October 4, 2015
This reading was part of an annual series held at the Cape Ann Museum, a series that started with the Charles Olson celebration in 2010. Poet & performer Michael McClure was today’s guest lecturer to a full house of Gloucesterites, visitors & a poetic luminaries.
James Cook, Gloucester poet & teacher introduced Michael McClure with a tale of his discovery of McClure’s work, & a litany of other San Francisco Renaissance writers.
At the end he looked for some haiku in his new volume, couldn’t find them & ended with a marvelous poem, what he called “a plum song,” a descriptive piece beginning with fog, to the colors of plums, a mudra, circling back through the images again to fog.
Michael McClure has a new book out of new & selected poems, City Lights has reprinted his early book Dark Brown; also currently available are the above-mentioned Ghost Tantras, & one of my favorites, Scratching the Beat Surface.
September 26, 2015
How could I not go to this reading? — on the bill Cheryl A. Rice & 3 other women poets! It was a good choice. Lekker is a laid-back restaurant/cafe on Main St. in Stone Ridge, with an eclectic menu with beer & wine.
Painters & Poets so it is not surprising that her poems were filled with lush visual images. She began with poems from her chapbook Painters and Poets (Penington Press, 2012) “Shadow” (a photo of Matisse), “Caller to the Moon” (Georgia O’Keefe) & “Ars Poetica.” Then on to a poem for her mother on her 91st birthday, imagining her conception “Star Shower,” the musical “Listening Ravi Coltrane,” & one about being on a cruise ship “At Sea.” She ended with an evocative piece about a man on a tractor, & his dead son, then “The War After the War” from a series in letter form.
Timberline Review, a memoir about story-telling & her Italian grandmother, then a poem “Leaving Sicily.”
I was more enthralled leaving than I had been when I arrived, a wonderful night of poetry & stories & lovely women. Oh, I forgot to mention the sole male on the ticket, the vocalist & acoustic guitar player Bret Scott, mixing rock & jazz. Folks seemed to enjoy the food here at Lekker, & the wine & beer list was imaginative, just enough.
September 22, 2015
at the Social Justice Center, but tonight without a featured poet, thus the open mic poets were allowed to read 2 poems each. And there was a good list of poets to read, with even a couple of new poets on the list.
& the new poets were 1st & 2nd on the list, first Robert Nied, with rhyming poems “Talking” & “The Ride Home,” conversations with his son. Then Owen Nied, the son Robert’s poems were about, his poem “The Kitchen Was a Glowing Fireball” about party, then a poem about listening to LPs “Between the Speakers,” accompanied by his finger-snapping.
The second of the familial groups began with Frank Robinson introducing a new chapbook, not of poetry, but about coins, then read a new poem never read before, on the best things about America, good enough for a campaign speech. He was followed by his wife Thérèse Broderick with poems from her childhood, “The Breath Debt” about playing music with her Dad, & “Armful After Armful.” Karen Fabiane’s first poem was from the East Village 40 years ago, “Outdoor Cafe,” followed by a newer piece “Makes A Great Shake.”
Sylvia Barnard reprised 2 poems from her recent trip to Ireland, the first about actually reading a page of “The Book of Kells,” then about the “Giants’ Causeway” in Northern Ireland. Brian Dorn read about the game of Chess in the 21st Century, “My Queen & I,” then “Out of the Shadows,” both from his book From My Poems to Yours (The Live Versions). Kwesi returned with a new poem, “Bullets,” powerful images of racism in America. I finished off the night with a new poem “Naming the Parakeets,” then a snippet from my new book Gloucester Notes (FootHills Publishing).
The Third Thursday Poetry Night takes place each, well, third Thursday of the month, at 7:30PM, at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY usually a featured poet & an open mic for the rest of us, for a modest (or not) donation.
September 18, 2015
This reading by Elizabeth Gordon, Julie Lomoe & James Schlett was one of a continuing series by local authors, the series sponsored by the Hudson Valley Writers Guild. [Full disclosure: I am President of HVWG & organized this reading.] It was held at the East Greenbush (NY) Community Library.
3 writers representing only a sample of the of the great variety of writing personalities, styles & genres in this rich & arts-vibrant region. For more information about the Hudson Valley Writers Guild check out the website.
September 17, 2015
Another sure sign of Autumn, along with cooler nights & the leaves turning colors, is the return of this eclectic reading/performance/art series. For the season opener there were no out-of-towners, just 3 locals, Diana Alvarez, Olivia Dunn, & Adam Tedesco.
http://okdunn.com. She began with some vignettes about walking around the Empire State Plaza, descriptive, humorous, somewhat self-deprecating. Then on to a series of memoir pieces, one on Winter in Middle School in Albany, another on the 3 Albany Price-Choppers, where a discussion of the Delaware Ave. store, known to all as “the ghetto Chopper,” led to a thoughts on racism & being one of the minority white students at Philip Livingston Middle School. Check out her Blog for samples of her work.
Yes! continues on a monthly basis at the Albany Center Gallery, 39 Columbia St., Albany, 7PM, a donation helps keep the series going. Find them on Facebook to see when the next readings are.
September 14, 2015
The sub theme for the night was, informally, today’s date & its moment(s) in history, so I read my poem written in 2012 “Another Tuesday,” conflating the September 11 Tuesdays of 1973 & 2001 (& 2012). Tim Verhaegen followed with a ironic/humorous short essay on the workplace “Lying Herds.” Mark W. O’Brien read a philosophical piece on death & love, “It’s A Long Road that Has No Turning.” Our host, Alan Casline, read next 3 short poems, “Paddle Song,” “Bell’s Butterflies” & a consideration of the great spirit, “They Are the Salt of the Earth.” Always philosophical John Abbhul read poems in rhyme, beginning with “Biophilia” (wondering what flowers might feel), “Contentment” (about a field of hummingbirds), & “The Meaning of Truth.” Joan Gran’s poem was about a family in conflict, “Trouble in the Kitchen” done in images of food & cooking. Paul Amidon looked to the past for an image of his parents holding hands “Parking Lot Image” & “Poseur.” This was Sue Oringel’s first time here & she read about “Dirt” & golf (“Links”). Jessica Rae read parts of her poem “Magical Great Blue Heron”, then a poem on things overheard in the park & a meditation on love & healing.
After a break we continued with the open mic, with Howard Kogan returning to a theme of the night, “September 11, 2001: 3 Memories.” Philomena Moriarty’s poem remembering Autumns in the past, “One Falls Over Laughing,” was inspired by a display of Teddy Bears in Starbucks, then a poem on the fallibility of memory “The Unmeeting of Minds.”
This series continues on a monthly basis on Fridays at the Pine Hollow Arboretum, 29 Maple Ave., Slingerlands, NY, 6:30PM (earlier for food), logistics by the Rootdrinker Institute.
September 11, 2015
Another quiet night in the Garden Room of the Pride Center for the open mic, just me, Sylvia Barnard & our host Don Levy; no featured poet scheduled. So we agreed to do a round-robin reading of 3 poems each.
I was first in each round, began with a new poem, not yet typed out, “Naming the Parakeets,” then an old one from my brand-new poetry chapbook, Gloucester Notes (FootHills Publishing), “The Cold Clean Sea,” & my last poem was a recent one “Hidden Cafe Table Poem.”
Sylvia Barnard has been on a tour of Ireland, mainly the North, & has missed a few of the recent open mics. Her first two, brief poems were from her trip “The Book of Kells” & “The Giant Causeway.” Her last poem was one I’ve heard her read before, but enjoy it a lot, about the poets listening & reading in the July Poets in the Park series.
Often there is a featured poet who reads first, followed by an open mic for the rest of us, each 2nd Wednesday, 7:30PM at the Pride Center of the Capital Region, 332 Hudson Ave., Albany, NY — a modest donation to pay the feature.