In this episode of Next Up to The Mic, we welcome Don Levy who was our featured reader at Poets Speak Loud at the Lark Tavern on March 30, 2009.

Dan Wilcox detailed the reading on his blog:

A featured reading at “Poets Speak Loud!” has been a long time coming for Don Levy but like wine (or sex) the time has to be right, & tonight it was. Don had an appreciative crowd of friends, newer poets & the surprised & shocked strangers. He read mostly newer poems, lots of politics, &, of course, his signature “gay fantasies.” This self-described “heavy-set queer poet” began with “The Inaugural Poem I Never Got to Read,” then the funny incident described in “Throw-down at the Albany Public Library” (I hope that woman in the jean-jacket never shows up at one of his readings). “Ad Man Falling,” poem like movie credits, was something new I hadn’t heard before, as was the dream poem, “Mexican Bar Dream,” where I play a role in the drama. Don’s funny gay sex images playing on stereotypes of nationalities in “Why I Never Had a Foreign Affair” nearly brought the house down, as did his attack on the Kelly-green silliness of St. Patrick’s Day, “So Many People Have His Lucky Charms They’re No Longer Magic” (or was that last word “Delicious”?). Don could do a performance just by reading his titles they’re so good. He ended with a double-barrel attack (with the repeated refrain of “…fuck that shit…”) on homo-phobia, “I Am Faggot Hear Me Roar.” We sure did!

Don Levy has been part of the Albany poetry scene since 1989, when he first read at the QE2 open mic. He has read at various venues and events in Albany, including The Albany Public Library, Poets in the Park, Poets Speak Loud at McGeary’s (where he was once roasted), and the Third Thursday Poetry Night at The Social Justice Center. He has hosted a number of readings over the years, the first being at The Albany Art Gallery on Jefferson Street, to his last, a featured reader / open mic series called Live From the Living Room, a straight-friendly reading held at The Pride Center of the Capital Region.

Don was one of the editors of  Open Mic: The Albany Anthology., a fantastic book that featured work from the poets who frequented the local open mics in the mid-90s.   He published 2 chapbooks with local artist Kevin BruceHow Green Was My Big Eden, a collection of gay fantasy poems, and Super Queer Poet Saves the Day.  He currently writes a book blog called The Next Chapter right here on the Albany Poets website.

Please welcome, next up to the mic, Don Levy.

Bonus Video

Don Levy reading at the 2012 Albany Word Fest Open Mic at the Albany Public Library on Saturday, April 21, 2012

Music Credit

Our theme music was “Imagination” by Danijel Zambo. License code: 44TCGFPF1L1434BE

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