This Summer tradition has been going on since 1990 at the Robert Burns Statue (& it started even earlier elsewhere in the City), the brain-child of poet & activist Tom Nattell, & since 2005 coordinated by me -- but then you would know all that & more if you were at the Poets in the Park reading. This year we had 3 Saturdays in July & 5 poets (6 actually scheduled). There were great, attentive audiences each night, ranging from about 15 to about 27, not including random passers-by who paused, listened & smiled.
As Albany poet Carolee Bennett pointed out later over beers at the party on my back porch both poets love the sound of their words, which is a compliment that all of us poets would love to hear.
Catherine Barnett, then on to her own fine work, briefly interrupted by the sirens of emergency vehicles. She began with a series of her mother/housewife poems, sometimes "I" sometimes "you," including a childhood memory of a horse auction for Shannon, who had just lost a beloved horse. Then on to a recent series of poems about Mary (i.e., the Blessed Virgin version), although she, Jill, is a Methodist (which in its own way makes it better), such as "Mary & the Commandments" (there are more than 10), "The Pope Writes a Poem to Mary," & "Mary's Terrible Heart" (which sounded to me like a love poem with an edge). A great way to end this series with this local poetic bright light. Did I say her hair was perfect?
We hope to be back next year at the Robert Burns statue in Albany's Washington Park on Saturdays in July. But in the meantime there are lots of poetry events -- reading, open mics, etc. -- here in New York State's Capital Region. Check out the calendar here. & until the next time, may the Muse be with you!