Prose in the park this weekend

Head over to Pretzel Park on Saturday for a day of book readings from local authors and live music from 12 to 7 p.m.

For local author Robin Slick, the event is a sort of family reunion too. Her children, Eric and Julie, will open and close the event with musical performances from their rock projects ‘Springs’ and ‘Norwegian Arms’. Her son, Eric, may be best known as the drummer for Dr. Dog.

“I’m a total groupie mom. My kids play in a million side projects and are always on tour,” says Slick, who lives near the art museum. “I had this dream for a while about having a reading and having my kids play for other people. It’s kind of ironic they play events for other people but never for their mom.”

Slick will read excerpts from her book “Daddy Left Me Alone with God.”

If the title seems religious, it’s only in the sense that it follows the gospel of rock and roll – as the ‘god’ refers to Eric Clapton, who Slick named her own son after. The story is about a middle-aged women contemplating divorce who tours the United States with her adolescents, only to meet up with a successful rock musician who she hooked up with decades earlier.

“My dad was a jazz musician in Buddy Rich’s band, so I did grow up with a b-list celebrity crowd,” says Slick. “My other books are erotic comedies so they’re not really family-friendly.”

Christine Weiser is another rock and roll mom turned author. Her first novel, “Broad Street”, tells the story of two best friends who make a drunken pact to start an all-girl rock band in Philadelphia, and their journeys through Philadelphia’s male-dominated music scene. It’s inspired by Weiser’s own experiences playing bass in the band ‘Mae Pang.’ She continues to play music on the side of raising children, working as editor for a technology magazine and running the local literature magazine ‘Philadelphia Stories.’

“I think you can still rock and be a mom and a dad,” says Weiser. “You just do the juggle and make time for it.”

Rounding out the book reading is Robin Black, whose book “If I Loved You, I Would Tell You” is a collection of short stories about families in turmoil, and Hidden River ARts founder Debra Leigh Scott.

All four women who will read at the event on Saturday – Weiser, Slick, Black and Scott – honed their writing skills in the Rittenhouse Writers Group under the tutelage of James Rahn. “Philadelphia still sort of lives in the cultural shadow of new yore and the larger metropolitan area, but we have so many talented writers and such a great cultural community here,” says Weiser, who went on to found the ‘Philadelphia Voices’ literary magazine after writing stories in the Rittenhouse Writers Group. If the rain interferes, the event will be held at the same time at the Grape Room in Manayunk.

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