Poetry + Prose Open Mic, September 11

We’re back, after a summer off, the open mic for all writers, of prose or poetry at the Arts Center of the Capitial Region in Troy, NY, with your hosts Nancy Klepsch & Dan Wilcox (that’s me).

No one signed up for the #1 slot (again!) so I took it (again!) & read my poem that is included in the exhibit in the Arts Center’s President’s Lounge of my photos, “Photo at the QE2, 1991” then a “postcard” poem referencing my escape from New York on September 11, 2001, “Leaving New York.” Bob Sharkey read some selections from his daily writing, pieces that included a narrative after the floods, & his characters Earl & Sonny remembering the Towers, then leaping images from the Taconic Parkway (it will be most interesting when Bob puts these pieces together, how the jigsaw puzzle will look). Tim Verhaegen’s memoir “The Dating Part: an Overview for the Straight Crowd” was a hilarious take on gay dating from about 1975.
A new voice for this venue, Julia Soto Lebentritt, read a poem that was a series of directions from when she lived in a tent in Vermont, “Julia’s Cloudburst Dance,” then 2 journal entries from when she lived in Manhattan, 1 from 1981, another from after 9/11, 2001. David Wolcott also read a memoir about 9/11, this from working in Washington, DC & witnessing the plane crashing into the Pentagon. (Note: we, Nancy & I, had decided that we wouldn’t characterize this as a 9/11 memorial reading, while knowing full well that some of us would certainly include it, but letting others, & ourselves, decide to do otherwise.) However, Carolee Sherwood’s poem “Boy Leaps from Burning Building” was not a 9/11 poem, but equally chilling, then she read an old poem not read out before, “My Bug Collection of Stories.”

Ron Drummond mentioned that he was one of many who had submitted a design for the New York City 9/11 memorial building, then read his parody of a draft of a Constitutional amendment against person-hood for Corporations, then a long, Proustian provocative paragraph from one of his short stories.

Jil Hanifan has just published a stunning, short selection of her poems & read the title poem, “Their Agonizing Speed,” then her agonizing, tearful homage to the saints of 9/11, “Psalm 141.” Co-host Nancy Klepsch closed out the reading with 2 poems, one like the recent floods in Troy, “The Woman Speaks of This River,” then “Planting” from Open Mic: the Albany Anthology (Hudson Valley Writers Guild, 1991).
Back again on the 2nd Sunday at 2PM at the Arts Center in Troy, NY free & open to poetry & prose.

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