Not as hot in the Social Justice Center as I had thought it might be & keeping the door closed kept the Summertime hot air out & the Poets' hot air (or were they poetic cool breezes?) in. Overall an interesting night of new voices, returned voices & a fine featured poet, Avery.
But first a bit of the open mic, with Carolee Sherwood starting us off with a new poem of hers, celebrating another anniversary of her 26th birthday, "On Turning 39." Christopher Locke was the first of the night's new voices; he has book of poems, End of American Magic, from Salmon Poetry in Ireland, & a number of chapbooks; he read "Waiting for Grace" (his daughter at the school bus). Another new reader, Brandie Hensman, had picked up a flyer at the Poets in the Park & was brave tonight to read her poem "Beautiful LIes."
Alan Catlin brought along a hot-weather poem, drinking poem, "War Movies." Sylvia Barnard said her poem, based on a real person, "A Poem for Deborah Squash," was a post-4th-of-July patriotic poem. & Joe Krausman brought us back to his childhood in Brooklyn, "On the Street Where I Live."
After the break I read a birthday poem, "This Birthday is Not Divisible by 10" for the folks in the audience celebrating recent birthdays. Nigel Fellman Greene, another new voice, blamed Avery for bringing him here & read his piece "Sinker" in rhyme on drinking & smoking & trying to write. Shannon Shoemaker read an old favorite, "Michigan," invoking another summer night, off the top of her head. Dain Brammage also did a poem from memory, "Epic," pining for inspiration from Calliope. The first of the night's 2 Sallys, Sally Rhoades read a new piece, "The Long Sweet Road of Marriage," on the little things.
We're at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY every 3rd Thursday, sign-up beginning 7:00PM, with an open mic starting at 7:30PM, & a featured poet, all for a $3.00 donation, that supports the Poetry Motel Foundation & the Social Justice Center.