Second Anniversary of Poets Speak Loud and Annual Beret Toss

Albany Poets will celebrate the second anniversary of its open mic, “Poets Speak Loud,” at Tess’ Lark Tavern on Monday, January 29, 7:00 PM.  The event will also commemorate Tom Nattell, local poet and community activist, who died the same day, January 31, 2005.  Tom had been scheduled to be the first featured reader at the new series, but died of cancer that morning.  The open mic was held that night and was a celebration of his life, work and performances.  The event this Monday will end with the annual “beret toss” at the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park in Tom’s memory.

Poets Speak Loud, an open mic sponsored by Albany Poets, is held at the Lark Tavern on Madison Ave. in Albany on the last Monday of each month at 7:00 PM.  The usual host is Mary Panza.  However, for the second anniversary event the host will be Dan Wilcox, poet and host of the third Thursday open mic at the Social Justice Center.  Wilcox was a friend of Nattell’s and both were members of 3 Guys from Albany, a poetry performance group.

The event Monday will be a classic open mic, in the style of the monthly open mics run by Tom Nattell at the QE2 on the last Monday of each month in the 1980s and 1990s.  While it is expected that some

poets will read tribute poems to Nattell, or old favorites from past readings, poets are invited to read poems on any theme and share in the spirit of poetry.

The suggested donation for the event is $3.00; Tess’ Lark Tavern is located at 453 Madison Ave. in Albany, NY.  For more information about Albany Poets visit the website:  For more information about this event, or about Tom Nattell, contact Dan Wilcox at 518-482-0262 or email to