June 25, 2008

Third Thursday Poetry Night, June 19



This was a special night, you might say a literary "2-for": the feature reading by Saratoga Springs poet Mary Kathryn Jablonski and the release of her new poetry chapbook To the Husband I Have Not Yet Met, published by A.P.D. ("the Alternative Press for Albany Poets," yours truly, me, the publisher). They are marvelous poems & Mary Kathryn took control of the design & production making an (if I do say so myself, & I do) exquisite chapbook. I was so excited that I forgot to bring any of my own poems to read in the open mic.

Georganna Millman was the first open mic poet & read a poem for her husband, "Ruby-throated Hummingbird." Michael Hare's poem "Elm Tree on Maple Ave." is a tree describing the years going by. Alan Catlin's poem combining the JFK motorcade in Dallas in 1963 with running up Mt. Olympus might have been called "Alchemy" or it was just his way of categorizing it.

Just written today, Don Levy's poem was tentatively titled "Gay Marriage in the Future" -- I think we can expect him to come up with one of his characteristically snappy titles for future readings. Mimi Moriarty read about the internment of her father's ashes at Arlington National Cemetery, like a coda to her book War Psalm. Bob Sharkey was poet as (word) photographer with a poem/picture of "North Pearl St. 4PM."

Our featured poet Mary Kathryn Jablonski read Section II - Letters from the book, the 12 letters "To the Husband I Have Not Yet Met." The book also contains 5 introductory poems as "Prelude" (which she didn't read tonight). Her quiet, straight-forward reading style was a perfect fit for the poems, weaving threads of humor through explorations of memory, longing & the power of the poetic imagination. She seemed to have as much fun reading as the audience was having listening to her. (If you are interested in getting a copy of To the Husband I Have Not Yet Met email me through this Blog.)

After the break & the flurry of book sales & signings, Kristen Day read her short poem on abstract expressionism, "Priceless Painting at the Smithsonian" (hint: she didn't like it). W.D. Clarke wrote from the other side of Custer's last fight at Greasy Grass with "Their Last Stand." Moses Kash III's long political rant "Brighter Tomorrows" was written yesterday.

Another local poet/publisher Alan Casline read his poem "Broken Pieces of the World" which he compared to A.C. Everson's "Birth of Earth". As a tribute, Chris Brobham read "Thank you Father" (his father died last year). And James Schlett closed out the night with a little piece on memory & gravity, "Come Back Down."

Every third Thursday (but not always a book release party) at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany NY, 7:00PM sign-up, 7:30 PM start. Just one poem (unless you are the featured poet).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have heard some of Mary Jablonski's work relative to the Husband letters. I loved them. They are very accessible to a large audience.

I'm disappointed the Husband letters were not published by a nationally recognized publisher. The Husband letters rise to that level.

I'm curious to know if an attempt was made to pubish the Husband letters with a much larger press prior to this publication decision. If an attempt was not made, Mary underestimates the quality of her project.

- Tim V.

Anonymous said...

From Therese--I would like a copy of the husband poems at your convenience, Dan. I'm sorry I had to miss the reading.

Anonymous said...

Dan, relative to your email I'm sure you did a great job, can't wait to see the chapbook.

I only meant I would have liked Mary's book circulated to a much bigger, wider audience through a large publication structured to market to a bigger, wider audience.

- Tim V.

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