On Saturday July 26th at 6 p.m. some of the finest poets and writers of the upstate New York will gather for a special poetry reading at Half Moon Books (35 N Front St, Kingston, NY). The featured poets and spoken word artists for this event are Marianna Boncek, Thom Francis, Mike Jurkovic, Mary Panza, Cheryl A. Rice, and Rebecca Schumejda.
Marianna Boncek is an author and teacher. She is the author of The Spooky Hudson Valley, a book about haunted places in the Hudson Valley and Gone Missing in New York, a book about missing New Yorkers. Her poems have appearred in several local publications. She lives and writes in Woodstock with her partner, Dave.
Thom Francis is the president of Albany Poets and has been organizing, promoting, and hosting open mics and poetry / spoken word events in Albany such as Nitty Gritty Slam, School of Night, Albany Poets Presents…, and the Albany Word Fest for over 13 years. As a poet and performer, Thom has been featured at many of the upstate poetry and spoken word events from Saratoga to Woodstock as well as LarkFest, Art on Lark, 1st Friday, and the Albany Word Fest.
Mike Jurkovic‘s poems and music criticism have appeared everywhere but generate no reportable income. Chapbooks: Eve’s Venom, (Post Traumatic Press) 2014. Purgatory Road (Pudding House Press) 2010. Co-director of Calling All Poets in Beacon, NY. Producer of CAPSCAST, live readings from the Calling All Poets Series. CD reviews and music features appear in Elmore Magazine, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange & the Van Wyck Gazzette. He loves Emily most of all.
Mary Panza, Vice President of Albany Poets, is Albany’s poetry diva. She originated and hosted the poetry open mic at Border’s and has been a driving force in the poetry community since 1988. Mary has also been active in promoting,
hosting, and participating in many arts events through out Upstate New York. Mary has published a number of poetry chapbooks and was the producer of Volume, a compilation of Albany area poets performing their work at local readings and open mics. Mary is the host of Albany Poets’ monthly poetry open mic, , Poets Speak Loud, at McGeary’s. Mary also served as the Poetry Editor for the short lived Capital Region edition of Chronogram magazine. Mary is a single mother and currently writes a bi-weekly column for Albany Poets web site entitled Housewife Tuesday, covering topics from motherhood, Rainbow Looms, IUD’s, pajama jeans and food.
Cheryl A. Rice‘s work has appeared in Baltimore Review, Chronogram, Florida Review, Home Planet News, Mangrove, Metroland, Poughkeepsie Journal, The Temple, and Woodstock Times, and in the anthologies, Wildflowers, Vol. II (2002: Shivastan Publishing), Riverine (2007: Codhill Press) and For Enid, With Love (2010: NYQuarterly). She is the author of Kingston is Burning (2013: Flying Monkey Press), My Minnesota Boyhood (2012: Post Traumatic Press), Auction (2004, Flying Monkey Press; 2nd edition 2010), and A Thousand Candy Vaginas: Poems 1989-1995 (1997, Palaver Press), and the CDs Nobody Slept Last Night (2003, Another Poor Bastard Productions), and Girl Poet (2007, Flying Monkey Productions). Founder and host of the Sylvia Plath Bake-Off, Rice has lived in the Hudson Valley for over 30 years, after
growing up on Long Island. Her poetry blog, Flying Monkey Productions, is at: http://flyingmonkeyprods.blogspot.com.
Rebecca Schumejda is the author of Waiting at the Dead End Diner (Bottom Dog Press, 2014), Cadillac Men (NYQ Books, 2012) and several other collections. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family.