> archive: Laughing Hermit 1998-1999
> Laughing Hermit 2000-2001
> Laughing Hermit 2001-2002
All readings take place at the Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk, from 2-3:00pm
09.25 99 Gibbons Ruark & J. C. Todd

Gibbons Ruark's poems have appeared widely for the last thirty years in magazines like The New Republic, The New Yorker, and Poetry, and in various anthologies and texts. They have also won the poet frequent awards, including three Poetry Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Pushcart Prize. Previously collected in A Program for Survival, Reeds, Keeping Company, Small Rain, Forms of Retrieval, and Rescue the Perishing, seventy of them now appear in Passing Through Customs: New and Selected Poems, Louisiana State University Press, 1999. Ruark, who has taught English at the University of Delaware since 1968, lives with his wife Kay in Landenberg, Pennsylvania.

J.C. Todd is the author of two collections of poems, Entering Pisces (Pine Press, 1985) and Nightshade (Pine Press, 1995). She has been featured in many publications for both her poetry and prose, including The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Beloit Poetry Review, and Puerto del Sol. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards in several states, as well as being recognized as a distinguished teacher-artist.

10.30 99 David Slavitt & J. T. Barbarese

David R. Slavitt, poet, novelist, critic, and journalist, has published seventy books. His translations include The Oresteia of Aeschylus in the Penn Complete Greek Drama (of which he is a co-editor), and The Book of the Twelve Prophets, which Oxford University Press will be bringing out in a couple of months. His latest book of poetry is PS3569.L3, published by Louisiana State University Press. His latest work of fiction is Get Thee to a Nunnery, published by Catbird Press of North Haven, CT. Among his other books are the novels The Cliff and Turkish Delights and the poetry collections Crossroads, Eight Longer Poems, and Equinox. He lives in Philadelphia.

J.T. Barbarese is the author of two books of original poetry, Under The Blue Moon (University of Georgia Press, 1985) and New Science (University of Georgia Press, 1989), and a version of Euripides' Children of Herakles, that was published by the University of Pennsylvania's Greek Drama in Translation Series in August, 1999, in Euripides 4. His poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Sewanee Review, Kansas Quarterly, Antioch Review, Denver Quarterly, Boulevard, The North American Review, and The Southern Review. His has published fiction in Story Quarterly and North American Review, essays in Sewanee Review, The Columbia Encyclopedia of American Poetry, and the Georgia Review, and he regularly reviews books for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He twice (1990 and 1994) received poetry fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rutgers University in Camden and lives in Philadelphia.
11.20 99 Jan Heller Levi & Gary Short

Jan Heller Levi, born in New York City and raised in Baltimore, is the 1998 winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets for her first collection of poems, Once I Gazed at You in Wonder, published by Louisiana State University Press in April 1999. In 1998, she was also awarded the George Bogin Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Her poems have appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies, including Graham House Review, New Orleans Review, Poetry East, and Pequod; have been translated into German, and published in Switzerland in the St. Galler Tagblatt, Wochenzeitung, and drehpunkt. She is the editor of A Muriel Rukeyser Reader (W.W. Norton), named by Choice Magazine as "One of the Best Books of 1994" and included in Utne Readers' 1998 "Loose Canon" List of 150 Great Works to "set your imagination on fire." Levi has been a fellow at Yaddo several times; was named the George and Kate Kendall Fellow for her 1997 residency at the MacDowell Colony; and awarded the Diane Cleaver Fellowship for a September 1997 residency at Ledig House International Colony for Writers, Editors, and Translators. She is married to the Swiss novelist and playwright Christoph Keller, and divides her time between St. Gallen, Switzerland and New York City. She is currently working on a biography of Muriel Rukeyser, to be published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Gary Short has been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and a resident of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He is the author of Theory of Twilight and a second book of poems, Flying Over Sonny Liston, which received the Western States Book Award. He is from Nevada, and from 1997-99 was the writer-in-residence at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He currently teaches at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

12.18 99 David Acosta & BJ Ward

Juan Armando David Acosta Posada was born in Cali, Colombia, South America, on October 26, 1958. He migrated to the US in 1969 where he has lived for the past 25 years. Mr. Acosta was a founding member and editor of Temple University's literary journal The 14th Street Review. Mr. Acosta is also a founding member of the Latin American writers collective Desde Este Lado/From This Side, and he is one of the founders and editors of a now defunct journal bearing the same name. A poet, writer, activist and cultural worker, Mr. Acosta has given numerous readings, workshops, and lectures throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area and other cities across the US. In 1988/1989 he was poet in residence and consultant for the PATHS Poetry Program at the Thomas Edison Fareira High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and, in 1994, he was part of the Painted Bride Arts Center's Popular Education Program; Poetry Across the Curriculum through the PA Council on The Arts Poets in Residence Program, where he taught poetry across the curriculum to area elementary, middle, and junior high schools. Mr. Acosta's work has appeared in The Painted Bride Quarterly; The Evergreen Chronicles; Philomel; The 14th Street Review; Desde Este Lado; The Blue Guitar; Mayrena; The James White Review; Viva Arts Quarterly; and the anthologies, American Poetry Confronts the 1990's Black Tie Press; the 1995 anthology Shouting In A Whisper; Latino Poetry in Philadelphia, Asterion Press, Poesida, (Ollantay Press, 1995) and Floating Borderlands: Twenty Five Years of Latin American Poetry in The United States, University of Washington Press, 1998.

B.J. Ward's most recent volume of poetry, 17 Love Poems with No Despair, which was released in May 1997 by North Atlantic Books of Berkeley, CA, is currently in the #12 position on Amazon.com's list of the Top 75 Bestselling Books of Love Poems (9/17/99). 17 Love Poems with No Despair was also chosen by Borders.com (Borders Books' on-line bookstore) as one of the 62 Essential Books for the 1998 Dodge Poetry Festival. His first book, Landing in New Jersey with Soft Hands, also from North Atlantic, was published in 1994. Both books are now available in second printings. BJ Ward is the recipient of Poetry Fellowships from the NJ State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State and the Alliance for Arts Education in New Jersey. He teaches at Warren County Community College and works in the Writers-in-the-Schools program. He earned a M.A. from Syracuse University where he served as University Distinguished Fellow and University Summer Fellow. In 1999, his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Long Shot, 3 Syllables, NEBO, The Black Swan Review, Journal of New Jersey Poets, and The Paterson Literary Review. He currently lives in northwest New Jersey, where he serves as Director of the Warren County Poetry Festival.

01.22 00 Nathalie Anderson & Barb Daniels

Nathalie Anderson is a Professor of English Literature and the Director of the Program in Creative Writing at Swarthmore College. Her first collection of poems, Following Fred Astaire, was the 1998 winner of the Washington Prize, awarded by The Word Works. Nathalie Anderson's poems have appeared in such journals as APR's Philly Edition, CrossConnect, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, Madison Review, Nimrod, Spazio Humano, and Paris Review. She was the librettist for the opera The Black Swan, a collaboration with the composer Thomas Whitman, which premiered in the fall of 1998 in a production directed by Sarah Caldwell. Nathalie Anderson was a fellow at Yaddo in 1986, and in 1993 she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

Barb Daniels' chapbook, The Woman Who Tries to Believe, received the Quentin R. Howard Prize from Wind Magazine. Her poems have appeared in The Seattle Review, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Laurel Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Slant, and elsewhere. She received a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State for 1998 and teaches at Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey.

02.19 00 Josey Foo & Lisa Sewell

Josey Foo was born and raised in Malaysia and currently lives in Philadelphia. She is the author of Endou: Poems, Prose and A Little Beagle Story (Lost Roads Press, 1995). Her new manuscript, Literal Mountain, was named as a finalist in the 1998 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. She won the Eve of St. Agnes Award in 1994. She graduated from Vassar College and Brown University. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and an anthology of new Asian writers titled Premonitions (Kaya Press, 1995).

Lisa Sewell studied Genetics and Marine Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. After working as a research associate in the Zoology Department there for two years, she moved to New York to study in the graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University. She continued her studies at Tufts University where she earned her doctorate in English and American Liteature. Her book The Way Out was published by Alice James Books in the Spring of 1998 and her poems have appeared in many journals including Indiana Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Passages North, Pequod, Massachusetts Review, third coast, and the Philly edition of the American Poetry Review and are forthcoming in Shenandoah, and Gulf Coast. She has received grants and awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, the Breadloaf Writers Conference, and most recently, the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been a resident at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives in Philadelphia and teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at Villanova University.

03.25 00 Julia Kasdorf & George O'Brien

Julia Kasdorf is the author of Sleeping Preacher, which won the Angus Lynch Starret Prize and the Great Lakes Colleges Association Award for New Writing, and Eve's Striptease, both from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, and are forthcoming in The Paris Review. This fall she is teaching in the creative writing program at the University of Pittsburgh, but will return to her home in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, by the end of the century.

George O'Brien is a scholar of Irish literature as well as a biographer and novelist. He received his B.A. and Ph. D. from the University of Warwick, and has taught at the University of Birmingham, Clare College, the University of Warwick, Vassar College, Trinity College, and is currently a Professor of English at Georgetown University. Works he has edited or authored include three editions of The Village of Longing, Brian Friel: A Reference Guide, and The Ireland Anthology. His new book, A Book of Matches, is forthcoming this year from New Island. Professor O'Brien has received the John Eddeyrn Hughes Prize and the Irish Book Awards Silver Medal for The Village of Longing.

04.15 00 Lisa Zeidner & Melisa Cahnmann

Lisa Zeidner (M.A., Johns Hopkins) teaches Creative Writing, Contemporary Fiction and Poetry at Rutgers University, Camden Campus. She is the author of three novels, Customs (Knopf, l98l); Alexandra Freed (Knopf, l983); and Limited Partnerships (North Point, l989); and two books of poetry, Talking Cure (Texas Tech, l982); and Pocket Sundial (Wisconsin), which won the l988 Brittingham Prize in Poetry. Her fourth novel, Layover, is forthcoming (Random House). She has had fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews in GQ, Mademoiselle, The New York Times, Boulevard, Poetry, and other publications. Lisa is the recipient of the 1993 Warren I. Sussman Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Melisa Cahnmann is the author of a chapbook, Between Two Places (M-Press, 1997). She is currently on the editorial staff for the Painted Bride Quarterly, a literary magazine published in Philadelphia. Her work has been published in Bridges: A Jewish, Feminist Journal, Writing for Our Lives and has most recently appeared in the Community Voices section of the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer (9/5/99). She is now a doctoral student in Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the school experiences of urban, bilingual youth in North Philadelphia. When not studying or writing poetry, she is out on the field of Fairmount Park playing Ultimate frisbee.

05.06 00 Harry Humes & Louis McKee

Harry Humes' most recent books of poetry are Butterfly Effect (selected by Pattiann Rogers for the National Poetry Series in 1998 and published by Milkweed Editions in August 1999), Gorse Cottage Poems (Banshee Press, 1998, edited by Lou McKee), and The Bottomland (University of Arkansas Press, 1995). His first book of poems, Winter Weeds, was the Devins Award selection for 1983 (University of Missouri, 1983). He is the recipient of a Natonal Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship and several Pennsylvania Council on the Arts poetry grants. Poetry Northwest awarded him their Theodore Roethke Poetry Award, and his poem "Butterfly Effect", originally published in the Gettysburg Review, was selected by James Tate for The Best American Poetry of 1997.

Louis McKee's eighth collection is River Architecture: Poems from Here and There, 1974-1984 (Cynic Press, 1999). Right as Rain, a chapbook, is just out from Nova House, and a volume of new poems, Near Occasions of Sin, will be published later this year by The Front Line Press of Brooklyn. He is a former editor of The Painted Bride Quarterly, and now edits One Trick Pony.