Woodstock Poetry Society & Festival as part of the Woodstock Arts Consortium is sponsoring the following poetry event as part of the Woodstock “Second Saturdays” Art Events. For a full listing of “Second Saturday” events, see: www.woodstockartsconsortium.org.

Poets Ron Whiteurs and Matthew J. Spireng will be the featured readers when the Woodstock Poetry Society & Festival meets at the Woodstock Town Hall, 76 Tinker Street, on Saturday, February 10th, 2007 at 2pm. Note: WPS&F meetings are held the 2nd Saturday of every month except for October, when it is held on the 3rd Saturday.

Ron Whiteurs – Born in the Bronx, brought up in the hills of Mahwah NJ, Ron (R. Dionysius) Whiteurs has lived in the New Paltz-Rosendale region since 1966. With an MA from SUNY New Paltz, he taught English at that institution in 1970-71 and went on to a long career as unofficial “Poet Laureate” of IBM Publishing in Poughkeepsie. From these scintillating heights his fortunes took a flip/flop/flip like some half-dead fish out of water in the following manner:

Performed regularly at the Rosendale Creative Space Co-Op from 1989 to 1992; Performed annually at the Cave Readings at the Widow Jane Quarry in Rosendale from 1991 to 1997; Starred in the Igneous It performance Ox Necks in Tweed on April 3, 1992; Performed at Fountain House, NYC and slammed at the Nuyorican, NYC during these years; Performed at the Woodstock Guild’s Byrdcliffe Barn as part of Summerjazz (FM Artists Coalition) in 1992; Performed as main featured poet at the Outloud Festival in Claryville in 1994; Formed the amateur-amateur-amateur rock n’ roll band “Glory-Hole Bishops of the Holy See” in which he starred as lead NON-singer and song writer; Recorded four poems in 1993 for the Steve Charney Show (“Knock-On-Wood”) on WAMC Albany Public Radio; Featured in the brief biographic film Trapped in Amber by Bart Thrall of Big Time Records; and somehow got himself published in the Rondout Review, The Poets Gallery (Woodstock), Chronogram, Hunger Magazine, and Wuzz Buzzin (Switzerland).

Matthew J. Spireng – Matthew J. Spireng’s full-length book manuscript Out of Body won the 2004 Bluestem Poetry Award and was published in 2006 by Bluestem Press at Emporia State University.

His chapbooks are Encounters from Finishing Line Press, Inspiration Point (winner of the 2000 Bright Hill Press Poetry Chapbook Competition) and Just This, from Hampden-Sydney College.

Since 1990 nearly 500 of his poems have appeared in publications across the United States. He lives in Lomontville in the house in which he was raised as a child.

Poet and novelist George Garrett says of Out of Body: “Spireng is a poet with all the good gifts and an unmistakable voice. He is colloquial with dignity and gravitas; direct and accessible, yet always evocative; compassionate without sentimentality. He takes on the great, challenging themes of our poetry, adding his own questions and conclusions. Love and death dance together, loss and joy make music, body and soul wrestle like Jacob and the angel. Out of Body is the work of a poet worthy of our best attention.”

The readings will be hosted by Woodstock area poet Phillip Levine. All meetings are free and open to the public. For information about the group, and its activities, visit http://www.woodstockpoetry.com/