Posts Tagged ‘“Poetry Reading”’

Third Friday PreVerse – January 16th

January 19, 2009

Another benefit for Hearts Place Shelter.  Lots of folks reading, there were 9 featured poets and about the same number of open mic poets.  There was a good turn-out as well.  The poet of the night, in my opinion, was Mary C. Reilly.  Not only did she do several nice pieces, but Alan Barysh did one of her pieces and a tribute poem to her as well.  I liked an open mic poem that used the Chicago Loop as the setting of a break-up.  Suzanne X. did a poem on poetry that I liked.  A bunch of poems on the sexual abuse of young women. 

I did the first poem of the night.  (Open mic poets go first.)  I did my poem, Christina’s World, to honor Andrew Wyeth, who had died the night before.  That morning before I heard about Wyeth, I decide I wanted to practice Christina’s World even though I was not planning to read it that night.


Borders Open-Door Poetry

January 11, 2009

One topic that I plan to blog about is poetry and poetry resources on the web.  I plan to have one or two posts per week on this topic. 

Today I would like to point out Borders Open-Door Poetry.  This is a video magazine that consists mainly of well-known poets reading and reciting their work.  There is about an equal mix of Slam Champions poets and Pulitzer Prize/Poet Laureate poets.  There is also a pretty good racial/ethnic mix of poets. 

So now you have something good to do instead of doing laundry and paying the bills.

3rd Friday PerVerse – December 19th

December 24, 2008

This was my first time at PerVerse. ( I guess “the first time” is a bit of a theme here.) This reading was for the new edition of the journal Poems Against War. Patric Pepper and Reginald Harris were featured. And of course there was an open mic. I liked the open mic and featured poets. The highlight for me was Reginald Harris’s reading.   I was really impressed with his poetry and delivery.  The low point was getting a call from my wife to run home because our hot water heater was turning our basement into a swimming pool.

In the open mic I did Prophecy and To Albert.

Patricia Smith and Cave Canem Reading – December 7th

December 10, 2008

This was an incredible reading at the Pratt Library.  According to their web site “Cave Canem is committed to the discovery and cultivation of new voices in African American poetry.”  As the moderator, Reginald Harris, pointed out Cave Canem poets do not have a single style.  There was approximately 10 poets that each read for 5 minutes, unfortunately I do not have their names.  (There was no program for the reading.)  All I can say is that each was interesting and several were quite powerful.

The main event was Patricia Smith who is an established poet & slam champion.  This was her first reading where she exclusively read from her book “Blood Dazzler”.  This book is a collection of poems about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.  The reading like the poems was impressive.  Even reading her poems from behind a lecturn on a stage she was able to channel her poems.  In some poems the narrator is the Hurricane itself and in others it is the voices of its victims.  Her hurricane narration was quite chilling and her narration of the voices of the victims was convincing.

The only downside of this event to me was the turn out.  There was a decent number of people there, but given the number of people who were on stage the number should be higher.  I was impressed how few people in the local Spoken Word scene have heard of Patricia Smith.  I did not recognize one person at the reading.  I am not blaming anyone, but I wish that the poetry world was less fragmented. 

If you are interested in seeing Patricia Smith without journeying far away or going back in time look on the web.  She has a number of pieces on Youtube and also on Borders Open Book Poetry.