April 30, 2019

WordFest 2019 — Night of Features, April 15

This night of WordFest had 2! competing events, the usual Monday Poetic Vibe at the Troy Kitchen in Troy, & a Night of Features organized by Brian Dorn & Havey Havel at the Hudson River Coffee House in Albany, with Mary Panza as the host. I was late getting to the HRCH & missed the first reader Danielle Pouliot, but got there for the rest. For the record, Danielle had read at last year’s WordFest A Night of Features which you can read about on my Blog.

L-Majesty (Luis Pabon) began with a poem from his new book Strange Fruit, then on to some new pieces, the instructive “Notes to a Young Slam Poet,” “Black Diamonds in the Ice Castles” (black men & meth), “The Greatest Love of All” (that which returns you to yourself), & “Remembering Love.” Always a tender & exuberant reader.

Luis, Danielle, Mary, Avery & Karen
Karen Fabiane had been the finale poet a the Readings Against the End of the World Saturday evening, many of the poems she read then she also read tonight, as well as a poem each from her 1st & 2nd books. Unfortunately I sometimes missed the titles of her poems as she tends to mumble, her voice fading off at the end of sentences or phrases.  Her poems are intricate & hearing them more than once can be helpful.  In response to her asking how much time she had left she was told “do 2 more” then proceeded to read 5 more poems.

Speaking of too much, Avery Stempel gave us an over-dose of preachy, motivational pieces that over-whelmed his more reflective pieces, such as “Sunday After Sunset,” & one about a dream of 1950s cars on the road. His performance of his pieces were energetic, interwoven with song lyrics & sanskrit chants, but it seemed he never met a cliché he wouldn’t repeat. Less is more.

More WordFest events each night this week, taking us up to Saturday morning’s WordFest Book Fair at the Troy Farmer’s Market.

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