There's nothing quite like basking under the pinkish glow of the neon sign at Dock Street Cannery while world-renowned writers read their own words aloud to an intimate crowd of about 50 people, all sipping handmade cocktails or handcrafted beer.

We tried this for the first time in March for the first of our #CreativeAtTheCannery series, a close, if not more broody, cousin of the on-going #ComedyAtTheCannery events, and it was so wonderful that we're making it official, with more dates to be added throughout the year.

This time, our May reading will feature novelist Asali Solomon, translator Elisabeth Jaquette, and playwright/actor James Ijames, and will be hosted again by Philadelphia-based writers Matt Jakubowski and Christine Kendall.

Doors open at 5pm for drinks + snacks, and the readings start at 7pm. Come early to secure a seat! 


Asali Solomon Author Photos by Ron Nichols.jpeg


Asali Solomon’s is the author of the novel Disgruntled. She received a Rona JaffeFoundation Writers’ Award and was selected as a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” for the stories in her first book, Get Down(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006). Her stories and essays have appearedin The Kenyon Review, O: The Oprah Magazine, and the anthologies USANoir: The Best of the Akashic Noir Series, Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers On The Albums That Changed Their Lives, and Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts. She teaches Creative Writing and Literature of the African Diasporaat Haverford College.


Playwright + Actor

is a Philadelphia based performer and playwright. He has appeared regionally in productions at The Arden Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, The Wilma Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Mauckingbird Theatre Company, and People’s Light and Theatre. James’ plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre (NYC), Ally Theatre (Washington DC) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright's Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theater, The Gulfshore Playhouse, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Garden. James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient, and he also won two Barrymores for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for Superior Donuts and Angels in America and one Barrymore for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre Company. James is a 2011 Independence Foundation Fellow, a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for WHITE, the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for ....Miz Martha and a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award.  James is a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective and a mentor for The Foundry. He received a B.A. in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a M.F.A. in Acting from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. James is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University and resides in South Philadelphia.



Elisabeth Jaquette is a translator from the Arabic, and Executive Director of the American Literary Translators Association. Her work has been shortlisted for the TA First Translation Prize, longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award, and supported by PEN/Heim and English PEN Translation Awards. Recent book-length translations include The Apartment in Bab el-Louk by Donia Maher, illustrated by Ganzeer and Admed Nady (Darf Publishers, 2017), and The Queue  by Basma Abdel Aziz (Melville House, 2016). Elisabeth holds an MA from Columbia University, a BA from Swarthmore College, and was a CASA Fellow at the American University in Cairo. She is an instructor of translation at Hunter College, a member of the translators’ collective Cedilla & Co, and has served on numerous translation prize juries. Her forthcoming translations include Thirteen Months of Sunrise by Rania Mamoun (Comma Press, 2018) and The Frightened Ones by Dima Wannous (Harvill Secker, 2019).