April 20, 2015

Albany WordFest - Up the River Launch, April 12

The start of the week-long poetry orgasm that is Albany WordFest began appropriately (or, in appropriately) enough at McGeary’s Irish Pub on Clinton Square on this Sunday evening with a launch of issue 3 of Up The River: A Journal of Poetry, Art & Photography. It was a great way to entice poets out who never come out — give them a copy of the zine with their poem in it & ask them to read! Mary Panza did her best to herd these cats to the mic, & Kevin Peterson did his best to remember to read their bios from the book.

Malcolm Willison read a revised version of his poem in UTR, “Setting Out,” then a funny poem about a drone “Home to Roost.” Howard Kogan read a poem about “Heaven” (it is like working security at a casino he thinks), then the poem in UTR “Advice to Poets.” Nancy Klepsch’s poem in UTR is “A Queer Horse” with it’s reference to a Robert Frost poem, then she performed what she had earlier this afternoon at the Arts Center “We All Pray for Different Reasons.” R.M. Engelhardt made a rare appearance to read his poem from UTR “Two Derelicts” then a stroll down memory lane to the QE2 with his poem “Ode to the Wolfman.” Tom Riley did not read his poem from UTR, instead read a late Winter poem “Out the Window” & “A Song for You.”

Cecele Allen Kraus read a poem about a country store “Turning Point,” then her poem in UTR “What’s Mine Is Yours” (about a childhood friend who was a cutter). Alan Catlin, who also edits an online literary journal, Misfit Magazine, read from UTR “Dancing with Lunatics,” then a poem re-working the Hitchcock movie Rear Window. Thom Francis, el presidente of AlbanyPoets, read his entry “Listerine” then “April” (the only 30/30 poem, he said, he has managed to write this year). Karen Schoemer read her UTR piece a tender poem tracing the stages of her daughter growing up “Summer Peaches About Its Wane,” then a relationship poem “Sanctuary.”

Robert Phelps made the long trip up the river from Beacon, said it was his first time reading poetry in Albany, read a couple poems, “The Jew & the Black Boy on the A Train,” a villanelle “After the Grief,” then his contribution to UTR “Sunday Morning on the River Road.” Frank Robinson’s poem in UTR is a love poem to his wife “The Winter of ’88,” then a piece in which he announced his candidacy for President of the United States in a string of well-chose election campaign clichés. Former Metroland 2nd Place "Best Local Poet" Gary Murrow wasn’t able to be here today so Mary Panza asked me to read his entry in UTR, the short poem “A Valentine” (none of my poems were accepted for UTR, but they did include a photo I took of poet Paul Weinman at the QE2 in 1989).

A most auspicious start to this year’s Albany WordFest with poets & poems from near & far. So, with the help of god, a pen, a camera & the internet I will be bringing you more Blogs about the goings on this week up & down the poetic streets of Albany.

Like we say here, “In Albany, Everyday is Poetry Month.

No comments: