The first Wednesday of every month Caffè Lena presents:
Caffè Lena Poetry Open Mic
Wednesday, July 6, 7pm sign up, 7:30 readings start
Featured Poets: RA Press Poets Charles Watts, Mary Anne Johnson, Chuck Gibson, and Mary L. Randal
Hosted by Carol Graser
Our feature will be four poets representing RA Press out of Burlington, VT. They will be presenting work from the “Backpack Classics” series, a set of books aimed to enhance any hike in the Adirondacks. Featured readers will be Charles Watts, Mary Anne Johnson, Chuck Gibson, and Mary L. Randall. These writers, all widely published, are featured in the anthology Karma in the High Peaks, RA Press’s newest publication. Karma in the High Peaks won the Peoples Choice award as best publication of 2010 at the Adirondack Literary Awards.
Mary Anne Johnson (author Wandering Through White Church and contributor to Karma in the High Peaks) grew up in Saranac Lake, a small town deep in the Adirondacks. She lived in Syracuse, St. Louis, and Dillingham, a tiny Alaskan fishing village, before she returned to her mountains. She settled down in Crown Point on the shores of Lake Champlain where she has lived in the same house for over forty years, never bothered by boredom. For most of those years she poured her creative juices into high-school classes in Moriah, part of the Adirondack community she writes about. Upon retirement, she realized that creative juices just don’t stop, and here she is!
Mary Randall is the author of three novels: Nancy Never Married, Split Infinities, and Brio. Her short fiction and prose are collected in The Ghost of Starbuckville Dam and Not a Night for Dreaming. Her work appears in many anthologies, including: Christmas in Port Davis, Between Iraq and a Hard Place, Lyrics from a Dark wood, Cold Earth Wanderers, and Karma in the High Peaks.
Early in his career, Charles Watts had an underground play (“Visigoths”) produced in Los Angeles, which led to script writing contracts for several TV series, including Kojack and Here Come the Brides. He soon fled Hollywood, got an MFA in poetry, and went to Iran to teach literature at several Universities. For five years, he edited Seizure, a magazine of poetry and fiction. Do not worry about his sanity; he has done many other things. Recent publications include three stories and twelve poems in lit journals, and ten poems in “Karma in the High Peaks,” an anthology from Ra Press
Chuck Gibson was written three books of poetry, two with Ra Press, and is known for poems that capture the spirit and soul of Adirondack ponds, storms, waterfalls, and other natural wonders. For over ten years he served as Director of Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties, based in Port Henry. He and his wife Ann are in the midst of preparing to move to Oregon in August.