Half Moon Books

Book Launch for Cadillac Men, poems by Rebecca Schumejda

Finally, the book of poems we have been hearing from for years at her readings is out from the great New York Quarterly Books. This reading was at Half Moon Bookstore on Front St. in Kingston, where Becky has hosted many readings over the past few years. She read with Cheryl A. Rice & Nathan Graziano.

Cheryl A. Rice has a new chapbook out from her Flying Monkey Press, Kingston is Burning, but most of the poems she read were not from the chapbook. But most any poems from Cheryl are worth hearing/reading, from the bar poem, “Poets Night Out,” to the consideration of alternative lives in “Delorean,” to wedding poems (“Exhibit B” & “We Live in a World”) to the sexy “Hot Tub.” The one poem she read from the chapbook was the one the title of the chapbook is taken from, “Baghdad/Kingston” that is based on/inspired by my poem “Baghdad/Albany.”

Nathan Graziano also has a new book out, the collection of short prose pieces, Hangover Breakfast (Bottle of Smoke Press). He read mostly from the book, short, first-person narratives, usually with humor, often referencing pop culture, such as his opening piece, “The Teenage Couple Who Has Sex in a Slasher Flick.” One of his sub-themes seems to be puking, as in “Confessions of a Recovering Crier” & “Bad News.” And how could he not write about being a poet (“The Published Poet”)?

The small back room of Half Moon Books was not only packed with most of the mid-Hudson Valley’s literati, but also with a noisy flock of little girls whose insistence chattering & clattering was ineffectively on occasion shushed by one of the moms in the room. But the readers kept on, & Becky even confessed later she didn’t mind the distractions.

Anyone who has been at any of Rebecca Schumejda‘s readings in the last few years as heard poems from this series now collected as Cadillac Men, about the characters & events in a pool hall Becky & her husband once owned. She introduced us (again) to such characters as Mikey Meatballs (“Table of Truth”), “Bobby Balls-In-Hand,” Dee (“Going Our for Ice-Cream”) or Aristotle (“Sober on a Snowy Day”). There was even a poem about her daughter as a toddler among the pool tables, “First Steps.” Good stories, good poems & always good to hear.

These books (& others by local writers) area available at Half Moon Books, Front St. (“every city on a river has a Front St.”), Kingston, NY.