April 15, 2008

Caffé Lena Open Mic, April 2

This was a wild event with 23 readers, including open mic-ers & folks in the just-released-that-night collection, Every Drop of Water: Voices from the Caffè Lena Poetry Stage, Volume 1. The "featured poets" were the poets in the collection, with some of them reading their poem in the chapbook & some other works, or a mix. The poets were: Barbara Ungar, Sue Jefts , Joe Bruchac (with a couple of new poems, one about a World War II uncle just beginning to write), Kristen Day (who read her hilarious-outrageous "Pick a Poem"), Thérèse Broderick, D. Alexander Holiday (who has a news book of personal poems coming out soon), me, Sarah Craig, our host Carol Graser (who read her classic "Poetry Open Mic"), Barbara Garro, Bob Sharkey, & A.C. Everson. There are more poets in the book so you might want to pick up a copy.

The other poets who read were familiar voices like Marilyn Day, Tim Verhaegen, Michael Hare, James Schlett, W.D. Clarke, Mimi Moriarty, Josh McIntyre, & Sally Rhoades. Newer/lesser heard voices were "Nuwanda" (Mark Devett -- down from Glens Falls), Liam (with a poem on a napkin about Hindu gods), & Nick.

It was a full night but our expert host Carol moved it right along. I picked up my copy of the chapbook when I arrived & purchased other copies for friends, but at the reading I read other poems, not the poem in the book, so it wasn't until I was home, in bed, that I opened a copy of Every Drop of Water. The chapbook is an interesting design with 2 signatures sewn together without any other binding on textured, deckle-edged cream-colored stock. Most comments I over-heard from the other poets were on how attractive the book is. And indeed it is.

Unfortunately, Every Drop of Water is marred by production/layout errors. When I finally that night read the text I discovered that my poem, "Water", was printed without the last 9 lines. The poem fills the page so it is not apparent to someone not familiar with the poem, it just has a different ending from what I intended. Another error is that one of the poet's bios is repeated on another page, & the credits/acknowledgments that usually go on the "copyright page" (the reverse of the title page) are on a page facing the title page. There are also no page numbers & thus no table of contents, which in an anthology not arranged alphabetically makes for difficulty in finding the individual poets' work. I connected with Beth DellaRocco of the Caffe Lena board the next day & she said they will print another, shorter poem of mine (so it will fit on the one page) in the next printing, and those of you with the truncated version of my poem will be getting an errata sheet. In the meantime if anyone wants the complete text of my poem, please send me an email. All's well that end's well, I suppose.

Anywho, the open mic continues with interesting featured poets & is always the first Wednesday of the month, at historic Caffé Lena, Saratoga Springs, 7:30PM. See you there.