April 30, 2019

WordFest 2019 — Brass Tacks, April 16

This monthly series at The Low Beat occurs on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month, thus conveniently folded into the week of WordFest. Thom Francis, el presidente of AlbanyPoets, the organizers of WordFest served as host. It was a pleasant mix of open mic poets & a visiting featured poet from New Haven, CT.

The open mic started with me, reading poems on poetry, “Anne Sexton,” “Peacocks in the Driveway,” & a poem beginning “This poem is to You…” Shane followed with 2 untitled poems, one set in Nature.

The guest featured poet, Influence is in the Slam style of memorized, emotional/political pieces, often with a moving story in its midst. He said, “this is church” but while taking on the exuberance of a preacher, he wasn’t preachy, talked about the power of poetry, that “the revolution is not a poem.” He could be in-your-face as in the historical piece on how America keeps changing the definition of “nigger” to oppress. He also praised the woman in his life, & talked about his past as a dealer, but is now a “poetry dealer” — perfect for National Poetry Month & WordFest 2019.

Back to the open mic, Alyssa Michelle read a poem on mortality titled “Tomorrow” then “Letter to my Exes.” Thom read a piece about his mother “I Want to Go Home,” then one titled “Tar Walls.”

Olga Tenney said she has been writing in a poetry workshop, then found WordFest through the newspaper & the internet; she read a pantoum (“My Husband”), a villanelle about her cat Pedro, & a sad piece about a granddaughter who died of heroin overdose at 29. Rose was new here as well & was inspired to read a community love poem “The Witness.”

Even when it is not WordFest or National Poetry Month, Brass Tacks is an open mic at The Low Beat, 335 Central Ave., Albany, 7:30PM, each 1st & 3rd Tuesday. Come & sign-up.

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