Dan Wilcox just sent out word that the Third Thursday Poetry Night series at the Social Justice Center will be suspended for at least the next few months.
I am suspending the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Albany Social Justice Center for the next couple of months. Although some businesses are being allowed to open, arts gatherings are in the final phase, & there is no clear-cut schedule for that. Moreover, once everything is allowed to open back up we do not know what restrictions or other rules/guidelines will be in place. I am looking to September as perhaps a possible time to re-start the reading series.
I attempted to re-schedule my announced featured readers originally set for March – May, but as of now I would have to re-schedule again. My apologies to Bruce Weber, David Graham & Lori Desrosiers, who will be at the top of the list when I resume the series.
I started this event in late 1997 to feature local & regional writers whose work I’d heard at open mics & other venues in order to give them more time to showcase their work. Some were reading as featured poets for the first time, others had new books of poetry out to publicize. I also included an open mic each time to help build an audience for these poets, &, for those with books, to help them to sell a few copies at the reading. I am proud of our local poetry community for its support over the years of these writers both by your presence & for buying books from the featured readers. But especially I have enjoyed your diverse, ever-changing work read in the open mic.
I considered doing a Zoom meeting, but poets would not be able to sell their books, except for the usual online sources. There’s a lot to be said for the poet meeting her/his audience face-to-face, to be able to sell or trade books. Some open mics are doing online readings, such as Poetic Vibe, Caffe Lena, 2nd Wednesday, & recently, the 2nd Tuesday in Bennington, VT. I urge you to support them by attending & reading if you are so inclined.
I will be back when I feel it is safe to re-schedule our featured poets. As for the July Poets in the Park, I’ve not planned anything right now. If restrictions on outdoor gatherings are lifted I may be able to put a reading or two together at the last minute. You’ll read about it here or on Facebook.
We will be together soon, & in the meantime, keep writing!
This announcement leaves a big hole in the local poetry open mic scene as the Third Thursday Poetry Night has not missed a beat since 1997. The open mic has moved venues (Cafe Web, Changing Spaces Art Gallery, Lark Street Bookshop, and now the Social Justice Center) but never had to cancel – the current COVID-19 pandemic has changed things.