Friday, July 5, 2019

Poetry Month 2019- Part Two!

My last blog post, purporting to be about the first half of my National Poetry Month, seems to have skipped about from event to event, without rhyme or reason, so to speak. This entry will attempt to fill in some of the blanks, and restore some sense of chronological sensibility to the goings on.
Before there was Albany, there was Teresa Costa’s monthly Word of Mouth Poetry Series, held at the elegant ARTBAR on Broadway in Kingston. A combination art gallery and wine & beer bar, the show changes every month, and is skillfully curated by Allie Constant, and now her young assistant, Beckett Constant, born in March and already an important member of the Constant team. Dad Andrew has assumed many of the barista duties now, too.

Teresa’s features on April 11 were Alison Koffler-Wise and Dayl Wise, founders of Post Traumatic Press. Based in Woodstock, PTP was originally created by Dayl to provide a place for the writings of veterans he was encountering at Veterans for Peace and other activist events. The press has broadened its mission to include environmental and historically-based collections, and even the work of just plain poets like myself. Full Disclosure: Post Traumatic Press published My Minnesota Boyhood chapbook in 2012, and mine and Guy Reed’s Until the Words Came this past spring.

They are a terrific duo, in life as well as in poetry, and complement each other well when they co-feature. Alison specializes in poems about natural and animals. She’s recordings the goings on for years of the family’s two beautiful dogs, so much so that I feel I know them better than I do. Dayl’s work directly sprung out of his experiences in Vietnam, direct and honest recollections, but has evolved to include childhood and politics, too. I highly recommend reading their work, or better yet, hearing them read the next time you get a chance.

 The Starr Library in Rhinebeck decided to continue the Poetry Month recognition they started in 2018. thirty-four readers came on the evening of April 13 to read work the library had been displaying, framed on their walls, for the previous few weeks. About fifty in all attended, including my Handler, and I ran into an old acquaintance who, to my regret, remembered me far better from the old days of the Woodstock Poetry Society under Bob Wright's gentle whip than I her. But I hope to see Ann Braybrooks again soon. Refreshments were served, and considering the positive response, I'm sure that Nan Jackson and the rest of the crew will throw a similar bash in 2020. 

Stayed tuned for Part III, and the Woodstock Library event that there's no room for suddenly here!!