100 Thousand Poets for Change is an international event that was started in 2011 by Michael Rothenberg & Terri Carrion consisting of individual events, each planned locally, poetry & music promoting peace & sustainability. In the past few years an event has been planned by the staff & faculty of SUNY Adirondack (formally known as Adirondack Community College) in Queensbury, NY. This year they actually planned 3 events: a student poetry reading on September 24, a Faculty and Area Poets Reading and Book-Signing & a reading by Joy Harjo, both on Sunday, September 27. I was pleased to be invited to read, & to be listed on the flyer along with Paul Pines, Barbara Ungar, Carol Graser & Elaine Handley.
Faculty & Area Poets
The first part of the Sunday program was held in the Visual Arts Gallery in Dearlove Hall. There were 14 on the program & 1 last-minute addition, each of us limited to a (theoretical & sometimes actual) 5 minutes. Some of these performers are familiar names to those who attend poetry events in the region extending up into the North Country, some were familiar to those at SUNY Adirondack.
I also would be remiss to not mention Courtney Reid who handled the logistics, which anyone who knows about group poetry readings is like herding cats. Also, the students in the culinary school for the exquisite cookies (& who perhaps had something to do with the variety of small sandwiches & other refreshments available between the 2 halves of the afternoon).
Following her reading she gave generous space to questions & answers from the audience which led her back & around to discussions of poetry & native culture. Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings is just out & so only available in a hardbound edition, but I wanted these poems now, & the cover art is worth it — & Joy Harjo signed it.
As I remarked during my time slot, we poets are used to asking for change, passing the hat at every open mic.
For a full set of photos from this afternoon of poetry check out my flickr site here.