The place to be in West Philly if you love reading and writing and beer and cocktails! Kicking off Spring with four amazing readers: @LoriTharps @mecca_jamilah @t_mcallister @AndreaJCantor. An Open Mic session rounds off the evening, so bring work to share with the crowd at the Cannery after our readers have presented!


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Andrea Cantor is the associate editor of Philadelphia Weekly, the city’s alternative news outlet. She began working in professional news during her junior year of high school at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy when she interned for the Jewish Exponent and its affiliated Inside Magazine. Andrea graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2017, where she managed the college newspaper, The Phoenix. Before taking on her current role at Philadelphia Weekly, she was the online editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Voice. Her works have appeared in Philadelphia Weekly, HuffPost, Haaretz, The Forward, The Jewish Exponent and The Philadelphia Jewish Voice. She recently appeared on Good Day Philadelphia on Fox 29 during the partial government shutdown to talk about museums providing free admission to impacted workers.

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Tom McAllister is the author of the novels "How to Be Safe" and "The Young Widower's Handbook," as well as the memoir "Bury Me in My Jersey." His short fiction and essays have been published widely, and have most recently appeared in Best American Nonrequired ReadingHobartThe RumpusBuzzfeedThe MillionsThird Point Press, and Bridge Eight. He is the co-host of the weekly podcast, Book Fight!, and nonfiction editor at Barrelhouse. He teaches at Temple University and lives in New Jersey. 

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Mecca Jamilah Sullivan the author of a short story collection, Blue Talk and Love, and the winner of the 2018 Judith Markowitz Award for Fiction. Her short stories have appeared in Callaloo, Feminist Studies, Best New Writing, American Fiction, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, TriQuarterly, Narrative Northeast, Kweli, All About Skin: Short Fiction by Award-Winning Women Writers of Color and many others. Her critical essays on gender and sexuality in African Diaspora literature have appeared in GLQ: Lesbian and Gay Studies Quarterly, American Literary History, The Scholar and Feminist, American Quarterly, Palimpsest, Public Books, College Literature,, Ms. Magazine Online, The Feminist Wire, and many others. Her work has earned the James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award, the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the Glenna Luschei Fiction Award, and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, Lambda Literary, the Publishing Triangle, the Mellon Foundation, the Social Sciences Research Council, the American Association of University Women, Duke University, and the Center for Fiction in New York City, where she held the inaugural Emerging Writers Fellowship. She is currently Assistant Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College, and is completing a novel.



Lori L. Tharps is an associate professor of journalism at Temple University, an award-winning author, freelance journalist and popular speaker. A graduate of Smith College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Tharps is a recognized voice in the areas of race, pop culture, identity politics and African American history and culture. 

After graduation from Columbia University, Tharps was a staff reporter at Vibe magazine and then a correspondent for Entertainment Weekly. She has written for magazines including, Ms., GlamourSuedeVogue and Essence. She has also written for The Columbia Journalism ReviewThe Philadelphia InquirerThe New York Timesand The Washington Post. Her work can also be read in the anthologies, Young Wives Tales: Stories of Love and Partnership (Seal Press), Naked: Black Women Bare All About their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips and Other Parts (Perigee), Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine (FSG) and Women: Images & Realities. A Multicultural Anthology (Avalon). 

Tharps is the author of three critically acclaimed nonfiction books, Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America (St. Martin’s Press) Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain (Atria) and Same Family, Different Colors: Confronting Colorism in America’s Diverse Families (Beacon). In their review, The New York Times called  Same Family, Different Colors, "thoughtful, honest, historically textured and valuable."

Tharps' latest book, Proud: My Unlikely Fight for an American Dream (Hachette) was a collaboration with Muslim-American, Olympic fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammad. Tharps lives in Philadelphia with her husband and three children. She blogs at