The start of our 5th year at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, with my co-host Nancy Klepsch, this time not in the Black Box Theater, but down the hall in the conference room.

Kathy Kokolias started us off & announced that her book Spandex & Black Boots is now available on Kindle, then read a prose piece written from a prompt to write about the night sky in which she was looking at Orion, thinking of the seasons & the cycle of Life. Peggy LeGee read 3 poems, pondering her life, “Testosterone” (that she still has & is thus still considered male), “The Lives of our Life” (on the “blame game”), & “Working Class Hero.” I read 1 poem about a visit to the beach a few years ago, “Transits.” Mike Connor was next with 2 connected poems, the first about meeting someone online, then pondering the new life together “Dilemma or Adventure.”

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Bob Sharkey read a poem about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, then “Dream 9/11/14” about being part of the 1%, his employees picking grapes. Howard Kogan engaged us with a poem about having a conversation with a 14-year old neighbor at a tombstone “Meeting Emily & the Twins on a Winter Walk,” then “A Gossipy Ode to Ancient Astronomers” with the great line, “is this a poem or an excuse?” Nancy Klepsch read a poem about paprika, “Spicy Girls,” written in a recent poetry workshop.

Adam Tedesco read 2 grim poems from his home turf in Troy, “The Katydids” & “Not Knowing the Hudson” that he had read at Don’s open mic, “Not Knowing the Hudson” (this friend would have been 33 this week). Tim Verhaegen read another of his outrageous family memoirs, this about his brother & friends (not) going to a Peter Frampton concert in 1976.

The final reader, the youngest, Fay, began with an angry piece of self-proclamation, then another piece “Expectations,” both read from her cellphone.

A good start for our 5th year, each 2nd Sunday at 2:00PM at The Arts Center of the Capital District on River St. in Troy, sometimes in the Black Box Theater, sometimes in the Conference Room — bring 2 poems, or 5 minutes of prose to read — free!

This post originally appeared on Dan Wilcox’s blog on September 24, 2014.