April 17, 2013

Poetry + Prose -- 2nd Sunday @ 2, April 14

Another Sunday at the Arts Center in Troy, with my co-host Nancy Klepsch & a roomful of eager readers of prose & poetry -- excuse me, not just another Sunday, it was a day of back-to-back poetry events as this regular monthly event was followed by the start of the week-long annual Albany WordFest.  Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Brian Dorn was first with his rhymes, "Preach It's Wrong," followed by a love poem "Can't Escape" & an interesting use of rhymes in "Sad Poems." Mike Conner had been here before just to listen & check us out; we've must've passed the test because today he read "Bottled Memory," "The Hearth's Ballet" (about watching a fire), & "Seaweed Sanctuary."

Caroline Curran had read in the Albany poetry scene many years ago, now has moved back to the area & read about half of a stunning fictional piece about an autistic boy, "Headphones" -- hope she comes back with the other half. Howard Kogan had to give an intricate introduction, reading a Rilke poem then his own poem "The Amazing Grandchildren, After Rilke" (on observing "works of art"), then a poem he said "does not refer to anyone in the room -- hmm?). Mizara's first was a letter to all her ex-'s, "Saying Goodbye," while her next piece was a speech about gun control, "Lives Taken Away," while her last untitled piece was was the most poetic, about carrying her heritage forward, with lines like "I am the richest soil, the darkest oil …"

David Wolcott read from another chapter of his memoir, this about working in Eastern Europe writing Poland's new energy law after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the title for the chapter taken after one of Richard Haliburton's travel books, The Royal Road to Romance. In celebration of my recent trip to Oklahoma I read my poem from my last trip there 2 years ago, "Oklahoma Sunday," then a new poem "Nurture or Shooter." My co-host Nancy Klepsch also had a new poem, an intense, dense piece "I Wish You Had Lost Your Pass," then a intricate poem bouncing off Robert Frost & Langston Hughes, which says why I like so much sharing this space with her. Ron Drummond shared his success in being scheduled to  read in a gallery in San Francisco in May & then read from the liner notes he wrote for a recording of Anton Reicha's (1770 - 1836) G major string quartet.

Shannon Grant is another performer who has been around here for many years, most frequently in the singer-songwriter scene, but today showed up with poems about asserting herself as a woman & a performer, "Knight" (an ironic title) & "Rock Girl," a screed against the music industry's images of women performers. Kate Laity read a story from her novelette Unquiet Dreams (as C. Margery Kempe), a section about a "horse clock" she had in Ireland, the little hands, the big hands as characters. Sam Perkins was another returnee, having been here a year ago, with 2 related pieces, "Pendulum," & a work in progress that he sings about trying to find his way back home.

This variety, this diversity of voices is why we gather each 2nd Sunday at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, at 2PM. It's Free!

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