August 25, 2016

Eighth Annual CAPS Marathon & Book Fair, August 20

Calling All Poets is a monthly reading series on the first Friday, formerly in Beacon, but with their annual Marathon Reading, has moved to The Roost Studio in New Paltz. There were over 40 readers scheduled between Noon & 10PM, with open mic poets scattered in the mix as time permitted. But there seemed to be a high rate of no-shows.

Alison Koffler-Wise
I was on for a slot in the 7 to 8 hour & got there sometime after 4PM, having just missed Roberta Gould, & caught a good part of Janet Hamill’s reading, including poems about Rimbaud & Hart Crane. My good buddy & fellow Veterans For Peace activist, Dayl Wise, read poems based on his experience in Viet Nam, then, & later delivering medical supplies. Alison Koffler Wise read from a series of poems-in-progress about the Bronx in the 1940s, “City of Women.”

The grand-ole-man of poetry, Donald Lev, was able to get to the podium & read a series of mostly short poems, aphoristic & quirky as is his wont.   Christie Shannon Kline (who I recalled seeing & hearing in Beacon a while back) read a couple poems about looking for her father (“DNA Dad,” “”).

Donald Lev
There was a break to feed the parking meter, for dinner, pizza, conversation, buying books, & time for an open mic poet, Guy Reed, who read from the Goat Hill Poets Anthology & began a string of readers, including me, who read work that appears in CAPS Poetry 2015 (edited by Marina Mati), reading his poem “1963 EVINRUDE” from the collection.  The perennially provocative Ron Witeurs began with a short piece (dedicated to Christie Shannon Kline, who unfortunately had left) claiming DNA testing showed he was her father, then his longer, more complex, & melodious “From the Mouth of the Rosendale Cave.”

Tony Pena read some of his rock’n’roll chronicle pieces, including one set in a retro-clothing store “Wardrobe Malfunction.” I followed, beginning with my entry in the CAPS Poetry 2015 anthology “Living in Wilcox,” & ending with a satirical poem with a hopefully short expiration date, “When Donald Trump Farts.” Glenn Werner included his CAPS Poetry 2015 poem “Wings” in his cluster of poems as well as the challenging “Murmurations” that can be read 3 ways. Penny Bruni was new to me & read what she said was her “best poem all year,” a descriptive piece with horses & native warriors.  Samuel Claiborne said he had “tons of new stuff” & read from a series titled “Allegories” & even a piece in rhyme.

Mike Jurkovic photographed by Christopher Wheeling
Mike Jurkovic had been at the Altamont Fair poetry event earlier in the week & read characteristic pieces with grim details, sex & self-deprecating humor, & included one of his “greatest hits” a poem about Screaming Jay Hawkins. I’m glad Dave Kime was able to slip in 2 pieces as an open mic poet, one a recitation of poet Jim Morrison’s “Horse Latitudes” from Strange Days, & his own take on the meaning of the acronym P.O.L.I.C.E.

Michelle Johnson’s reading included sex/relationship poems, poems for her parents & her sister & her piece from CAPS Poetry 2015. Of course Marina Mati, editor of CAPS Poetry 2015 included her poem “teachings” from the anthology as well as a tribute piece to the Howland Theater in Beacon where the CAPS reading took place for so many years. At that point the day had caught up with me & I still had an hour + drive home so headed out as another open mic poet, Jeremy Elrich, took to the mic. I know I missed some good poets, both on the front end & in the last hour, but those I heard were certainly well worth the trip.

The Calling All Poets Series will continue on the first Friday of each month at 8:00PM with featured poets, streaming guest poets, & an open mic at its new location: Roost Studios, 69 Main St., New Paltz, NY — your hosts Jim Eve, Mike Jurkovic, Robert Milby, & Glenn Werner.

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