Monthly Archives: July 2009

7/29/09 Dog Days of Summer Open Myk


Too hot? (We assumed it would be hot by now…. So what’s with the lack of heat and all the rain anyway?) Ok, just imagine you need cool. Get your iced poetry right here! This open myk is dedicated to the memory of past water fights, of restless heat sleeping, of working and sweating, or taking vacations, or not taking vacations because of the ecomony or dogs in the lake or the bathtub, lawn mower trials, squirrels inside, skunks under the porch, kids running wild, of gardens and lemon-aide stands, air conditioners that break, or odes to parts of the world where it’s too hot in other ways, ice caps that melt, etc, etc. As always, though we like to keep the theme, you can really read anything you are hot and bothered to read to us!!! Sign up starts around 7:45 or whenever the host puts out the signup sheet! Usually, in our open myk, readers get three poems or five minutes. But on a theme night, sometimes the sign up list is called up twice, so bring poems! Come down and get in the hot seat! WOOF!
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Posted by on July 30, 2009 in * Past Theme Nights


7/22/09 – Susannah Lawrence


On the Androscoggin,
ice imitates life, its gray luster buckling
under the thumb of time and weather until
the river gets what it wants
like the seventeen year old who
muscles into your party, draws everyone into her current, trashes the place;

and, in spite of yourself
you’re glad to see her;

she picks up the pace, turns on the jokes, throws sex in the punch;
she’s like the start of a rodeo
when the 4-H girls gallop in, all shocking pink and white
fringe, holding six foot flags streaming out behind palominos,
whose muscles surge under glossy skin
like water in spate – girls perched on a thousand pounds of power

as if they owned it,
and you want,
between your knees,

palomino – and a clear run, all the way to the river.


Susannah Lawrence is a passionate and active environmentalist and has been for many years. She is a member of the Monday Poets of Litchfield, and of a Block Island Poetry Peer Review group. She says she writes poetry ” to see what can happen out of my life.” She lives and works in Norfolk, CT.

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Posted by on July 23, 2009 in * A Few Poems, * Past Features


7/15/09 – Pete Dolack

Pete Dolack is a poet, essayist, photographer, activist and sometimes a wanderer in deserts who increasingly tinkers with different styles but often integrates a story-telling style layered with satire that is sometimes subtle, sometimes caustic and sometimes both, with a range of voices and characters to burrow into the fault lines of contemporary society and the inside of his head. He is a 2000 Pushcart Prize nominee and his poetry book, And Now a Word From Our Sponsors, is in its second printing. Currently, he is working on a book about the 20th century’s socialist experiments and the lessons that can be drawn from them, but is happy to remember that he is still a poet.

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Posted by on July 16, 2009 in * Past Features


7/8/09 – Aaron Jafferis

AARON JAFFERIS has performed his hip hop poetry at Madison Square Garden, the Kennedy Center, and the National Poetry Slam Championships, where he is a former Open Rap Slam champion.

In 2007, Aaron was named one of “50 To Watch” by The Dramatist. His numerous plays, and collaborations have won awards and recognition from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and others. His work includes a hip hop musical Kingdom, (music by Ian Williams); a solo opera Stuck Elevator: The Super-Heroic Stationary Journey of Ming Kuang Chen; two hip hop plays: No Lie, and Shakespeare: The Remix. They have been widely produced at venues around the country from the Nuyorican Poets Café, H.E.R.E., Passage Theatre, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, to TheatreWorks and the St. Louis Black Rep, Capital Rep, Zachary Scott Theatre, and Collective Consciousness, and more. He has written poetry for the Urban Bush Women dance troupe and for The Nation and Northeast magazines.
JAFFERIS holds a BA in Arts & Social Change from the University of California at Berkeley, studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and received his MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU, where he was an Alberto Vilar Global Fellow in the Performing Arts. For the last decade he has taught playwriting, poetry, and hip hop theatre in urban high schools, middle schools, and detention centers.
* Bio adapted from *
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Posted by on July 9, 2009 in * Past Features


7/1/09 – Open Poetry Slam & Open Myk – all comers welcome!

On the first of July, WNPS will hold a poetry slam!

Slam, for the curious, is a competitive poetry reading where judges, chosen at random from the audience, judge the performances & poems Olympic style – with a mark of 0 to 10. Each poem must be performed in three minutes or less, and must be the original work of the poet. Though poets may sing, humm, stamp and make weird noises during their performance – NO “PROPS” (objects or instruments, etc ) maybe used. Several rounds may be needed to determine a victor depending on how many poets compete. However ALL participants in a slam win because they have had the courage to share their poems in a rowdy and fun environment in the service of POETRY! Slam Judges are supposed to give equal weight to the quality of the poem AND to the quality of the performance. The Audience is allowed to BOO the judges!

Slam was invented in Chicago by Marc Kelly Smith (“SO WHAT!”) at the Green Mill – a bar! The goal was to put poetry forward in way that was fun – rather than the sedate perhaps over-dignified type readings that appealed to quieter souls. That was over a decade ago and now there is a National Slam organization and a National Slam held every year at a different part of the country. The movement has spawned several movies, an entire Youth Slam movement and many touring groups including Def Poetry Jam, etc etc.

For those not wishing to compete – an regular open myk will be held before the slam.
SLAM MASTER/MISTRESS of the evening is…
You can sign up at the venue for either the open myk or the slam. Sign up begins around 7:45 pm.

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Posted by on July 2, 2009 in * Past Specials

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