April 10, 2017

Yes! reading series, April 1

This series is held at Albany Center Galleries, now on Broadway in Albany, NY & tonight was a showcase for Barzakh, the online literary magazine from UAlbany graduate students. James Belflower, co-coordinator of the series with Matthew Klane, introduced Victorio Reyes, now the Editor-in-Chief, who set the tone by citing the poet June Jordan: “all poetry is political,” & read Langston Hughes' poem “Letter to the Academy.” Perhaps not setting the tone, but sending a message.

Victorio introduced Ben Nadler, the fiction editor, who read a section from The Sea Beach Line (2015), a story of a seeker, trying to get sober from hallucinogens after being kicked out of school, who then returns from New Mexico to Brooklyn to look for his father.

Jil Hanifan is a familiar face on the community poetry scene & one of the faculty Directors of Barzakh. She read a cluster of urban poems, mostly short, about a vacant lot, rabbits, & “How to Get Along With Witches,” then a longer piece that I had heard at another community open mic, “St. Christopher’s School Bus;” this time she explained she had been studying the work of C.D. Wright as a background.

The next reader was the Poetry Editor, Laurin DeChae who generously read a selection of poems by writers in the latest issue, a variety of styles & voices. She also read her own work, “The Sensorium of the Cyborg,” a sci-fi like description playing with the “I” as subject/object.

The last reader was another faculty Director, Micheal Leong, with a reading of excerpts of a translation of a long prose poem, Sky Quake, by Vicente Huidobro (1893 - 1948), a poet of the early 20th century avant-garde movement in Chile & the Surrealists in France.

You can find out more about the Yes! Poetry & Performance Series on Facebook, check out the venerable Albany Center Gallery as well.

No comments: