Studio B Hosts Reading and Reception for Local Writers


"Proud," mixed media by Sharon K. Merkel 2022

by Jane Stahl

Celebrating the literary arts is part of Studio B Art Gallery's mission. On Sunday, June 30, 2024, a handful of writers who responded to Studio B’s “I AM: Proud” theme came to Studio B to share their writing.

Among them were newcomer Dave Bitler, Pastor of St. John-Hill Church in Boyertown, PA; loyal contributors Theresa Werba, poet; Craig Bennett, Kathryn Kirk, and Phil Repko, educators.

Dave Bitler, Pastor of St. John-Hill Church in Boyertown, PA, is a Tattoo Storyhunter and Evangelism Resident with Evangelize Today Ministries. Dave makes new friends by asking "Does Your Tattoo Have a Story?"

Theresa Werba (formerly Theresa Rodriguez) is the author of three books of poetry with topics ranging from neurodivergence, the writing process, love, loss, and aging, to faith and disillusionment.

Kathryn Kirk enjoys writing poetry for two voices, offering that "very often, we humans become self-centered and forget how much we depend on others. Performance poems attempt to look at how much better we can be together than we are alone."

A consummate, award-winning poet Phil Repko announced his forthcoming book of poetry. Phil's poetry tugs at the heart with poignant details of people he's loved and lost while savoring present moments. 

Craig Bennett's submission "Proud to Be a Boomer" took the audience back in time to review contributions of a much-maligned demographic. 

While Margaret Harner did not attend the reception, her submission about Carl A. Spaatz that told a surprising detail of one of Boyertown’s many heroes whose stories are told, in part, at the General Carl A. Spaatz USAAF Museum and in vignettes featured in Margaret's book One Day at a Time: a Social History of Boyertown, Pennsylvania.

The late Dr. James Tribbett’s submission was shared posthumously as a way to honor his outstanding contributions to local and international causes.

Above: bust of General Carl A. Spaatz, located at the General Carl A. Spaatz USAAF Museum. Below, Doc Tribbett, 58th Boyertown Citizen of the Year. 

Beginning July 1, 2024, the poetry and prose of 30 local writers will be published in The Boyertown Area Expression. Some of the writers have been previously featured in a “B Inspired” podcast episode found on your favorite podcast platform.

Booklets of "B Inspired" episode notes from episodes beginning February 2020, spotlighting over 200 community members, artists, and writers are available for a donation at Studio B.

Studio B has previously published 10 anthologies of poetry, prose, and art that are available for purchase. See for details. 

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