Lahaska: Monthly Poetry Series with Julie Cooper-Fratrik & Open Mic

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Join us in welcoming our featured poet, JULIE COOPER-FRATRIK, to the Lahaska Bookshop for July's meeting of Poetry is Not a Dirty Word.  An open mic segment will follow our featured poet's reading.
Event Date: July 25th - 6:30 pm at the Lahaska Bookshop.
About the Featured Author: Julie Cooper-Fratrik has her MFA from Goddard/VT College, is a former Creative Fellow at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, and the winner of an Achievement Grant in Poetry from the Leeway Foundation in Philadelphia. She is a former Bucks County Poet Laureate, and the winner of the first Robert Fraser Award from Bucks County Community College, where she taught writing/creative writing, was an advising specialist, and a writing tutor for many years! Her poetry books are : The Slow Separations, Breathing Lessons, and Further Lovely Lettuce Lore. She lived and raised her family in New Hope for 27 years, and now lives with her spouse, conceptual artist Nura Petrov, in upper Bucks County. Read Julie's poem Shad Fishing.
Who should come?:  Those who write poetry, those who read poetry, those who listen to poetry, those who don't think poetry is some sort of dirty, scary word, those who love poetry, those who merely like poetry, and those who are under the misguided impression they don't like poetry. So pretty much everyone.
Interested in being a featured reader? For those looking to read, we're looking for a wide range of styles, genres, themes, from a wide range of people, so whether it's odes, epics, slam, haiku, some style of poetry that is your own creation, etc etc etc we are excited to hear your voice. If you're interested, please email

Shad Fishing by Julie Cooper-Fratrik

I write these words, slow-winged ephemerids,
as though to draw you here, here to this river,
this care-worn iron bridge. Someone might say
of this town that it is a place in place of,
a place in search of a word:

its riant spaciousness, its gay flaneurs,
the syllables of possibility along its crowded streets;
“Sojourner,” “Strawberry Jam,” “Love Saves the Day,”
And down a narrow walkway off Main Street,
“Cryer’s Little Shop.”
(A metaphor for the body?)

The bodies of the shad are bluish
from the bridge, silver-streaked below.
Off Lewis Island, a man of the same name
gathers the fish into large nets.

On the muddy banks, anglers are dallying;
some in small boats gently place mayflies
like careful words on their sharp hooks:

lure the shad away
from their imagined destination.

(What is the word for the sound
the startled shad make
before they are pulled from their beloved river?
For the damp, oblique interior
of the prickly sweet gum fruit
strewn along the sidewalks?
The taste of almost-summer
on the tongue? If I knew them,
stranger, I would tell you.)

Upriver, at Hotel du Village, far
from his childhood home of Tizi Ouzou,
Omar prepares the dark shad roe.

Shadows disappear. We are alone
responsible for the singular duration
of our bodies, our words:
fledgling sparrows along the crooked banks.

(What is the word for the whisper
of the evening’s purple denouement
that we hold inside us like a slow breath,
that last moment between daylight and darkness
when nothing is seen in its true light?)

A breeze from the river stirs
leaves of quaking aspen, the tree
the French call langue de femme.
Sparrows lift from smooth branches.
Along the quays, a man pauses
to catch his breath. He listens
to the lapping of restless water,
the settling of small bones beneath
its surface. From a slow distance,
the worn planks of the bridge echo
the traveler’s footfall across
its lonely threshold. Hesperus lights
her children’s homeward paths.

I think of bright fish leaping,
scintillant vowels and consonants
above dark water. Somewhere a woman
or man, wordless and innominate, sleeps
in the curve of a river. And the river,
insouciant Lethe, moves like a quasar
toward emptiness.

(New Hope, PA/Lambertville, NJ)


Poetry Night | Lahaska Bookshop | Monthly | Fourth Thursday | 6:30 pm