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Widener-Sponsored Reading Series Launches Second Season


Dr. Michael Cocchiarale will read excerpts from his body of work at the first State Street event.

Widener University will partner with the Media Arts Council for the second season of the State Street Reading Series this fall.

The series kicks off Sept. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. with Dr. Michael Cocchiarale and Dr. Asali Solomon sharing excerpts of their work with the community at the Media Arts Center Gallery at 609 W. State St. in Media, Pa.

Readings are held every other month at the Gallery and feature two local authors. The events run for two hours but each writer only reads for about 20 minutes to allow ample time for conversation and networking. Books by the authors are available for purchase. The reading is free to attend, and reservations are not required.

Cocchiarale is an associate professor of English at Widener University who teaches courses on American literature, composition and creative writing. His book “Still Time” is a collection of 25 short stories that explore contemporary relationships. Other short fiction pieces of his have appeared in REAL, Relief, Stickman Review, Flashquake and more. His novella “Here Is Ware” was published in 2014 by Novella-T and can be read in installments online.

Solomon is an assistant professor of English at Haverford University where she teaches fiction writing, 20th century African American literature, literature of the Caribbean and contemporary women’s writing. Her first book was a collection of short stories set in Philadelphia titled “Get Down.” Most of the stories include a party or dance scene, but the title also acts as a pun on the exclamation to avoid gunfire. Her novel “Disgruntled” centers on the breakup of a Philadelphia family. Solomon has been profiled in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and “Disgruntled”has been reviewed by the Denver Post and L.A. Times.

Novelist Alan Drew and poet Nathalie Anderson have been chosen as readers for the second reading on Thursday, Nov.19. Drew has traveled throughout Europe and Asia, as well as the Middle East. Anderson’s poetry has earned special recognition and won numerous awards. Readings for January, March and May will be announced soon.  

For more information about the State Street Reading Series, call 484-550-5959.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,000 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free university. Visit the university’s website,