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is a curated series of poetry readings and writing workshops held at Da Vinci Art Alliance, six times a year. Both the readings and writing workshops will work thematically centering themselves on exhibitions happening at DVAA. The reading series will invite Philadelphia based poets to read work responding to the exhibitions in the gallery while the writing workshops aim to be both challenging and fun giving both novice, and seasoned poets and those interested in exploring the writing of poetry a place to write in a supportive environment.

Readings and writing workshops will alternate every other month. The poetry readings are free while the writing workshops will require a fee --- $10 premium member, $15 general member, $20 public

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Leonard Gontarek Poetry Workshop
Sunday, August 11th, 10am - 12 noon

August’s writing poetry workshop will focus on the members exhibition Stilled Life and will offer participants the opportunity to reflect, respond to and write about the work in the exhibition. The focus of this workshop will be in exploring the work of imagist poets and working within the framework set by the founding poets of the movement. No prior writing experience is needed, just an interest in exploring the writing of poems based on the principles of imagism through the work presented in the exhibition.


Leonard Gontarek is the author of six books of poems: St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris, Van Morrison Can’t Find His Feet, Zen For Beginners, Déjà Vu Diner, He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs, and Take Your Hand Out of My Pocket, Shiva (Hanging Loose Press, 2016) – Available from Small Press Distribution & Amazon. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Field, Poet Lore, Verse, Handsome, Fence, Blackbird, The Awl, Poetry Northwest, and in the anthologies, The Best American Poetry, The Working Poet, and Joyful Noise: American Spiritual Poetry. He has received five Pushcart Prize nominations and twice received poetry fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council On The Arts. He was the 2011 Philadelphia Literary Death Match Champion.

He coordinates The Philadelphia Poetry Festival, Peace/Works: Poetry Readings for Peace, the Green Line Café Reading and Interview Series, and Poetry In Common. Since 2006 he has conducted 1000 poetry workshops in venues including, The Moonstone Arts Center, Musehouse, The Kelly Writers House, University City Arts League, Free Library of Philadelphia,  Mad Poets Society, Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, and a weekly Saturday workshop from his home in West Philadelphia.

In 2014 he created the first Philly Poetry Day. He was recipient of the Philadelphia Writers Conference Community Service Award in 2014. In 2015, his poem, 37 Photos From The Bridge, was a Poetry winner for the Big Bridges MotionPoems project and the basis for the winning film from the Big Bridges poetry film contest sponsored by MotionPoems and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis. He is Poetry Consultant for the Walt Whitman At 200: Art And Democracy project.