Poets in the Park, 2021: Readings scheduled for July 10 & 17
Poets in the Park is celebrating over 30 years of bringing poetry in July to the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park, Albany, NY. The series was started in 1989 by the late Tom Nattell and is now run by Albany poet & photographer Dan Wilcox. This year the readings will be on Saturdays July 10 & 17; the readings start at 7:00 PM & are free & open to the public; donations are accepted. I case of rain the reading will be held on the following Sunday of each date (i.e., July 11, July 18).
- July 10: Student Poets from Albany High School & Greg Wilder (“Slay the Dragon”)
- July 17: Gretchen Primack & Gordon Davis
The Robert Burns statue is located near where Henry Johnson Blvd. passes through Washington Park and crosses Hudson Ave. Please bring your own chairs or blankets to sit on.
Each year student poets at Albany High School are encouraged to submit their poems to the Tom Nattell Peace Poetry Prize, a fund managed by the Community Foundation of the Capital Region, & established to honor the memory of Tom, the founder of Poets in the Park & life-long Albany poets & social justice activist. This year’s winners are Myanoe Aung & Jamiah Williams; all poets who entered the contest have been invited to read.
Greg Wilder (also known by the stage name Slay! the Dragon) is an award-winning writer, full-time student, and spoken word performer, currently residing in Schenectady, N.Y. After a long, downhill battle with alcohol and drug addiction, Greg entered treatment in June of 2017 and rediscovered the therapeutic potential of art and writing. Today, with over 4 years clean, Greg shares this healing power of poetry and art with others suffering from addictions and mental health disorders. Greg received an A.S. in Human Services from SUNY Schenectady in May of 2020 and is currently enrolled in the Honors English Program at the University of Albany.
Gretchen Primack is the author of , republished by Lantern Books in March 2021, which explores the dynamic between humans and (other) animals; (Willow Books 2019), set in a maximum-security men’s prison; and (Mayapple Press). Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. Primack has administrated and taught with education programs in prison and jail for many years and moonlights at an indie bookstore in Woodstock, NY. She co-wrote, with Jenny Brown, (Penguin Avery). Her website is www.gretchenprimack.com.
Gordon Davis received his BA in Literature from Bard College, Masters in Professional Studies from New York Theological Seminary, and Curricular Specialization in Public Health while incarcerated within the NY State prison system. He also serves as treasurer for FinEquity, which is a nonprofit organization, and is a Bard College Public Health Fellow. Gordon also is the director of community impact for Thrift 2 Fight, which is an organization that uses thrifting to fight for social change.