Sunday, February 24, 2019


I missed the panel I was to have chaired, and much else of interest, waiting for the snow to clear and my flight to get airborne, but I was finally in Louisville for the 47th iteration of the conference on literature and culture after 1900.  Fortunately I did not miss my own paper, part of an entire panel dedicated to the work of C.L.R. James.  At the end, we had another poetry reading at La Casa Golding and then everybody flew away.  Everybody but me, that is; more flight delays, more time in Louisville.

[additional photos by Lauri Ramey and Nathaniel Mackey]

Tuesday, February 19, 2019



Boog City Poets, Fall 2019
I'd heard great things about the Boog City Festivals over the years, but had never had a chance to attend one.  This year the chance came around, so I hopped a train for the flying under belly of Brooklyn.

I couldn't get to New York in time for the first night of the festival, but things got underway again the next afternoon, on "poetry time," underground, of course, tucked away beneath the appropriately named Unnameable Books. I was MC for the first segment, in my usual haphazard way, introducing poets E.J. McAdams, Tai Nissen-Maag, Evelyn Reilly, Debrah Morkun, Betsy Andrews and Brittany Billmeyer-Finn. After a break, E.J. took over hosting duties, and I read along with Carol Mirakove, Zoe Tuck, Toni Simon and Nada Gordon.  That was followed by a crew of writers associated with Clash Books, in the spirit of Boog's annual remembrance of d.a. levy and the renegade press.  I used part of my reading to recite a poem by Russell Atkins, who, along with other members of Cleveland's Free Lance group, had given early encouragement and support to levy.

Saturday's musical interlude featured singer/song writer Eve Blackwater, whose music I recommend to you. 

Among the afternoon's many surprises, Nick Piombino is an honest-to-god page turner.

Come Sunday, we were back in the Bowery -- It had been so long since my last visit to the Poetry Club that I didn't recognize the place. Things got started with David Kirschenbaum introducing readings by Nathaniel Siegel and Lauren Russell.  Lauren and her poetry polyhedron had traveled overnight by bus.  If you don't know her work, get a copy of What's Hanging on the Hush.  She's at University of Pittsburgh, where, among other things, she's the assistant director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. 

After music by Andrew Sheron, the rest of the afternoon session was given over to Poets' Theater, with the striking results you see here depicted.

Jason Trachtenburg, not content with buzzing about, antennae well lit, performed a riotous set of his own songs.

I do wish that I could have caught the evening sessions and films. Maybe another year. All praises to the Boog City crew for pulling this together year after year.

[and thanks to David for the photo I obviously did not take]