June 28, 2009

Flag Day Celebration, June 14

I was pleased to be invited to be the featured poet at this event arranged by Connecticut poet & painter, Joan Pavlinsky, held at Studio 59 in Torrington, CT.  This is part of a regular series, the Studio 59 Poetry Circle, a poetry & music salon in the performance space that is also the home of pianist Timothy Alexandre Wallace in a renovated church.

We were an intimate group, sipping wine, talking about art in our various communities until it was time for the open mic, with Joan as the host.  Her husband Ed Stempel made his poetry reading debut (a virgin) with a reading of "In Flander's Field," written during World War I by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) of the Canadian Army.

Victoria Munoz, who runs a poetry series in Waterbury, CT read her description of the food & music at a festival, "The 4th on the 5th of July," "Invasion 2009" on politics & cleaning up on New Year's day, & Billy Collins' "The Blues."  Poet & graphic artist Priscilla Newcomb didn't bring any of her own poems, so she read Joan's "The Miles Between Us," written for the "One Soldier, One Poem" project.

Our host, Timothy Wallace, improvised thinking about "the blue flag," a lush piece with classical allusions & blues scales.  A visit to his salon is worth it just to hear him play -- & to see the space.

My program was based on the "Flag Day" theme, so lots of politics, some humor & token love poems just to prove I can.A wonderful venue for poetry & music.