January 4, 2008

Happy New Year!

Just about a year ago I started this Blog as a way of escaping from MySpace, & now "what a long strange trip it's been." As of this writing the Blog has had 456 views over 138 separate entries -- poems, open mic reports, random updates, etc. I don't know whether there are 3 people out there who visit the Blog a couple times a day, or 456 people who have each visited it once. As the Chinese would say (in different words, of course), Whatever.

Thanks for your interest. I'm going to keep at it, Deo volente, & we'll see what 2008 will bring.

Sadly, we are starting the year with one less poetry venue. Shaun Baxter announced that the NightSky Cafe in Schenectady will no longer be having a monthly poetry open mic there. Shaun had run the 3rd Wednesday reading since about August 2006, with a featured reader, occasional poetry "assignments," & post cards to be mailed back with a poem (or not). He even put out a small chapbook collection of poems from some the poets who had read there. Shaun is a whimsical, literate, relaxed host who did an excellent job in getting a variety of featured poets from among the many community poets out there, & in my book this series ranked high on the list of "best open mics." But venues come & go, while poets keep writing. I just wonder: Who is the second-shortest open mic host now?

6 comments:

Tim Verhaegen said...

Thank you Sean Baxter for all your efforts, I hope you find another venue. You were a great host. Is there a future poem around the reason why Night Sky Cafe discontinued the open mic? I'm sure everybody is wondering.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Tim Verhaegen said...

I love this book I’m reading about writing. I’m quoting some statements from Pat Walsh that I think would be helpful to all writers.

“You Don’t Trust Your Audience – If you write something you would not need to be told yourself or have explained to you, take it out.”

“You Do Not Know Your Audience – Gertrude Stein got it right, when she said she wrote for herself and strangers…Never have your friends and family in mind or you will be hobbled by worry about what they think…It is difficult to maintain a high degree of honesty if you are concerned about misperceptions from loved ones.”

This one was great for me “The spoken word and the written word are cousins, not identical twins, Each has its place and needs to be respected, but a writer’s focus should be on the page and he should not let a vocal bias mask his weaknesses.”

This part was awesome for me writing too much gay stuff:

“You Do Not Realize that Nobody Cares – Somewhere along the line. however, many writers lose the ability to discern between what is interesting to a reader and what is interesting to them….Use your inside knowledge to add authenticity and intricacy, but do not cut yourself a slice of life that makes other people want to end theirs…. When something is very important to you, it may be hard to see that it is very unimportant to everybody else. If you feel a personal catharsis when writing or reading…that might be a bad sign…. Readers are not going to care about you simply because you care about you…”

“You Preach – do not blatantly tell readers what is right and what is wrong…People can barely take it when they think it is coming from a priest, a prophet, or even God, why would they take it from you?”

“You think Too Highly of Yourself – I have met several writers over the years who are very intelligent, so much so that they are hamstrung by intellect…My book isn’t bad, you are just too stupid to understand it…”

Anonymous said...

I am truly sad to hear the reading at the Night Sky Cafe is no longer. I agree that Shaun was a great host and i hope he finds another venue soon.

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john raymond said...

Raw deal, Shaun. -The best of luck with a new venue ...

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