Monthly Archives: December 2012

First Friday with Local Artist Nicole Cournoyer

Friday, January 4th, 6pm-9pm

For the next First Friday in Manayunk, we are happy to feature artist Nicole Cournoyer. We are hosting a reception to launch the month-long showing of Nicole’s colorful and abstract paintings. All paintings will be available to purchase. Refreshments will be provided. Come on out and support local talent!

Artist Statement:
I am a physician assistant in bone marrow transplant, but I have been painting for 12 years. At first it was simply a past time, but since I became a healthcare practitioner, it has transformed into my therapy, and release. I’ve devoted my life to helping people with terminal cancer, and the only way that I can grasp the suffering and simultaneous strength that I witness regularly is through art.

My paintings aren’t necessarily dark- I paint adversity, hope, the souls of the people I’ve lost-what they’ve imprinted on me, forever. My paintings are taking over my life and living space, and I’d love to get them out into the world. I want people to see the beauty and honesty that I am so privileged to have a glimpse of every day.

Be sure to visit your favorite Manayunk shops to see what they are up to for First Friday this year! 

Ann’s December Picks

It’s time I sit down and share a couple of wonderful books with you.  I must admit that it is hard to stay still for a minute during the busy holiday season.  The shop is bustling and I’m trying my best to prepare for our trip to Connecticut and a wonderful family holiday.

Although childhood expectations and awe have given way to adult responsibilities and time constraints, I still hold the holidays as a sacred time.  I enjoy sharing special gifts with loved ones, catching up on conversation and laughter, and having time to breathe – with a permeating snowy and grey quietness surrounding everything.

So, given my own reflections and predilections – here are some quiet and unusual books selections.

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm – Edited by Philip Pullman                              Two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now, at a veritable fairy-tale moment—witness the popular television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and this year’s two movie adaptations of “Snow White”—Philip Pullman, one of the most popular authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm.

From much-loved stories like “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Rapunzel” and “Hansel and Gretel” to lesser-known treasures like “Briar-Rose,” “Thousandfurs,” and “The Girl with No Hands,” Pullman retells his fifty favorites, paying homage to the tales that inspired his unique creative vision—and that continue to cast their spell on the Western imagination.


Grave of Light:  New and Selected Poems, 1970-2005 by Alice Notley       Considered by many to be among the most outstanding of living American poets, Alice Notley has amassed a body of work that includes intimate lyrics, experimental diaries, traditional genres, the postmodern series, the newly invented epic, political observation and invective, and the poem as novel. This chronological selection of her most notable work offers a delineation of her life and creative development. Formerly associated with the second generation of the New York School, Notley has become a poet with a completely distinctive voice. Grave of Light is a progression of changing forms and styles–an extensive panorama held together explicitly by the shape of the poet’s times. Notley’s poems challenge their subjects head-on, suffusing language with radiant truth.


The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis  (Have I recommended this one before?  Well, if I have it’s for a good reason & a perfect book for the winter months.)  Lydia Davis is one of our most original and influential writers. She has been called “an American virtuoso of the short story form” (Salon) and “one of the quiet giants . . . of American fiction” (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, for the first time, Davis’s short stories are collected in one volume, from the groundbreaking Break It Down (1986) to the 2007 National Book Award nominee Varieties of Disturbance.


Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson                             Lighthousekeeping tells the tale of Silver (“My mother called me Silver. I was born part precious metal, part pirate.”), an orphaned girl who is taken in by blind Mr. Pew, the mysterious and miraculously old keeper of a lighthouse on the Scottish coast. Pew tells Silver stories of Babel Dark, a nineteenth-century clergyman. Dark lived two lives: a public one mired in darkness and deceit and a private one bathed in the light of passionate love. For Silver, Dark’s life becomes a map through her own darkness, into her own story, and, finally, into love.

One of the most original and extraordinary writers of her generation, Jeanette Winterson has created a modern fable about the transformative power of storytelling.

True Norwegian Black Metal photography by Peter Beste            (This one may be a bit controversial to some, but the photography is breath-taking.  I am fascinated by this music and the stories that surround it.)  In the last two decades, a bizarre and violent musical subculture called “Black Metal” has emerged in Norway. Its roots stem from a heady blend of horror movies, heavy metal music, Satanism, Paganism, and adolescent angst. In the early-mid 1990s, members of this extremist underground committed murder, burned down medieval wooden churches, and desecrated graveyards. What started as juvenile frenzy came to symbolize the start of a war against Christianity, a return to the worship of the ancient Norse gods, and the complete rejection of mainstream society.

The Little Book of Calm – Don’t we all need this in our life?

Featured here.





I hope you have enjoyed this small selection.  Happy New Year & Happy Reading!  Find these books at The Spiral Bookcase -I’ll be restocking these titles through the winter- or your local indie bookshop.

A Solstice Triptych: Three’s the Charm

Thursday, Dec. 20th, 7pm-9pm

Three’s the charm for a solstice triptych of poetry. Poets Mike Cohen, Dave Worrell & Suzán Jiván multiply their love of words with their love of life on the second shortest day of the year.

Mike Cohen addresses The Big Bang along with the little bumps of life by memorizing many of his poems in case he bumps into a flash mob of poets,  Dave Worrell is “bound to add big ideas” as he reads from his first chapbook, We Who Are Bound while Suzán Jiván beams big smiles while she ” looks in and sips ” hot tea and reads from her first chapbook:  Looking In and Sipping: Collected Poems by Suzán Jiván.

Hope you’ll join us!

Eat, Drink, Read, and Await the End.


The Story of Bill “Ready” Cash – Discussion with Al Hunter

On Thursday, Dec. 13th, 7pm-830pm we welcome Al Hunter into the shop. Al Hunter will be discussing his book Thou Shalt Not Steal, the fascinating story of Bill “Ready” Cash, catcher for the Negro League’s Philadelphia Stars from 1943 to 1950.

Cash was raised in the Elmwood section of Philadelphia (also known as “The Meadows”) where he developed his love for baseball. Cash went on to be named to the Negro League’s prestigious East-West All Star Team in 1948 and 1949. Cash also played in Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Canada.

In Thou Shalt Not Steal, Cash recalls playing against greats such as Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, “Cool Papa” Bell, Hank Aaron, and Roy Campanella; the discrimination he faced on and off the field; the challenges of raising a family while playing ball; and the struggles that he, and other African Americans faced as they fought for their civil rights in the twentieth century. The book recently won the Robert Peterson Recognition Award from the Society for American Baseball Research’s Negro Leagues Committee Sadly, Cash, who co-authored his book with Hunter, died just three months before it was published. He was 92.

Bio: Hunter, a journalist for 28 years, is a former reporter and editorial writer for The Philadelphia Daily News. He was also editorial consultant for Grammy award-winning singer Dionne Warwick’s autobiography, My Life, As I See It, released in 2010.

Rosemont College Writers’ Salon

Thursday, December 6th, 7pm – 830pm 

We are very pleased to welcome seven local authors from Rosemont College for this very special Local Authors Night.

This reading is a culmination of the fall semester novel revision class at Rosemont College. Monica Anderson, Tori Bond, Chelsea Covington Maass, Heather Fix, Molly Lazer, and Mitchell Sommers will read from their works-in-progress. You won’t want to miss this event—there is something for everyone, from historical fiction to steampunk!

First Friday with Local Artist Mary Agnes Williams

Friday, December 7th, 6pm-9pm

For the next First Friday in Manayunk, we are happy to feature artist Mary Agnes Williams. We are hosting a reception to launch the month-long showing of Mary Agnes’s gorgeous pin-hole photography. All photographs will be available to purchase. Refreshments will be provided. Come on out and support local talent!

Artist Statement:
Pinhole photography appeals to me because it is simple and direct (no lens or view finder), but can yield complex images. Pinhole allows me to explore and create mystery and ambiguity – in many of my photographs the images appear to be emerging from, or about to enter, another time or place. I have used pinhole cameras exclusively for 20 years, whether traveling throughout the South, to Italy, or closer to home, in Manayunk, where the iconic bridge over the Schuylkill River has been a constant source of inspiration and pleasure.

My pinhole photographs have been shown in numerous exhibitions and are in private and public collections including Oberlin College and Temple University. I collaborate with my husband, Thomas Parker Williams, on artist books featuring my pinhole photographs.