An evening of spoken word & music way down in Teaneck, NJ. I've been invited before but this year I was finally able to make it . An annual event organized by Veterans For Peace member Walt Nygard it is held at the Puffin Cultural Forum complete with a program/poetry chapbook produced by Post Traumatic Press of Woodstock, NY. The dedication to this year's program reads "This event is dedicated to the people who work tirelessly for peace & justice throughout the world. … to those who occupy Wall Street & sparked a movement." Oh yeah.
In addition to reading a couple of his own poems, Jan Barry also talked about the Warrior Writers Project & read a poem by Nathan Lewis. He was followed by Iraq War veteran Eli Write from the Combat Paper Project, who read the stunning "What Color Would You Paint Your Soul?". Sam Nygard's poems are in the more contemporary hip-hop style, including "One Nation Under Dollar Signs." Frank Wagner read a series of mostly short poems from his experience in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam in 1964 -1965. Joseph Giannini read a prose memoir about his work as a defense lawyer that dredged up his experience in Viet Nam. I read a couple poems from Poeming the Prompt (A.P.D., 2011), then my newest political piece, "One Day Longer" for the Occupy … movement.
The music father-&-daughter duo of Roxanne Sharone & Joe Sharone performed songs, the original "In Poet's Dreams" & the favorite from the 1960's, "War, What is it Good For?" as a rousing sing-along.
Great to be among all these peaceworkers & veterans, all these poets -- an honor, a privilege & an inspiration. There are more pictures from this event on my Flickr! site.