Almost 20 years ago Tom Nattell began a poetry open mic series at the QE2 (now the Fuze Box) on Central Ave. This was a time when there were not 30-plus open mics and readings in the area there is now. The QE2 mic was “the only game in town” and if you wanted to get up on stage and have people to hear your poetry, you made sure you were free on the last Monday of the month.
Many of the poets that are active in the poetry community got their start at the QE2. Mary Panza, Don Levy, Dan Wilcox, R.M. Engelhardt, Deb Bump, are just a few of the poets that Tom introduced to the mic until the series ended in the mid-90’s. Since then we have seen poetry open mics come and go, but very few have had the history, legend, and influence as the QE2.
As the 20th anniversary comes closer, we are asking you to send us your memories and stories of your time at the QE2. We will be collecting these stories and putting them together for the next issue of OTHER: and of course on albanypoets.com.
The April edition of Poets Speak Loud at the Lark Tavern will be a special evening celebrating to 20th anniversary of the legendary open mic. Come share your stories, memories and poetry on Monday night, April 30.