The day after May Day thank you Jacob Lawrence with event link!

03311520130501152026a03301519020330151954a If I could say that someone waved a magic wand around me, I would say it is because of Jacob Lawrence, an important artist whose work continues to refresh the imagination to this day.  I first saw half of the Migrations Series in the 1970s at the Philllips Collection in D.C.  I think because of Richard J. (Rick) Powell, who was then a artist/scholar/curator kind of guy.  I was stunned.  These little paintings told stories about the South and the very real reasons that Black people left-had to leave.  The next time I saw the panels was at the Whitney I think along with other series, The Builders, etc.  Again, the stories in colors vivid and bold lines–the generosity towards Black folks, the pride of Black folks, the folk of Black folks–his painting allowed the narrative to sing through.

So when Elizabeth Alexander  (she’s the very tall imposing diva next to moi) asked me to create a poem in response to the Series, I was both excited and terrified.  How to do justice to this work?  How not imitate in words what he had already done in paint?  How to add to the discourse on the Black Migration?  How.  Last August when I was the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, I re-looked at each of the panels and realized that Panel 57 was what I returned to.  She’s the only single female figure in the entire series.  She’s wearing white.  There’s a cross in the picture.  I thought of my cousin Hassie, who was head Usher at the Baptist church she attended.  I thought of the aunts who came down from Chicago and Detroit looking fly.  I thought of the harsh beauty of the south and the hard heartedness of southern white leadership.  And then I realize that the best way into the poem was through scent.  If you get the catalog you can read “Lave”.  If you attend the exhibition, up till September 7, you can hear me and the other poems read our work in one of exhibition room.   You can hear great music in other rooms (I am in a picture with the great opera singer, Kevin Maynard)  On May 1, May Day, International Worker’s Day, we read at the Museum of Modern Art.

Hopefully, this link will take to what was one of my proudest moments as a poet and a Black woman who has lived long enough to know the harsh beauty remains in the South as does menace towards Black people, poor people–but I also know that the struggles have moved North, have taken a more complicated hard heartedness.  But like our ancestors, we keep moving and when needed like the laundress, we find work, we do the work, we stand on whatever ground we can.

Again, I thank Elizabeth Alexander.  Leah Dickerman, Sarah Kennedy, Jennifer Harris and a great crew at MOMA; the film studio guys, the really nice guards, the wait staff for any and all dinners, the whole sense of conviviality.  Because ultimately, Lawrence shows how Black people embrace life in all of its complications from loving to loss; from brutality to struggles for justice.  We really do keep on keeping on.  And if you cannot embrace that simple thought you are starved of humanity.  Praises to the Ancestors.  Praises to the poets.

The reading was live streamed on youtube, here is the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdPZ5Wag9BM#action=share

 

la vida es la sueno, sometimes

0331152013  Jacob Lawrence at age 23 showed a series of small paintings narrating the GREAT MIGRATION–the movement of thousands of Black people from the South of these United States to hopefully better lives in the North.  This is the largest voluntary internal migration-all others were forced.  I kept that in mind as I developed the poem, “Lave” which is part of the Poetry Suite commissioned by Elizabeth Alexander for the Museum of Modern Arts exhibition of the entire series for the first time in 20 years.  One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence Migrations Series and Other Visions of  The Great Movement North is now up at MOMA and it is worth seeing because it shows how active, innovative and politically engaged African American artists were during the Great Depression into War Years and beyond.  We are still working through the power of their imagery, those ideas, and of course their challenges.   This panel is the one I focused on when writing my poem, though others are in the poem as well.  Every poet in the suite came to Lawrence’ work from their own perspective, just as  artists came to their response to the growing urbanization of Blacks differently from Lawrence.   My life is like a dream, sometimes at least when it comes to poetry.

On May 1, a Debut Reading of the Poetry Suite  moderated by Elizabeth Alexander will include me and Rita Dove, Nikky Finney, Terrance Hayes, Tyehimba Jess, Yusef Komunyakaa,  Natasha Trethewey, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Crystal Williams, and Kevin Young.

At the preview exhibition, I had a chance to commune with my Panel, but I am sure when I go again, the gallery will be packed.  Here’s the link: http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2015/onewayticket/

May your life be a dream sometimes, too.

 

 

Spring finally- Palm Sunday notes

Today is Palm Sunday.  I go to St. John’s Episcopal church in Park Slope.  I went to Episcopal mission school in Arkansas and I find the ritual and the thoughtfulness helpful to calm the many many noises that go on in my creative brain. I was raised in the Pentecostal Church, which is as ritualized as the Anglican churches, but with movement, great music and serious “testifying”.  The noises in my my creative brain often felt amplified.  But I miss the music.  My mother before I was born was the Preacher’s singer–the woman (always a woman) who sang the most emotional hymn before the Preacher preached.  She was in a harrowing car accident and she stopped singing. But she remain a devoted, dedicated Christian and in a few years joined a Christian Methodist Church, where over the years she became one of the matriarchs.  I’ve been in NYC for along while and years ago when I told people I believed in God they seemed surprised.  Often these were people who are now Buddhists, but mostly they had either been Roman Catholic or Jewish or had been raised with no spiritual tradition.  None of the people who believed in African religions never said anything like that.  Belief is a personal choice.  It is something that you come to for many different reasons, but at it’s essence, it is also deeply emotional and filled with the necessary words of testimony–how the Lord got me over.

One of the reasons, I love Carolyn Rodgers “how I got ovah” was that she was able to connect her deep faith to our desires as Black people for freedom, safety, love.  Today is Nina Simone’s birthday and my poem  “The Perfect Lipstick” was one of the first to receive wide readership because it has Ms. Simone as a figure of great importance.  When she sings spirituals, civil rights songs she reminds me of the sisters testifying:  “I give my honor to God . . . ”  She gave her honor to the people, Black people.  I often wish I could attain that level of confession and purgation.  But I think of The Passion of Christ and I think of the Passion of Black People in the United States and I think of redemption and transformation.  For me it is the transformation of that suffering into something powerful-the Holy Spirit’s bright message that I find of deepest interest.  I don’t know whether I want to go to “heaven” unless my mother and the many good people I have met in my life are there, but the idea of transformation of moving away from the bad habits, anger, mistrust to a place of freedom, beauty, community–I can feel that sometimes in church and yes in art.

Spring is here finally, the crocuses are sprouting, forsythia is on its way and when the white blossoms of the living bradford pears come, I may cry.  I will assuredly smile and so will many many others.  We have had a winter too frigid, too snowy, too gloomy and we need every blossom the Creator brings. 0329151354

 

 

time to start to look back

last year of my 50s! at Cafe Loup, photo by Karen Bell

last year of my 50s! at Cafe Loup, photo by Karen Bell

Since 2008 I have been writing about being  a Black Bohemian in the East Village in the 1970s.  I am trying to discover who I was as a way to understand how I’ve been able to be a poet and artist and person in this world.  It has been daunting, but slowly the memoir is coming together.

Thanks to Malaika Adero for presenting my brief look at 1976 the photo by Amos Rice that shows Stanley Crouch, Alice Norris, David Murray, Carlos Figueroa, me, Phillip Wilson Victor Rosa and Charles “Bobo” Shaw.http://homeslicemag.com/outside-tim-palace-photograph-1976/

I hope to publish more pieces over the next several months

 

progress is not a trick

“We do a disservice to the cause of justice by intimating that bias and discrimination are immutable, that racial division is inherent to America.  If you think nothing’s changed in the past 50 years, ask somebody who lived through the Selma or Chicago or Los Angeles of the 1950s.  Ask the female CEO who once might have been assigned to the secretarial pool if nothing’s changed.  Ask your gay friend if it’s easier to be out and proud in America now than it was thirty years ago.  To deny this progress, this hard-won progress -– our progress –- would be to rob us of our own agency, our own capacity, our responsibility to do what we can to make America better”.  President Barack Obama

Progress is not a trick, but assessing it can be tricky.  I am of an age where I see clearly how much this nation has changed since 1965 and yes there is much un-finished business.  Racism and hatred and violence are those societal elements that we must constantly struggle with.  Justice is often denied, but sometimes justice is made.  Ferguson as our President pointed out is not “unique”–the worst corruption there is is small town corruption.  I know because I grew up in a small town.  But as the President, the Representatives and the still living foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement constantly point out, we have destiny in our hands.  To not vote, the pretend that your vote doesn’t matter means to me at least that you give up any right to complain about anything because you have ceded your power and most likely to the very people who will do you the greatest harm.  Black people, progressive people sat out the 2014 elections and see what kind of Congress we got now.

I am tired of people saying well these people are racists and therefore more honest.  I know he’s a thief, so I will vote for him and not complain when he dips his hand in the collective till.  Racists are no more honest than anyone else.  But greed, stupidity, meanness, misogyny and misanthropy reign supreme in the halls of Congress.  But there has been greed, stupidity, violence, et al in the past.  And when it got too bad-the VOTERS through the rascals out.  I have voted in every election but one since I registered to vote right out of college–that means Presidential elections. primaries, school board elections, State and local contests.  All of them in three cities: Atlanta, New York and Boston.  Sometimes my candidates win, sometimes they lose.  But I can complain and praise and put my two cents in with pride.  People died.  Black people died so that I could participate in this democracy, a very far from perfect experiment.

There are terrible things going on in every state in this Union-men and women hell bent on destroying public education; on destroying collective bargaining and unionization not only in the public sector, but the private sector as well–a good way to KEEP WAGES DOWN; on making health care unaffordable and almost inaccessible for poor and working class people;  and policing women’s bodies esp. during childbearing years.  These people hate art and culture and think that anybody or maybe robots should teach.  Of course their children go to expensive private schools.  They will sell of park lands.  Gut the budgets of child welfare offices.  They are there because less than 50% of people show up and vote.  And as long as “progressives” sit on their hands and occupy their grievances these people will do even more harm.  Plenty people talk about revolution and societal transformation, but few are willing to DO THE WORK to make laws; to set policies; to administer them.  And so the right takes more and more control.  The people who were beaten and brutalized by the STATE OF ALABAMA 50 years ago wanted to vote in order to gain power and  make change.  The mayor of Selma is Black.  The mayor of Selma is Black.

many poets at Wilson Hall/Furious Flower PC, Virginia

many poets at Wilson Hall/Furious Flower PC, Virginia

Belle du Jour

The housewife birds

To another house-black lace stockings

Here sex is transactional

I.E.

She gives a little.  He pays a lot

 

She birds back-sofa purchased

Suits cleaned.  Walk here and there

The shops @) and (@) and (@)

Chanel, Dior, Hermes

Silks and leather –Leather and silk

She memorizes the number of tassels

On her brand new whip.

 

Silk and leather and diamond shaped bird

Her earnings consumed in pretty things

Husband finds –mis understanding Where

He beats her after sex

She gives a little. He takes a lot.

 

She considers the whip.  She considers the blood

Down his back.  She considers the sofa.  She

Puts the bird on her chest.  She refuses to

Flutter.

 

Husband washes his hands and considers

The necessity of marriage.  What is wife but

Bird. But if bird, what is husband.  Hunter or

Just another bird.  Blood runs down his back.

 

Home is après ski and minor gossip

Home is husband

Home is where the cat’s claws

Remain untrimmed.

 

Poem posted in The Ashbery Home School–thanks to Emily Skillings.

La vida de la poet

One of the things about writing poems is to take risk or to use unlikely sources.  On my birthday I share this poem selected by The AshberyHomeSchool organized by Adam Fitzgerald and Emily Skillings.  Many years ago, I took Thulani Davis to see Belle Du Jour for her birthday.  We felt oh so sophisticated.  That seems like a century ago and indeed it was in the last century of the last millennium. Years later I thought about the film, but also more about what is marriage since it has been on everyone’s mind-gay marriage; divorce rates; why get married; why men are happier married, etc. etc. etc.     I am not married, but probably would have made an interesting wife had I been married.  But who knows.  I do not.  But the film gave a look at how marriage represses women.  And the ways in which she “liberates”  or does not “liberate” herself is at the heart of the film.  Of course it’s a film by the great Spanish director Bunel and given his misogyny, the liberation focuses on her use of sex.  Of course women liberate ourselves in a range of ways and that is a good thing.   We need more liberty.  We need to think about what marriage or not marriage is.  We need to find language that allows our full selves to be claimed by our full selves.  As a poet who is living her life as best she can, I know that it is not easy to live one’s full life.  But I urged each of us to do so as best we can.

At MOMA, with Jacob Lawrence catalog, January 2015

At MOMA, with Jacob Lawrence catalog, January 2015

http://ashberyhomeschool.org/gallery/patricia-spears-jones/

the thrill of departure

I taught a poetry workshop for Poets House using “departure” as a way to allow writers to take a different direction; try new things. Everyone has certain ways of seeing, feeling–I know that I do.  And any time I am asked to try something different, called to create from another vantage, I embrace the process.  But I know it may not work.  There is always risk in not making good or hopefully great work. Of having your writing in the company of others who have been deemed valuable.  I know that my work is well-regarded and for some deeply admirable.  But I am not a prize receiving poet.  The New York Times does not know my name.  My last book, Painkiller, of which I very proud received like 3 reviews.  And yet, I am completing A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems for White Pine Press.  I would love to get prizes and the monies attached.  I would love to get the praise.  But my work as a poet has been to keep going despite neglect or rejection–it is not about giving up hope. It is about thinking that maybe in the language I choose to work with, I bring something new, different, engaged to the discourse.  I am not glib.  I cannot reduce my work to a sound bite–that does not interest me.  What does is that thrill of departure-the step towards something possibility familiar, but often completely unknown.

When Elizabeth Alexander asked me to write a poem in response to Jacob Lawrence Migrations series, I was deeply touched.  This was not expected and I was not sure of what I’d do; how I’d do it.  I had written a poem in response to Lawrence’s “Builders” series-a gorgeous, hopeful group of paintings.  That poem was published in Black Renaissance Noire, thanks Quincy Troupe.  But this was different and when I was at VCCA this past August, I was able to pull together the strands of thinking about Lawrence’s work and a panel in that celebrated series and make a poem.  I will always be grateful to my fellow VCCA residents who heard the poem read aloud for the first time and my good friend Deborah Wood Holton for her insightful first reading.  I will read the final version, May 1 at MOMA with Elizabeth, Yusef Komunyakaa, Rita Dove, Tyehimba Jess, Crystal Williams, Nathasa Tretheway,  Terrence Hayes, and Kevin Young.

A few days ago I stood in the recording studio at MOMA holding the catalog and marveling at the hard work done to bring Lawrence’s work to a new generation; a large audience.  From what I have heard from everyone who worked with him, he was a deeply kind, generous and hard working man.  An artist whose gifts are giving with love and great honor to the ancestors.  I am grateful to him for showing what vision and work whether quickly seen or gained over a lifetime means.  It means that the thrills keep coming year after year after year.  The show opens April 3.  I hope you go see it and see the work of artists living and gone–depart from your own vision. See where the colors, lines, figures take you–the journey may be long or short, but it will be different.

At MOMA, with Jacob Lawrence catalog, January 2015

At MOMA, with Jacob Lawrence catalog, January 2015

 

Patricia Spears Jones Events Schedule 2017-2015

Moes Books, Berkeley CA

Moes Books, Berkeley CA

JANUARY 2017

January 1 The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church

Annual New Year’s Day Benefit

131 E. Tenth Street or 2nd Ave & 10th Street

3 p.m. to midnight, plus

$25.00 donation

Manhattan

 

January 14  Arts for Art

Evolving Festival, Justice is Compassion/Not a Police State

curated by Patricia Nicholson, co-founder

6:30 pm.

131 Suffolk Street Abrazo at The Clemente

Manhattan

info at  www.artsforart.org

 

January 20 Day One: A Poetry Reading and Open Mic

Organized by Ted Degnan and Jen Fitzgerald

Poets House

10 River Terrace

5 – 7 p.m.

Manhattan

 

February, 2017

February 2  Women Poets at Barnard

w/ Lynn Emanuel

Barnard College

Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd floor, Barnard Hall

7 p.m.

Manhattan

February 11, AWP Conference, Washington DC

Panelist: Writing Capitalism: Chicken Shack to Cloud Corporation; Barmaid to Bureaucrat

Organized by Julie Sheehan

w/ J.  Sheehan, Timothy Donelley, Sarah Vap and Sarah Briante

Marquis Salon 7& 8 Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Washington, DC

 

March 2017

March 11  Second Saturdays @CYRUS

organized by Terri Muss & Matt Pasca

w/ Terri Muss

1 Railroad Plz

7-9:30 p.m.

Bayshore, LI,  NY

 

March 21, School of Visual Arts

Voices of Resistance org. by David Pemberton

w/ Lydia Cortes, Sheila Maldonado & Bakar Wilson

SVA Library

380 Second Ave.

Manhattan

7 p.m.

FREE

 

March 26, Bowery Poetry Club

The Golden Shovel Book Launch

Organized by Peter Kahn & Ravi Shankar,

w/ Latasha N. Diggs, Greg Pardlo, Jean Valentine, Elizabeth Macklin, Patricia Smith. et al

308 Bowery

Manhattan

3-5 p.m.

Free

Anthology of poems for Gwendolyn Brooks

Anthology honoring Gwendolyn Brooks-so glad to be in this.

April 2017

April 1  Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College

Paterson Poetry Prize Winner & Finalists Reading

Organized by Maria M. Gillan

w/ Mark Doty, et al

Hamilton Club Building

Paterson, New Jersey

1 p.m.

FREE

 

April 1, Howl Happening

WORD: An Anthology from A Gathering of Tribes

Emceed by Bob Holman

w/ Sheila Maldonado, Eileen Myles and Edwin Torres

6 E. First Street

Manhattan

7-9 p.m

FREE

 

April 7  Walking with Whitman Poetry in Performance

The Walt Whitman Birthplace Association

Curated by Cynthia Shor

6:00-9:30 p.m.

246 Old Walt Whitman Road

Huntington Station, LI, NY

 

April 20  Brooklyn Poets Anthology Reading

Organized by Jason Koo

w/ Timothy Donnelly, D. Nurske, Candace Williams, et al

Smack Mellon

92 Plymouth Street

7 p.m.

$20-$35 at the door

Brooklyn

 

May 2017

May 12, Pete’s Candy Store

w/Sharon Mesmer and Elaine Sexton

curated by Michael Broder

709 Lorimer Street

7 p.m.

Brooklyn NY

http://www.petescandystore.com/


Paterson Poetry Prize Event, April 1, 2017

June, 2017
June 27,  Stanley Kunitz Common Room
w/ Joan Wickersham
Organized by Kelle Groom
Fine Arts Work Center
24 Pearl Street
6:30 p.m.
Provincetown, MA
(508) 487-9960/FAWC.ORG

 

JULY, 2017

July 22, GEMINI Ink

Writers Conference, July 21-23

Reading with Octavio Quintinanilla, Helana Maria Viramontes, Brian Turner

Curated by Alexandra Vanderkamp

1111 Navarro Street

7 p.m.

San Antonio, TX

Information: www.geminiink.org

 

July 26, Cambridge Public Library

The Golden Shovel Book Launch/Mass Poetry

Organized by Maura Snell and Ravi Shankar

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Cambridge, MA

 

AUGUST, 2017

August 5, Lincoln Center

La Casita Lincoln Center Out of Doors

Organized by Claudia Norman. LaTasha N. Diggs, C. Daniel Dawson, et al

Hearst Plaza

Noon-3 p.m.

Manhattan

FREE

August 6, Lincoln Center Out-Doors

La Casita at Teatro Pregones

571 Walton Avenue

2 p.m.

Bronx NY

FREE

 

SEPTEMBER , 2017

September 13,  KGB

Inkwell Readings

w/ Richard Hoffman

85 E. 4th Street

7 p.m.

Manhattan

medallion Walt Whitman Birthplace, Long Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 2016

January 12  Poets Settlement

Organized/hosted by Terence Degnan, et al

Breucklyn Colony

274 4th Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11215

8 p.m.

 

FEBRUARY

February 12, Brooklyn Poets Reading Series

Organized by Jason Koo

w/ Rosebud Ben-Oni & Lonely Christopher

BRIC MEDIA ARTS

674 Fulton Street

7 p.m.

Brooklyn

F

 

February 17, Book Launch at BookCourt

Organized by the Poetry Society of America

w/ Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

163 Court Street

Free

Brooklyn

 

February 23, NYU Book Center

Organized by Scott R. Hightower

w/ Barbara Fischer, Terese Svoboda & Jonathan Wells

6 p.m.

726 Broadway

Free

Manhattan

 

February 25, University of Pacific

Organized by Zhou Xiaojing, Ph.D.

English Department

Free

6:30 p.m.

Stockton, CA

 

February 29 University of California, Berkeley

Anniversary Celebration of Robert Hass’ Lunch Poems

w/ Cecil Giscombe, Brenda Hillman, Maxine Hong Kingston, Lynn Hejinian, et al

Morrison Library inside the Doe Library north entrance

5:30 to 7:30 PM

Wine reception

Berkeley, CA

 

MARCH

March 2, Moe’s Books

w/ Dennis Maloney

2476 Telegraph Avenue

7:30 p.m.

Berkeley, CA

 

March 3, The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University

Organized by Steve Dickinson

w/ Clarence Major

1600 Holloway Avenue

4:30 p.m.

San Francisco, CA

http://poetry.sfsu.edu/

 

March 30-April 2 AWP : readings, signings, panel

March 31  Black Earth Institute Fellows’ Reading

AWP Off site Reading: Stories Books and Cafe

T. Broby, M. Durand, A. Hedge Coke, L. Camp, A. Finch

& A. Fisher-Wirth

1716 W. Sunset Blvd

6-8 p.m.

Free

APRIL

 

April 1, Book Signing

Organized by Pam Ushuk

Best of Cutthroat

1 p.m.

April 1  Book Signing  A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems

Organized by Dennis Maloney, Publisher

White Pine Press, Table 743

2-3 p.m.

BOOKFAIR: LA Convention Center/JW Marriott

w/ Matthew Dickman, AWP Los Angeles, 2016

w/ Matthew Dickman, AWP Los Angeles, 2016

April 2,  Out of LA: A Tribute to Jayne Cortez (1936-2012)

Organized by Laura Hinton.  Panelists: Aldon Lynn Nielson,

Jennifer Ryan and Pam Ward

Room 410 LA Convention Center, Meeting Floor Level

3-4:15 p.m.

Los Angeles

https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/schedule_overview

 

April 21, The Kelly Writers House

University of Pennsylvania

broadside Kelly Writers House

broadside Kelly Writers House

Organized by Charles Bernstein, Al Fireis & Jessica Lowenthal

7 p.m.

3805 Locust Walk

7 p.m.

Philadelphia, PA

MAY 2016

photo by John Casquerelli

Reading at Berl’s Poetry Shop

 

May 26, EARSHOT

Organized by Emily Skillings

w/Larry Kaplun, Nicole Sealy and Christian Smith

8 p.m.

Over the Eight, Union & Richardson

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

*******

JUNE

 

June 17,  Benefit  Reading for Community of Writers

Dedicated to C. D. Wright, organized by Alison DeLauer

W/ Kazim Ali, Bob Hass, Brenda Hillman, Cathy Park Hong

Sharon Olds & Kevin Simmonds

7 p.m.

First Congregational Church (Berkeley)

2345 Channing Way

Berkeley, CA

 

June 23, Staff Reading for Community of Writers

w/ Kazim Ali, Bob Hass, Cathy Park Hong and Sharon Olds

7 p.m.

Poets, Squaw Valley, 2016

Cathy Park Hong & Nikia Chaey at Squaw Valley, June 2016

Olympic Valley, CA

 

 

JULY

July 14, 24th Annual Poetry Showcase Reading

Organized by Stephen Motika

w/ Alicia Jo Rabins, Camille Rankine, Stacy Szymaszek

7 p.m.

Poets House

10 River Terrace

Manhattan

 

AUGUST

August 8,  Local 61 Brooklyn YAWP

organized by Jason Koo

7 p.m.

61 Bergen Street

Brooklyn NY

www.brooklynpoets.org

 

SEPTEMBER

September 11  Group Reading

Jefferson Market Library

organized by Scott Hightower. Sally Davidowff, et al

2-4 p.m.

10th Street & Sixth Avenue

Manhattan

 

September 16, The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church

Ted Greenwald Memorial–Group reading

organized by Poetry Project

8 p.m.

131 E. 10th Street

Manhattan

Ted Greenwald Memorial Reading at St. Mark's Poetry Project

Ted Greenwald Memorial Reading at St. Mark’s Poetry Project

September 25  Arts for Art/In the Garden Series

organized by Steve Dalanchinsky

w/ Yuko Otomo,

3-5 p.m.

6 BC Garden-E. 6th Street between B&C

Manhattan

 

OCTOBER

October 11,  Reading/PSU, Altoona

Organized by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Noon

Free

Titelman Study of the Misciangna Family Center for the Performing Arts

Altoona, PA

 

October 17, BOOKCOURT/Reading from RESISTING ARREST Anthology

w/ Tony Medina, Marilyn Nelson, Quincy Scott Miller, et al

7 p.m.

163 Court Street

Free

Brooklyn, NY

 

NOVEMBER

November 1, Dia/Chelsea Contemporary Poetry Series

organized by Vincent Katz

w/ Christopher Stackhouse

535 W. 22nd Street, 5th Floor

$10.00 gen admission/$6.00 seniors & students

6:30 p.m.

212-989-5566

Manhattan

 

November 2,  An Openings Roundtable

organized by Sabra Moore

w/ Janet Goldner, Marina Gutierrez,  Cecilia Vicuna, Mimi Smith & K. Miyamota

Rizzoli

6:30 p.m.

 

November 18 The Writers Studio presents

2017 PUSHCART PRIZE ANTHOLOGY Reading

with Charles Baxter, et al & Bill Henderson, Publisher

The Strand Book Store (Rare Books Room)

12th and Broadway

7 p.m.

$15.00 ticket at the desk

Manhattan

 

post reading at The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church, Dec. 2015 w/ Lydia Cortes

post reading at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, Dec. 2015 w/ Lydia Cortes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DECEMBER 2015

December 9, The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church

Organized by Simone White

w/ Susie Timmons

8 p.m.

Belladonna reading, March 2015

Kimberly Lyons, Laynie Brown, et al,March 2015

131 E. 10th Street

Manhattan

Donation

Home

 

NOVEMBER

November 22,  The Poetry Brothel

Organized by Stephanie Berger, et al

w/ Nick Flynn

New York City

 

November 14, Poets Network & Exchange

Organized by Lorraine Currelley

w/E.J. Antonio, Jacqueline Johnson, Tyehimba Jess

Countee Cullen Branch, NYPL

1 p.m.

Free

http://poetsnetworkandexchange.wordpress.com/

 

OCTOBER

October 19, Tribute to the Poet Ai

Organized by The Poetry Society of America, Academy of American Poets, Cave Canem, et al

w/ Yusef Komunyakaa, Joy Harjo, Sapphire, Timothy Lieu, Susan Wheeler, et al

Prohansky Auditorium, CUNY Graduate Center

Fifth Avenue & 34th Street

7 p.m.

Manhattan

 

SEPTEMBER

September 25, Glitter Pomegranate Series

Bedford Avenue YMCA

Curated by Cheryl Boyce-Taylor

w/ Gregory Pardlo, Eugenia Lee and Lynne Procope

1121 Bedford Avenue

6:30 p.m.

Brooklyn, NY

 

 September 20, Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon

Organized by Juliet P. Howard

Invitation Only: Reading/Workshop

TBA

https://www.facebook.com/WomenWritersinBloom.PoetrySalon

 

September 2, The Brooklyn Commons

Music Now! At  Poetry/Jazz
w/Spiritchild XspiritMental, Ras Moshe Burnett, et al  & open mic
The Brooklyn Commons
388 Atlantic Ave. btwn Hoyt St. & Bond St.
Brooklyn.
A,C to Hoyt-Schemerhorn/Any train to Atlantic Ave.

6 p.m. -9 p.m.

$11 contribution

 

AUGUST

 August 9, Boog City Festival

David Kirschbaum, et al

Unnameable Bookstore

Vanderbilt Avenue

1:45 p.m.

Brooklyn, NY

 

JULY, 2015

July 25

Merryall Center

Voices of Poetry organized by Neil Silberblatt

w/ Patrick Donnelly, Michael Klein, and musicians

8 p.m.

New Milford, Connecticut

For directions, call (860) 354-7264 or visit www.merryallcenter.org.

 

JULY 26

Fifth Annual The New York Poetry Festival

Organized by Stephanie Berger

w/ Nick Flynn David Matlin and Fran Quinn

3 p.m.

Algonquin Stage, Colonels Row Park

Governors Island

Free

About

 

MAY, 2015

Center for Women Writers

with Metta Sama and Meera Nair at Salem College, North Carolina

May 1, Museum of Modern Art

Debut Reading: Poetry Suite for Migration Series, One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence

Migrations Series and Other Works organized/curated Elizabeth Alexander

w/ Rita Dove, Nikky Finney, Terence Hayes, Tyehimba Jess,

Crystal Williams, et al

6:30 p.m.

The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1

Manhattan

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/events/23538

 

May 10, hosting WORDS SUNDAY

Janet Kaplan and Jacqueline Jones LaMon

Calabar Imports

4 p.m.

351 Tompkins Avenue

Brooklyn

 

May 15, Center for Book Arts

The Broadside Series hosted by Sharon Dolin

w/ Ada Limon, Jen Bervin and Genine Lentine

7 p.m.

28 W. 27

Manhattan

 

APRIL 2015

April 2, Hell Yes, Readings from The Inferno by Dante Alghieri

Cathedral of St. John Divine

Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street

9 p.m.

Manhattan

Open to the Public

April 12, hosting WORDS SUNDAY

w/ LaToya Jordan and Ras Moshe Burnett

Calabar Imports Bed-Stuy

351 Tompkins

Brooklyn

info@calabar-imports.com

 

MARCH 2015

March 3, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Women’s Herstory Conference

w/ Lee Briccetti, Elaine Sexton, Nita Noveno, et al

7-9 p.m.

Manhattan

Free

 

March 8 McNally Jackson Books

Curated by Belladonna Collaborative

w/ Laynie Browne and Kimberly Lyons

7 p.m.

52 Prince Street

Manhattan

Free

 

March 18 The Center for Women Writers

Curated by Metta Sama, Director

w/ Meera Nair

Salem College

7 p.m.

601 S Church Street

photo by John Casquerelli

Reading at Berl’s Poetry Shop

Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27101

http://www.salem.edu/community/cww/

 

 

FEBRUARY  2015

February 5 RESPOND at Smack Mellon
DUMBO FIRST THURSDAY
“Don’t shoot” curated by Samuel Jablom
w/ Anomalous who, Steve Dalachinsky, Joyce LeeAnn Joseph,
Yuko Otomo, and Peter Rugh
7:30 p.m.
SMACK MELLON
92 Plymouth Street @ Washington
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Free

JANUARY  2015

January 1, The Poetry Project New Year’s Day Benefit
Organized by The Poetry Project
w/ a cast of hundreds
2 p.m. to midnight
St. Mark’s Church on the Bouwerie
131 E. 10th Street
Manhattan
Donation: $20

January 3, First Saturday at Brooklyn Museum
Poetry Popup in Crossing Brooklyn
Organized by Alan Felsenthal
w/ Corinna Copp, Ricky Laurentis, and Charles North
Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn
Free w/ Museum Admission

DECEMBER

December 1, KGB Monday Night Poetry Series
Organized by John Deming
w/ Shanna Compton
7:30 p.m.
E. 4th Street
Manhattan

NOVEMBER POETRY EVENTS

November 11, Poets@Pace
w/ Monica de la Torre
Organized by Charles North
Pace University
Once Pace Plaza
Manhattan
6-7:30 p.m.
FREE

OCTOBER POETRY EVENTS

October 12, AiPO POETRY SCULPTURE
w/Christine Malvasi, Sophie Malleret,Najee Omar, &Nikhil Melnechuk
Organized by Samuel Jablon
1-2 p.m. UNION SQUARE
Manhattan
FREE

SEPTEMBER  POETRY EVENTS

September 13, Greenpoint Branch
Brooklyn Public Library
Organized by Melanie Nielsen
w/ Kristen Gallagher
107 Norman Ave @Leonard Street
Brooklyn, NY
718-349-8504

September 24-27, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future
Of African-American Poetry
James Madison University
Furious Flower Poetry Center
Organized by Dr. Joanne V. Gabbin
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
www.jmu.edu/furiousflower

JUNE POETRY EVENTS

June 19, Lunch Poems, Word for Word Series
Organized by Paul Romero
w/ Lydica Cortes,  Jessica Greenbay,  Jocelyn Lieu & Sharan Strange
12:30 p.m.
Free
BRYANT PARK Reading Room
Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street
Manhattan

June 29, Voices of Poetry
Organized by Neil Silberblatt
w/ Chivas Sandage, Vivian Shipley, Mark Statman & Bianca Stone
4 p.m.
$15/$10 students
26 Bedford Road
Katonah, NY.

Life Lessons from Living in the Love Economy

Life Lessons

There are many lessons learned in life

But few come from tragedy—I know, I know

 

What makes you stronger and all that.  Rot

I say

 

You learn more from what makes you laugh

How much pleasure the tongue can bring and where it was placed

 

The sweet look on your lover’s face.  Or how loud P FUNK

Could be on stage and off   NOT JUST KNEEDEEP

 

The towers falling; a man shot in the back

All terrible, but: What can you do about that?

 

What can you make of a world so wedded to injustice?

How dare you name the oppressor and demand his head,

 

His badge, his ranch or those secret accounts in the Maldives?

It is not as if the struggle is useless, it is that it continues.

 

But joy, where is it?  What does it look like, smell like—bergamot

Lemons, honey, roses, musk?

 

To find it, is to explore a path where the stumbles are many

The curses frequent, but the rewards

 

forthcoming in A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems (White Pine Press)