How did Wednesday Night Poetry get started? Two words: Faith Vicinanza.
A former Newtown resident, IT Exec, creator of Hanover Press, she began the series around 1994, nurtured it, spent time and money on it, promoted it, got the most interesting poets she could find to read and paid them out of her own pocket,
She began the series at a little book store called the Book Review which was in the Sand Hill Plaza on Route 25 in Newtown. The series soon out-grew the Book Review, which had a tiny little cafe area, and Faith moved it to Doctor Java’s Caffeine Emporium on Greenwood Ave. in Bethel. Over the years it has had many venues .
PAST VENUES include: (dates approximate)
- The Book Review (Newtown) 1994
- Doctor Java’s (Bethel), 1994-1997
- The Chat House (Newtown),
- Bassett’s (Brookfield),
- The Frame Shop (Bethel),
- The Bethel Art Junction,2000-2005
- Molten Java (102 Greenwood Ave, Bethel),2005-2009
- The Blue Z Coffeehouse (Newtown) for about six months in 2010
- The Garage (Newtown) 2010-2011
- in 2012 – back home at Molten Java’s new digs at 213 Greenwood Ave
In 2007, the governance of the series changed as well, falling to an “ad hoc” committee with Mark McGuire-Schwartz as “Executive Director” and co-curator, followed by Robin Sampson as “cat-herder,” i.e. “director of weekly operations” and curator from 2009-2011. Robin recently stepped down, and the “ad hoc” “self-selected” management committee (which includes founder Faith Vicinanza), has begun meeting and is steering the ship. This old web-tender is no longer involved and is not up on the latest doings so check the website, listed above..