April 28, 2016

WordFest 2016 — Third Thursday Poetry Night, April 21

Once again I was pleased & honored to have my monthly reading & open mic at the Social Justice Center be folded into the larger, week-long Albany WordFest. I invoked the muse of the gone-too-soon poet C.D. Wright by reading her poem “Obscurity and the Amateur.” Then on to the open mic.

Alan Catlin brought a “pocket poem” he picked up at the library (part of a program for National Poetry Month) Wilfred Owen’s “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” then read one of his own from a series of prompts for April, a grim portrait of a meth-addict “April.” Sylvia Barnard read again her poem about the Biblical seer “Anna.” Philomena Moriarty read about a visit to the Florida beach Boca Grande, the poem “Fish” a huge grouper landed by boys.

Poet Dave” was here for the first time, & read a long piece “Unity” about love & humans working together. Pearse Murray turned a short story into a poem titled “Formation” about a child who became a composer so he could invent words.

The featured reader was mid-Hudson poet Tina Barry. She brought — & sold — copies of her collection of poetry & short fiction Mall Flower (Big Table Publishing, 2016), & read a generous selection from the book, beginning with the title poem. Then a poem on divorce “Going South” about a family trip as a child (her sister was in the audience tonight), & a couple sad poems about Dads, “One Bag of Popcorn,” & “Chanukah.” “What’s All This?” was a look back to the less wonderful episode of her teenage years, then one about a disappointing morning in bed, “Your Last Rooster.” She read about visiting an aunt with Alzheimer’s “No Word for Enchantment,” & one not in the book, about her uncle, “Come Back.” A nicely put together reading, & later I was glad to have the book, to read these again, & more.

After a short break, the open mic continued & I read a new poem about books, “Decomposition.” Joe Krausman followed with a poem by Mary Oliver “Wild Geese.” Karen Fabiane, a future-feature here on the third Thursday in June, read the labyrinthine “After Reading the Book Review.” Carole Rossi read about the various uses of a “Bonfire.” Brian Dorn read in rhyme, “Writing Poetry” in honor of WordFest. Our final poet for the night was Richard Propp who read a story worked into a poem about studying German & Classics “Getting F-ed in College.”

Third Thursday Poetry Night happens at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY each third Thursday at 7:30PM, a donation supports poetry & the Social Justice Center.

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