March 6, 2017

Yes! Poetry & Performance Series, March 4th

The Yes! reading series has moved over with the Albany Center Galleries to the Arcade Building, 488 Broadway, & tonight the walls were covered, salon-style, floor to ceiling with photos from regional photographers hoping to have our work chosen for the forthcoming 39th Annual Photography Regional (March 17 - April 21). As always, this reading presented a vibrant mix of poetry, art & music. The series is run by James Belfower & Matthew Klane, with Matthew doing the introductions tonight.

Stephanie Kaylor is a writer from Albany. She read from her phone, short poems without introductions or other commentary, but the work was filled with a prominent, sometimes insistent, “I.” I may have missed the titles for the first few poems when she was just warming up, but there seemed to be a baby in there somewhere, & storms. A poem titled “Learner’s Permit” included a mom, while “On Being an Angel” & “Bachlorette” explored relationships. She also read some poems that were from a series about “an unidentified woman” as the central character, with the titles set up like headlines in a newspaper, exploring the role of women in the world, including death & crime. She read her poems in a quiet, flat style & seemed to lack experience reading them out; with some practice at open mics I think she might be able to develop a more assertive or dynamic reading style to enhance the experience of the audience in hearing them.

Dora Malech began by drawing attention to her pregnant belly & reading a poem titled “4 Weeks” on being pregnant & introducing the term “primitive streak” about a stage of embryonic development. She followed that with new work from a residency she is currently in, not sure if it was one piece or a series of shorter pieces, pondering, wondering about her feelings in images & of pictures on a wall, one section with oblique images of refugees in an airport. Next she read “Essay on Yes,” described as a prose poem exploring her motivation in writing with constraints, such as couplets of anagrams, many incorporated into the piece. She ended with a section of an anagrammatic poem in couplets to give us an idea of that writing.

Andy Larsen gave a solo tuba performance of 3 pieces, the first by a minimalist Polish composer (whose name I did not catch), the second from 1973 titled “Cadence 6” with taped accompaniment, that he had prepared. Both pieces sometimes loud, challenging. The 3rd piece was much quieter, more peaceful, & titled appropriately enough “Floating Dreams.”

Yes! takes place on the first Saturdays of the month until May at 7:00PM, at the ACG new location 488 Broadway, Albany, NY — a $5.00 suggested donation. Find them on Face Book.

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