May 8, 2008

Poetry @ the UAG, April 25

The last of this season's series, an inspiring collaboration of town-&-gown, with free coffee from Scratch (452 Madison Ave., Albany), tonight the host was Michael Peters.

Sam Truitt hit us twice in one week. More of his "Vertical Elegies," then work from a street meat mss. walking around NYC with audio/visual recorders (but without the images or sounds tonight -- words can & are often enough). He did more/other from his "Songs of Rasputin", then 40 lines for 40 days for a friend turning 40 inexplicably titled "Rattan Rex". Often his work involves floods of images. He described one piece in "cascading lines" but hard to hear what he meant as he read, as pleasurable as it was. Sam's work can be unrelieved seriousness but I don't have to understand everything he is doing to enjoy the play of words & images.

Rebecca Wolff is the editor of Fence, the lit mag currently housed at the Writers' Institute at SUNY Albany; I had once seen her read in May 2001 at the 11th St. Bar, & she has also read at the "Behind the Egg" series here in Albany. I found myself swept along with her images too, the humor of her word play, the generally easily grasped size of the poems she selected for her reading, including work from an untitled/tentatively titled ("Upstate") mss. So I'm just going to write down the titles, accurately or not, as I took them down. -- Something Sticking on Every Hand, What Are They Doing Here?, Between Spring & Prince (in NYC as a child), An Authorized Biography of J.A., Intoxicatorism, My Arrogance, My House Set in Order, My Pretension, One Morning..., World Without Rhyme, Elegy for the Lost, The Redirections, Literary Agency (the death of Loretta Scott King), & Remains (stones).

UAG once again shows it is the center of the arts scene in Albany. Let's hope this series, this collaboration between Jawbone & AlbanyPoets, continues on when the new academic year begins.