January 28, 2015

Yes! Poetry Performance Series, January 24

Evan Chen
Matthew Klane served as overall host for the evening, the first of the new season in this series, featuring readers from Barzakh, the University at Albany’s online literary journal. Before the main features, Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia & Philip Good, read, there was a bouquet of shorter readings, introduced by Barzakh co-editor Evan Chen.

Michael Peters presented slides & a somewhat manic reading from his project “The — Zoic Sphere.” The essay opened linking Peters’ first impression of the University at Albany campus with the stunning image of a half-buried Statue of Liberty from the original Planet of the Apes movie (1968).  The project envisions placing a ball (a giant period) as port for space ships at the top of the carillon tower on the campus.

Chad Lowther, co-editor of Barzakh, was introduced by Chen with an erasure from a text for an intro, then performed a hip-hop piece accompanied by a recording.

Chad gave an “anti-phonic introduction” to Doug Rothschild, the best dressed reader of the evening. He read a series of short, very serious, often philosophical poems run together without intros or comments, including a double haiku, a pastiche of William Carlos Williams’ poems, & urban notebook jottings.

Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia has read in some of the area open mics. His work is fragmentary & esoteric. He began reading from a small spiral notebook, short pieces read fast, without intros, then on to an excerpt from an upcoming verse novel re-written from Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” He included some segments some of his published works, including Yawning on the Sands & This Sentimental Education & ROBOT, listing a pantheon of modern authors he had read as a youth.

Philip Good, Bernadette Mayer, Marie Warsh
Philip Good has been featured at many of the local poetry venues. He began with some old pieces he wrote in Prague, then on to a new project that includes poems on the months with illustrations that he held up for us to see: “September,” “In October,” & “In November.” He then called up his poetry co-conspirators, Bernadette Mayer & Marie Warsh to read from Hibernation Collaboration (Mademoiselle de la Staples Press, 2014) each poet taking turns to read their entries, up to the book’s centerfold. I wish I’d taken better notes on who read what because when I consulted my copy of the chapbook later I realized that none of the poems were identified as to the author — a true collaboration, I guess.

The Yes! Series takes place at the Albany Center Galleries, 39 Columbia St., Albany, NY on random Fridays, about 7PM — find them on FaceBook for more information.

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