Some of the best storytelling happens at the bar, and a group in Scranton has been putting their own twist on that notion for two years now.
“Prose in Pubs” is a bi-monthly event that generally happens at Jack's Draft House in Scranton (though this time around it's been moved to The Vintage Theater) and will take place April 21 at 4 p.m. One feature writer and four others come to share their work, an opportunity that event organizer Amye Archer said is important for the area arts community.
“It's important to introduce people in Northeast Pennsylvania to outside writers,” she emphasized. “Not many people run in that circle and know outside writers, so it's great to be able to let them meet them. Also, it's important to introduce these outside people to Northeast Pennsylvania, which has so many incredibly talented people.”
This month's readers will include Sheila Squillante, a Central Pennsylvania author of four chapbooks of poetry and a full-length collection due out with Tiny Hardcore Press in 2014, and feature Rae Bryant.
Bryant's short story collection, “The Indefinite State of Imaginary Morals,” was released from Patasola Press, N.Y., in June 2011. Her stories and essays have earned her nominations for the Pen/Hemingway, Pen Emerging Writers, and Pushcart awards. She received fellowships from the VCCA and The Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a Masters in Writing, teaches creative writing, and is editor-in-chief of the University-housed literary and arts journal, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review.
The newest feature added to the “Prose in Pubs” series is the fact that the feature artist now teaches a workshop ahead of the actual readings that day. Bryant will host the “Writing the Short Form: Using Binary Oppositions to Form Story” workshop at 2 p.m.
“I love the concept of turning conventional hierarchies on end, i.e. man/woman, conformity/rebellion, the moments when the story flip-flops our conventional selves,” Bryant said in a release for the event.
“Woman/man. Rebellion/conformity. Individual/team. Derrida gives us this concept through his binary oppositions: conventional importance/unconventional importance. He said, basically, that it is the moment our conventions are turned on end, the moment we accept it as readers, that the story becomes necessary, bigger than its words.”