This reading was held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Kingston, a monthly open mic, with a featured reader, hosted by Micky Shorr. This month, in conjunction with the upcoming Memorial Day, the feature poets were veterans, all members of Veterans For Peace. I am always honored & humbled to be reading with these warrior-peacemaker-poets.
But first a couple open mic poets. Annie LaBarge read 3 memoir poems about her father & her mother, including "Mouse House" about her mother doing her hair. Leslie Gerber read a cluster of political poems; among others, "Meeting the President" is a fantasy of metaphorically assaulting President Bush, & the march of the dead in "It's Called Memorial Day."
Each vet reader introduced the next, sometimes in humor, but always with respect, so I had the distinct honor of being introduced by Jay. As I have been doing the last few open mics, I read from my new chapbook Poeming the Prompt, beginning tonight with "Top-Tips for Anxiety-Free Writing from Prompts," then the peace poems "What Really Happened" & "Fast & Slow," & ended with "The Lesson."
The evening ended with a few more open mic poets, including Alison Koffler, who instead of reading one of her own fine poems, read from a poem by a high school student, Brian Pascal, the tough & tender political rant "This Is For." Our host Micky Shorr read 2 poems of family conflict & stress, "No Exit" & "The Absolute Rule." Bobbie Katz had to borrow Jay Wenk's reading glasses to read 2 persona poems on distant wars, one in the voice of Penelope in 325 B.C. "Returning Home" & the other based on her own memories of being on the home front during World War II.
This is a regular series at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 320 Sawkill Road, Kingston, starting at 7PM, on the 3rd Saturday. Information at 845-331-2884.