Wordsmiths poetry series goes online


Jacob Mairone

COVID-19 will not be slowing down the annual Wordsmiths Reading Series, directed by Bucks professor Dr. Ethel Rackin, as it will continue to celebrate local poets and authors into the fall season.

The Wordsmiths Reading Series has been active since the 1960s, and is renowned not only in Bucks County, but also across the tri-state area and beyond. One highlight of the series is pairing talented local authors with nationally and internationally celebrated authors. Dr. Rackin added that “events are always lively and fun.”

“Many professors offer extra credit for attending Wordsmiths events, and the Department of Language & Literature is partnering with the Business Department to offer Bucks+ points for attending events,” Dr. Rackin said.

Since campus gatherings are being limited and due to social distancing guidelines, this year’s event will be held online. Though it is an adjustment, an online platform allows easy access to many students and residents to tune in and become immersed in this rich, cultural evening of poetic expression.

There are three different events being held on Oct. 9 at 7:30 pm, Nov.15 at 1:00 pm, and Dec. 4 at 7:30 pm and can be accessed from this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/BucksCCC.

The first event on Oct. 9 will feature Bucks professor Christopher Bursk, author of works “Dear Terror” and “The Way Water Rubs Stone.” Also speaking will be author and poet Joseph Chelius, and writer of poetry, fiction and filmmaker Greg Probst.

Chelius has written and published two chapbooks of poems, as well as “The Art of Acquiescence” and “Crossing State Lines,” two full-length collections.

Probst has won numerous scholarships for his writing and his work has been featured in Bucks’ own paper “The Centurion,” “Temple News,” and “Hyphen,” Temple’s undergraduate literary magazine.

The second event on Nov. 15 will be the annual Bucks County Poet Laureate reading and celebration. Speaking will be 2019 poet laureate, Mary Jo Lobello Jerome, as well as the debut of the 2020 laureate and judge Liz Chang, author of, “What Ordinary Objects” and “Animal Nocturne.”

The third and final event, on Dec. 4 will have Carole Maso, author of novels such as “Mother and Child,” and “American Woman in the Chinese Hat,” as well as Cheryl Baldi, writer of great works of poetry such as “The Shapelessness of Water,” a poetry collection.