Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Poetry Scene At Molten Java

Reading series takes place at Molten Java, 102 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, CT

POETRY - EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT featuring accomplished poets and new voices from around the world, an opportunity for poetic discourse with the featured poet(s), the hottest open poetry mike in the state (anything acoustic is welcome), and a poetry critique workshop in a warm, friendly atmosphere where poets can experience sharing their work with others while receiving encouragement. In our 11th year (2006), WNPS is the LONGEST CONTINUOUS RUNNING WEEKLY POETRY OPEN MIKE AND FEATURED POET READING SERIES in Connecticut! Exposure to new ideas, new people, and wonderful poetry are what we're all about.

Sign-up begins at 7:30. The acoustic open mike runs from 8 p.m. until approximately 8:45, featured poet(s) from 8:55 to 9:40 (30 minute feature followed by Q&A), and the poetry workshop runs from 9:50 to 10:30 p.m. Remember, this is poet time — we may run early, we may run late. For the workshop, please bring 10 copies of one poem to pass around. You can bring a poem every week.

For info contact Faith at 203.426.3388 or Wednesday Night Poetry is free to the public but we pass the hat for an out of state / out of country guest poet.

September 13th, 2006 —

Taylor Mali is a teacher and poet. Generally considered to be the most successful poetry slam strategist of all time, having led six of his seven national poetry slam teams to the finals stage and winning the championship itself a record four times before anyone had even tied him at three, Mali was one of the original poets to appear on the HBO original series "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry."

He was also the "golden-tongued, Armani clad villain" of Paul Devlin's 1997 documentary film "SlamNation," which chronicled the National Poetry Slam Championship of 1996, the year of Mali's first national team championship. A native of New York City and vocal advocate of teachers and the nobility of teaching, Mali himself spent nine years in the classroom teaching everything from English and history to math S.A.T. test preparation. He has performed and lectured for teachers all over the world. Mali received a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in 2001 to develop "Teacher! Teacher!" a one-man show about poetry, teaching, and math which won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 U. S. Comedy Arts Festival. Formerly president of Poetry Slam Incorporated, the non-profit organization that oversees all poetry slams in North America, Taylor Mali makes his living entirely as a spoken-word and voiceover artist these days, traveling around the country performing and teaching workshops as well as doing commercial voiceover work. He has narrated several books on tape, including "The Great Fire" (for which he won the Golden Earphones Award for children's narration) and is also the author of several books and cds of original poetry and spoken word.

September 20th, 2006 —

Shelly Weinberg has been hanging around with poets for a number of years. Inspired by their artistry he decided to devote himself to the mastery of poetic forms. Sonnet, villanelle, haiku, limerick, as well as free verse, plays and songs – he has worked with all of them, yet somehow they have eluded him. However, he will present them tonight, anyway. The turning point in Shelly’s writing career came when his internist advised him to lose weight. Shelly quit his job and has subsisted entirely on his earnings from poetry. He’s lost fifteen pounds so far.

September 27th, 2006 —

Lesley Lambton was born in Newcastle, England—a city famous for its coal and Brown Ale. After gaining a degree in English Literature, she moved to Cardiff in Wales where she joined the Collective Writers. There she had several of her poems published in anthologies including, Of Sawn Grain and Private People – Self Portraits in Verse. She was the winner of the Lost Poets poetry competition and took part in the Co-op Caring Poetry Festival headlined by Simon Armitage. In 1996, with support from the Welsh Arts Council, the Collective Press published her first chapbook Crocus. Lesley now lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with her husband and two teenage sons. She works at the local library organizing programs and events.

October 4th, 2006 —

Susan Kinsolving's third book of poems, The White Eyelash was critically acclaimed by Poetry, The Los Angeles Times, American Poet, and Talisman. Her previous book Dailies & Rushes, a finalist for The National Book Critics Circle Award, was critically acclaimed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, The Library Journal, Vanity Fair, among others. Her poem “Dance Steps” was presented to Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands in a televised ceremony. The poem was also performed by the Baroque Choral Guild in Italy and California. Kinsolving has taught at Bennington College, University of Connecticut, Chautauqua Institute, California Institute of the Arts, and Willard Correctional, a men's prison. She originated poetry reading series for The New York Public Library and the American Poetry Maze.

October 11th, 2006 —

Jack McCarthy is a working guy who’s been writing poetry since the mid-60s. He’d been averaging about a poem a year until 1992-93, when two things happened. First, his new wife, Carol, blackmailed him into attending a workshop with Galway Kinnell; then he brought his daughter Annie, for her birthday, to the open mike at the Cantab Lounge in Central Square, Cambridge, hoping she’d get excited about poetry. Jack was the one who got hooked. Since then he’s brought out Grace Notes, two chapbooks (Actual Grace Notes and Too Old to Make Excuses (But Still Young Enough to Make Love)), a 60-minute cassette tape (Poems for Hannah), and a CD (Breaking Down Outside a Gas Station). A major book, Say Goodnight, Grace Notes, was released in 2003 by EM Press to rave reviews.

His work has appeared in a number of anthologies, including The Spoken Word Revolution. Jack was a member of the Boston team at the 1996 National Poetry Slam, and was an engaging minor character in the feature film "Slamnation," which documented those proceedings, and he was a member of the Worcester team at the 2000 National Poetry Slam, where he finished as the 10th ranked individual performance poet. The Boston Phoenix has named him “Best Standup Poet,” the Boston Poetry Awards “Best Love Poet,” and the Cambridge Poetry Awards “Best Spoken Word” and “Best Humorous Poet.” The Boston Globe says, “In the poetry world, he's a rock star.” He doesn't think of himself as a "performance poet," but as a "standup poetry guy," a writer of poems that perform themselves. Poet Stephen Dobyns has written, "Jack McCarthy is one of the wonders of contemporary poetry. He writes—and often performs—dazzling narratives full of wit and humor, sadness and hard thinking. He should be cloned." ALA Booklist says, "McCarthy brings his compelling experiences to his poetry with nimble humor, hard-won wisdom, and a raconteur's knack for telling diabolically barbed stories…concrete, candid, personal, and utterly captivating…caustic, sexy and smart." Thomas Lux has written, "The only ambition he seems to have is to tell the truth as best he can in poems." That is a very worthy ambition, but it's not his only one. He also hopes to be remembered as an integral member of the movement to restore poetry to its rightful place in everyday American life so that when Americans think of poetry, they don't think of school and homework, but of laughter and tears; a shortcut to the heart.

October 18th, 2006 —

Lisa Starr is a Block Island resident and poet and has received numerous awards for her poetry including a first prize poetry fellowship by the Rhode Island Council for the Arts in 2001. When she got over the shock of learning of the award, Starr said, "I fantasized for a minute that I could actually make a living as a writer." The author of several books of poetry including "This Place Here" and "It was a coincidence," Lisa Starr is also the powerhouse behind the Block Island Poetry Project which is a month long poetry series in April on Block Island. Starr’s first poem was published in the New London Day newspaper when she was 11 years old. "I’ve always kind of been writing," she says of her poetry successes. She and her husband operate the Hygeia House Inn on Block Island and Lisa Starr teaches at The University of Rhode Island.

October 25th, 2006 —

Roger Bonair-Agard weaves living, breathing tapestries out of politics and the notion of home. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Roger has lived in Brooklyn for seventeen years and his work reflects the struggles of a man in voluntary exile in a conflicted 21st-century America. A professional performance poet since 1997, Roger has appeared three times on Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on HBO, performed and facilitated writing and performance workshops at colleges, universities and high schools around the country, and stirred audiences at festivals and concerts from Germany to South Africa to Anchorage, Alaska. He recently opened for calypso legend Shadow for an audience of 2,000 in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

Roger aims to blow the hinges off what is considered possible, to create work that discomforts with the truths and lies it exposes down to every forensic detail, and so create a movement of its very own, such that when the poems are read, they birth new mythologies in the reader’s memory. He is co-author of Burning Down the House (Soft Skull Press, 2000), and author of tarnish and masquerade, scheduled for publication by Cipher Press in spring 2006. He co-founded the louderARTS Project (of which he is also Artistic Director), an organization dedicated to the evolution of poetry through the craft of writing and performance. Roger is also a Cave Canem fellow, studying with such luminaries as Yusef Komunyakaa, Marilyn Nelson, and Cornelius Eady. In 1998, he was named the Nuyorican Poets CafĂ© Fresh Poet of the Year. That same year, he coached the Nuyorican team to victory in the National Poetry Slam over 44 other teams. The following year he earned the title of National Individual Slam Champion while leading and coaching the New York City louderARTS team to the final four of the National Poetry Slam (out of 48 teams), a feat he repeated in 2000.

For additional info, and there is plenty, go to our web site

AND DON’T FORGET—also on October 25th:

The Eighth Annual WNPS Halloween Poetry Bash is our longest running themed event. Come as a favorite dead poet or as a character in one of your own poems. Dress the part. Prizes galore, and big prizes for the top three best poetry/costume combinations. Come have fun celebrating the macabre or just come have fun!


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