October 26, 2015

An Evening of Poetry and Prose, October 22

I’ve been to many poetry readings where the audience didn’t show up, but few at where half the readers were a no-show. Harvey Havel had organized this reading at the Hudson River Coffee House on Quail St. in Albany, NY with 4 readers, mixing poetry & prose. But, in addition to Havel, our host, the scheduled readers who did show up were Allen Parmenter & myself, Dan Wilcox.

Harvey Havel began the program with a reading from the anthology Coming of Age of a short story by Mary F. Chen Johnson about her experience with food in an immigrant Chinese family.

I followed with a selection of poems from various published chapbooks, beginning with “Where Were the Professors?” from boundless abodes of Albany (Benevolent Bird Press, 2010). The book is available in a Kindle edition.  Then on to poems from Poeming the Prompt (A.P.D., 2011), 2 from my latest chapbook, Gloucester Notes (FootHills Publishing, 2015), & a couple from Coyote: Poems of Suburban Living (A.P.D., 2015). I ended with a rare reading of “Baghdad/Albany” from Baghdad/Albany & Other Peace Poems (A.P.D., 2007).

Allen Parmenter read what he described as 7 brief sketches or poems form his spiral notebook, impressionistic image-based pieces that he ripped through without introductions, including images of dead birds, a dead god, night with plants & coyotes, & a voice as a hole. The last, & longest piece, I found the most beguiling, a list poem on mercy. I would like to see him read out more at some of the local open mics.

The Hudson River Coffee House is the scene of a weekly open mic that seems to cater mostly to musicians on Thursdays, starting at 8:30PM. For more information contact the Coffee House.

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