June 29, 2007

Mother Tess & the Lark Tavern Temple of Poetry

(Poets Speak Loud at Tess' Lark Tavern -- poet Deb Bump performing)

Slowly, quietly (OK, not so quietly), over the last few years Tess of Tess' Lark Tavern has been providing a great performance home for musicians, poets, visual artists, performance artists, concept artists, bull-shit artists, etc. The beer is cold, the food comforting, the bartenders & waitresses friendly (& sexy). There are open mics for musicians, a comedy night, a cabaret, an open mic for poets, rock bands, jazz bands, drag queens, etc., etc. Did I mention the food & the sexy bartenders?

You gotta check it out. And now Tess has presented to Albany poets a classic black & shiny plaque, "Poets Speak Loud" (which they do, but that refers to the monthly poetry open mic each last Monday of the month) to be hung prominently in the dining room. To go with it, a set of photos of Tom Nattell at his last performance at the Lark St. Bookstore in December of 2004. Tom was the host of the open mic at the QE2 in Albany on the last Monday of each month, & was to be the featured poet at the first Poets Speak Loud (on the last Monday in January 2005), but died that day from cancer. Each year since, the last Monday of January has been the occasion of a memorial to Tom & a celebration of the vibrant poetry scene in Albany. As Tess says, "I love the poets!" And we poets love her, & the warm, friendly home she has made for us & other creative performers in Albany.

Check it out at 453 Madison Ave. (near Lark St.), Albany. And did I mention the food & the sexy bartenders?