April 28, 2015

Poetry Salon & Art Opening, April 19

The streets of Albany were not the only place that poetry was happening during April here in the Northeast. Up in the hills the Rensselaerville Library sponsored a series of events throughout the month, including workshops, open mics & poetry-related art projects. This reading today was held at the Way-Out Gallery & was basically an “invitational open mic” with each of the 12 readers, many of them it seems from right here in town, getting 5 minutes each.

Linda Sonia Miller served as the host, & brought up Ginny Carter first to pay tribute to the late Galway Kinnell, reading 3 of his poems, & talking about the time he was here reading his work & meeting the folk in town.

Tom Corrado served as the MC for the readers, reading selections of his very short poems from his chapbook 40 Women (Orb Press, 2013), in between each poet's reading. Alan Casline read poems about a landslide at the Helderberg escarpment, a slug, & corn. I read poems from my chapbooks Poeming the Prompt (A.P.D., 2011) & Coyote: poems of Suburban Living (A.P.D., 2014) in an effort to sell books later (in spite of the room filled with well-heeled Rensslearville ladies I only sold 1 book). Howard Kogan chose well, reading “Dick & Jane,” “A Close Family,” “Imagination,” all good poems. Katrinka Moore’s poems were short, meditative, including one in response to the poems on display downstairs in the art gallery (“Breathe”), & a cento (“Call into Being”).

Linda Sonia Miller began with a Rensselaerville-inspired poem, then a trio of sonnets, including the marvelous “April Debate.” Mary Ann Ronconi (another local) read a series of amusing pieces “How I Died (7 Deadly Fears),” a list of imagined deaths. Mimi Moriarty’s poems were all art-related/inspired, everything from a “Diner” in Canajoharie, to “Death as Art” inspired by an artist’s quotes. Cassandra was a fortunate last-minute add to the program, I particularly liked her poem “Izzy’s Beans” which was a recipe from a former prisoner, a dish I could almost taste. A couple of Claire North’s poems had an Irish obsession with death.

Peter Bourdreaux read his poems to the musical accompaniment of Tom Corrado, first on harmonica, then on flute &, for Peter's final 2 poems, on string bass — & the twang! of the E string coming off the bridge (ouch!). The final reader was Susan Kayne with a protest poem “Aquaduct 2011 21 Horses Die.”

Meanwhile downstairs in the gallery there was an opening showcasing the woodwork of Alberto Caputo, & the wordwork of artists young & old who had participated earlier in a workshop on visual poetry, combining text & other visual media.

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