Word Artists PA Local 1136
1136 E Lake Rd
Erie, PA