Mario Moroni

WordFest 2013, Day 2, April 15

One has to wonder “what the frack is going on?” but of course it is only WordFest 2013, with “Poets Against Fracking” at the UAG Gallery, day 2 of this week-long event sponsored by

Kevin Peterson was busy taking notes & V-P (“very pretty”) Mary Panza did the intros for this featured band of out-of-town bards. Quoting Kevin, quoting me, it was an “intimate gathering” cluster (non) fracking, the poets not all those who been advertised but some wonderful surprises, like Bertha Rogers & Annie Sauter.

Poet & environmentalist Annie Sauter began the evening with a single long “geology poem,” a flowing-word rant, “In the Zone of the Wasted,” personal & political.

I was pleased to see again my friend Bertha Rogers, the doyen of the poetry scene in Delaware County & Grand Dame of Bright Hill Press & the Bright Hill Literary Center. She read a variety of poems, beginning with “After the Oil Spill,” “Verge,” “Dragonfly,” & a New Year’s Day meditation on observing the natural world, “First Day Rondo.”

Mario Moroni read his poems in Italian, while we followed along on copies he handed out of translations, “Earth, this Earth” (from his 2001 Icarus’ Lands), & “Ballad 1” from a series, “Ballads of Maine.”

Roger Hecht began with the most directly anti-fracking poem, “Questionnaire for the Governor,” then two satirical, funny pieces, the literary “Variations on Lines by Williams” & the policitcal “Rumsfeld Sestina,” based on lines from the speeches of Donald Rumsfeld.

A brief open mic followed with Brian Dorn reading an environmental poem, “Another Step.” A.C. Everson read a poem in honor of her getting an A & being a student at an older age. I hadn’t anticipated an open mic so did “If Peace Broke Out Tomorrow” from memory. Sylvia Barnard‘s poem was appropriate enough, “Wind,” about seeing wind turbines in Sicily.

WordFest 2013 continues.