February 2, 2017
Book Launch: A Chill in the Air, poems by Howard J. Kogan
This was a one-time event created by the esteemed & venerable Dennis Sullivan as a celebration in honor of Howard Kogan’s new book of poems, A Chill in the Air (Square Circle Press). But before Howard read, Dennis said we would have an open mic run like a Quaker Meeting — no sign up sheet, just stand to read, a one poem limit.
Joe Krausman was the first to his feet, read his circus-themed poem titled “A Thrill in the Air” (dedicated to Bill Clinton). I followed with a poem whose title also played against the title of Howard’s book, mine a political metaphor “A Shill at the Fair.” Alan Casline’s poem “May 11, 1975, Old Jake” was a nod to Howard’s poems about the conversations of old guys.
Ron Pavoldi showed up to read an old poem, sticking to the theme, “Wind Chill.” Paul Amidon had a chill of a different sort in his cynical piece “Humbug & Other Holidays.” Ice & snow was a focus of Mark O’Brien’s poem “A Helderberg Journey” that also included the warmth of the neighbors.
This moving reading was followed somewhat anti-climaticly by a brief Q& A session where Howard revealed he has always been writing but for a long time not publishing. He also talked about the challenge from poet Bernadette Mayer to write a poem that didn’t make any sense that he was unable to meet. This reading was a demonstration that we don’t have to always meet challenges tossed our way — & that we are glad Howard is reading out & publishing his poems so we can take them with us. Buy the book -- Support Your Local Poet.