Al DeGenova, who served as the host, read first, with “At the Ancient Pond” & “The Tides,” both in the the zine. David Matthews was next with his entry, the Chicago descriptive “Polish Bus Stop,” & another piece read from his phone, “Katzenjammers.” Jamie Wendt read about “Things You Saved For When I Got Older,” then a poem about a pigeon, “What a Refugee Leaves Behind.”
Melissa Walker’s piece in After Hours, “The Fall,” was an intense & tender meditation on Death, then the compelling “Rough Guide to Sacramento” & “Rough Guide to the Rain Forest.” My buddy Charlie Rossiter was up next with his poem from the mag, “Is It Love or Lies,” then a couple of pieces he has performed with the 3 Guys from Albany, his “cheap motel” poem & the sexy “I’m Yours.” Larry Janowski left us to read his published poem ourselves, instead read “24 Hours in the ER” & “Cane Mutiny.” Wilda Morris read “Mnemonic” (reconstructing memory), then the funny/sexy “The Bed,” & “50 Years After.”
A couple readers were not in the current issue but had been published in past issues of After Hours. Joe Weintraub read the hopeful “Sparrows in Early Spring.” Tom Roby read a cluster of poems in foreign settings such as the Italian Alps, the Cote d’Azur & Japan. The last of the open mic-ers, Dina Elenbogen is in the current issue, read her travel poem “On the Road” & some poems from a new poetry manuscript that she is working on.
The featured poet Jenene Ravesloot began her set with her poem from After Hours, “Alone.” The rest of her poems were an interesting variety of topics & style, many from a new manuscript on which she is working. For example, “It’s like…” was an imaginative list poem, while a bunch of other poems were what she termed her “noir poems,” such as “Elegy for a Roach,” “Flash,” “The Defectives,” & a poem as a made-up police blotter item. Others played with poetic forms: “Winter Ghazal Variation,” “River Sestina Variation” “Sonnet for a Winter Morning,” & “The Phone Rings Sestina Variation” (that sounded like a blending of a sestina with a phantoum). In between were a few Nature poems, such as “A Gift” & “Etude.” A touching childhood memoir poem, “Off to the George Diamond Steak House” was about having dinner there with her father.
It was quite an afternoon of poetry, veggies & chips & dip, & wine. If you want more information about this fine poetry & art journal from the mid-West, visit their website. More pictures of the poets from the reading at my Flickr! site.