World Above Welcomes Cool Women, Wednesday, March 22nd, 7pm

On Wednesday, March 22nd at 7pm the South Jersey Poets Collective welcomes Cool Women as the featured readers to World Above Free Poetry Night at Stockton University’s Noyes Arts Garage (2200 Fairmount Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401).

The evening starts with the usual Open Mic, where participants read one poem that is less than two minutes long. The break will occur just before 8pm, and participants will return to a free take-home writing prompt, introduced by the host or the prompt’s author. Then, the members of Cool Women will read.

Known for their themed, improv-style poetry readings, Cool Women riff on each other’s poems like jazz musicians, providing an unpredictable and compelling performance. All nine members—Eloise Bruce, Juditha Dowd, Lois Marie Harrod, Betty Lies, Judy Michaels, Sharon Olson, Penelope Schott, Maxine Susman, and Gretna Wilkinson—have deep New Jersey roots. Since their debut in Princeton on Valentine’s Day, 2000, they have given dozens of readings in the tri-state area and as far away as Portland, Oregon.

Each of the Cool Women is widely published; collectively they have appeared in hundreds of literary journals, have won countless prizes, grants, fellowships, and awards, and have written dozens of books. They have taught and mentored all ages, from grade school through older adults. Together, Cool Women have produced six anthologies and two CDs of their work; their most recent book appeared in December 2016. This year they celebrate 21 years as a group and 17 years of performing together.

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Cool Women to Read in New Brunswick

In honor of Women’s History Month, the theme for their March 1 reading at the New Brunswick Free Public Library will be “Feminist Wiles.” The event will take place on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from 12:15 to 1:00 p.m at the New Brunswick Free Public Library, 60 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, phone (732) 745-5108. The reading is part of the Friends of the New Brunswick Free Public Library 2016-17 Event Series and will be held in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room.


Click to see full flyer.


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Cool Women on the March!

January 21, the day after the presidential inauguration, was the date of the Women’s March on Washington. This successful event was attended by an estimated half a million participants (or more), and at least 4.8 million worldwide at 408 marches in the U.S. and 168 in 81 other countries. (There is of course a wikipedia article already which uses these figures). Our Maxine attended the march in Washington:


And a grand total of 4 of us attended the march in Trenton (where there were at least 7,000 marchers!). Some photos of the march below:

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Our Volume 6 Launch a Success

The Off-Broadstreet Theatre turned out to be a terrific venue for our successful launch of our Cool Women anthology, Volume Six. We had a great and appreciative crowd, sold lots of books, and the reception afterwards was splendid indeed. Thanks to Anne Zeman of the Hopewell Public Library for co-hosting us. She wrote our group the day after saying it was “an absolutely wonderful evening–all of you were fantastic!” We are ordering more copies of the anthology, if you need one see our webpage that has ordering information.

Lois was the mistress of ceremonies and we all read in a pre-determined order, as is our usual method.

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Save the Date!

You and your guests are invited
to Cool Women’s
Reading and Publication Party
December 7, 2016


Inline image

at the
The Off-Broadstreet Theatre
5 S Greenwood Ave,
Hopewell, NJ 08525
Party and Book Sales
immediately after.
Presented by Hopewell Public Library’s
Wednesday Night Out Series
Cool Women Volume Six
Doors Open 5:45 pm
Reading begins at 6 pm.
Cool Women
Eloise Bruce, Juditha Dowd, Lois Marie Harrod,
Betty Bonham Lies, Judy Rowe Michaels, Sharon Olson,
Penelope Scambly Schott,  Maxine Susman, Gretna Wilkinson
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A Cool Retreat in Oregon

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 4.23.31 PMThe Cools’ next venue will be in Portland, Oregon, at the home of Cool stalwart Penelope Scambly Schott. She and her husband have hosted the White Dog Salon there for many years and have featured (at last count) over 100 poets.

Here are photos from our reading as well as photos of other places we visited.



If you’re not able to travel that far to hear us, please come to the launch of our new anthology, Cool Women Volume Six, which will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at the Off Broadstreet Theatre, 5 So. Greenwood Avenue, Hopewell, New Jersey. We hope to see you there!

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Our Reading in Pennington

On a drippy, rainy day we had a tremendous turnout for our reading at the Hopewell branch of the Mercer County Library in Pennington on Saturday, April 9th. Our theme was “light” in all of its manisfestations. Here are some photos:

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Spring Readings

The Cool Women will be performing twice during the month of April (National Poetry Month). Their first gig is entitled “Cool Women Talk to the Animals” and will take place at the Franklin Township Public Library at 7 p.m. on April 6. The address of the library is 485 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ (phone 732-873-8700). A few days later, Saturday, April 9, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., they will be reading to the theme of “Cool Women Light” at the Hopewell Branch of the Mercer County Library, 245 Pennington-Titusville Rd., Pennington, NJ (phone 609-737-2610). This reading will be followed by light refreshments, and both readings are free and open to the public.

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