The historic Caffè Lena building on Phila St. is undergoing renovations this Summer so the reading & open mic series has moved to Northshire Bookstore on Broadway in Saratoga Springs. I got there a little late, missed the first reader or so, & didn’t get to sign up. But there were lots of folks filling the 2nd floor children’s book section & reading space, many of whom I’d not seen over on Phila St. As always, Carol Graser was our host as usual.
I arrived as Suzanne Rancourt was introduced & she read the richly descriptive memoir “Pastries on Lark St.” & a poem titled “When She Sings Birds Fly.” Dawn Marar made a rare appearance at an open mic with 2 poems about dancers, one about childhood dance lessons. Philomena Moriarty read 2 piece not in her recent book, one a memoir of a family house in Kerry “On Being Irish,” & “Starships” (on great minds).
a panel discussion on the poet/activist Pat Parker that I had attended.
Wanda Birch said this was her first open mic, & read from a series of poems based on letters written during the Civil War. Tim Snider, who usually reads rhyming pieces, read a prose piece on hate, titled “And More.”
W.D. Clarke stayed on theme with “The Collector” a piece in rhyme about the theft of woman’s “bloomers.” Jeanine Lafferty read 2 poems about working on a CSA farm. Another regular, Barbara Garro, read a poem about one of her paintings, then a piece titled “Memento Mori” (which reminded me of Patti Smith’s line, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine”). Jan Tramontano made a surprise appearance in the Northeast & got away with reading 3 poems, all about waiting for her new grandson — such a proud grandma!
The Caffè Lena Poetry Open Mic continues for the Summer, at least, at Northshire Bookstore, 424 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY still on the 1st Wednesday of the month — note the earlier start time: 6:30PM signup, 7:00PM start, no cover while at the bookstore, but donations for the cafe gratefully accepted.