The Bread is Rising: A Look at the Philadelphia Poetry Scene

Philadelphia and its surrounding area have a long and illustrious history with poets and poetry. From Walt Whitman to Marianne Moore, many of the nation's most renowned poets have called this area home. Today, the city is home to many poets, including U. S.

Poet Laureate Daniel Hoffman, New Jersey Poet Laureate Gerald Stern, Ron Silliman, Charles Bernstein, and Bob Perelman of Penn. Temple University has been running its Poets & Writers series for a long time, and many other events are held throughout the city. The Fox Chase reading series features outstanding poets at the 3 Sisters Corner Cafe, while Mad Poets events (readings, critique groups, open mics) take place in Center City as well as Milkboy Coffee in Ardmore and Steel City Coffee House in Phoenixville. The group also publishes Mad Poets Review every year, featuring both famous poets and those from the local community. The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective has been a part of this vibrant poetry scene since 1994. Founded by poet laureate Daniel Hoffman, the collective has been spreading awareness through performances, festivals, meetings, public access radio and cable in the United States, Canada and England.

It is based out of the Crane Arts Building in Philadelphia's Northern Liberties neighborhood. Curator Emily Abendroth says that Moles Not Molars combines reading with other arts to break boundaries and explore new connections. The next event will feature Jennifer Karmin from Chicago and Matthew Klane from Albany, NY. Cader Publishing also organized a quarterly literary competition called the Laureates Program. The winning poetry, fiction and non-fiction of the contest were published in their magazine Verses.

In 2003, Stamford Research LLC and Cader Publishing merged. The International Poetry Library (ILP) was another major player in the Philadelphia poetry scene. They published different poems in each issue of their many anthologies which were not indexed in any source. As a result, it can be difficult to find a particular poem in an anthology unless you know its title or ISBN. The ILP would also organize annual or biannual poetry conferences for contest finalists in places such as Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Washington D.

C.Sparrowgrass's parent company was Prospect Publishers (Oklahoma City). In October 2001 they were forced to pay more than four thousand dollars in refunds to consumers who asked for but never received their poetry anthologies. The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective has been a part of Philadelphia's vibrant poetry scene for over 25 years now. From its humble beginnings with Daniel Hoffman to its current events featuring Jennifer Karmin and Matthew Klane, it has been a major force in spreading awareness through word and art.