Mary McCarthy

Poetry + Prose Open Mic, April 1

The confusion over when this was to be held wasn’t an “April Fools” joke: this open mic is (usually) held on the 2nd Sunday of each month at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, in Troy, NY. But this year Easter falls on the 2nd Sunday, so this was held on the 1st Sunday instead. That didn’t seem to faze the 8 writers who showed up to read, nor the few others that wandered in to listen. But my co-host wasn’t there.

I started off with a tribute to poet Adrienne Rich, who died the week before, with readings of a couple poems & passages from her prose work, What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry & Politics.

There was a nice mix of poetry & prose writing today, with Bob Sharkey explemptlifying that with a little of each, “Alarm,” the story of a person facing a firing squad, another piece of prose, “Bakery,” & a poem, a portrait of “Billie.” Strangely enough, Harvey Havel‘s piece was from a fiction narrative & involved the memories of man also about to be executed by a firing squad. David Wolcott saved us from firing squads & took us hopping freight trains & riding the rails in an excerpt from his memoir, “Roseville.”

Mary McCarthy was back from Florida & reading for the 1st time here, from her self-published memoir written for her family, about the early days of her marriage, living in Morocco during the Viet Nam war. Howard Kogan read a long narrative poem bordering on prose, considering the alternative paths our intersecting lives can take, “Bit Players 2” (or “too”?), then a poem read for Easter/Passover, “My Awakening,” which he said was about working on his “spirituality” (as well as “working on being obscure”). Trina Porte also shared a poem by Adrienne Rich from her collection A Wild Patience Has Taken me This Far then her own poem, in rhyme, “Ophelia & Juliet” as if they were together as lovers & didn’t die.

This was Anne Decker‘s first time here, too, & she read “Valentine’s Day,” an excerpt of a memoir about her husband in a nursing home. Joe Krausman talked about the work of Robert Walser & read his quirky “Job Application, then his own “Two-Part Invention,” referencing Vera Pavlova’s view of poems as children.

This open mic is most-usually on the 2nd Sunday of the month, 2PM at the Arts Center in Troy. Free!