Two Nights of Spoken Word in Troy & Albany

The Hudson Valley Writers Guild, Trailer Park Quarterly, and Hobo Camp Review are joining forces to present two nights of poetry and spoken word. These two events will feature writers from all over the country at Elixir 16 in Troy on Friday, July 22 (8:00 p.m. / $10), and at The Linda in Albany Saturday, July 23 (8:00 p.m. / $10).

Thom Francis, HVWG VP, says, “All of us at the Writers Guild are so excited to be working with these great literary journals to bring some of the nation’s most prolific and talented poets and writers to the Capital Region.”

These two readings will showcase the work of Paula BomerDan ProvostJ. Lester AllenCord MoreskiJohn DorseyJason BaldingerJason RybergVictor ClevengerTony BrewerIan MacksTohm Bakelas, and Mary Panza.

The idea of hosting a special reading to highlight some of the poets published in TPQ, HCR, and the HVWG / Albany Poets websites began in 2020. Unfortunately, plans stalled out due to COVID when a live, in-person event was impossible. Once the world started to reopen, the dream of an afternoon of words began to take shape – but now spread out over two nights in two cities on both sides of the Hudson River.

“I am ecstatic about the opportunity to work with James Duncan, editor of Hobo Camp, and Thom [Francis] and Mary [Panza], from the HVWG, to bring readers from all over the country to the Hudson Valley! My hope is that this is the start of many more collaborations!” explains Rebecca Schumejda, editor of Trailer Park Quarterly.

Hobo Camp Review editor James Duncan adds, “It’s not just the incredible talent in this lineup that’s so exciting; it’s the chance to see prolific veteran poets and vanguard literary voices in one place over the course of two nights. This will be a memorable weekend, to say the least.” 

About the Poets

Paula Bomer, J. Lester Allen, Dan Provost
Paula Bomer, J. Lester Allen, Dan Provost

Paula Bomer is the author of the collection, Inside Madeleine (Soho Press, May 2014), the novel Nine Months (Soho Press, August 2012), which received exuberant reviews in The AtlanticPublishers WeeklyLibrary JournalThe Minneapolis Star Tribune, and elsewhere. Her collection, Baby and Other Stories (Word Riot Press, December 2010), received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, calling it a “lacerating take on marriage and motherhood…not one to share with the Mommy and Me group”, Kirkus Review deemed it “a worthy, if challenging, entry into the genre of transgressional fiction”, and O Magazine referred to it as a “brilliant, brutally raw debut.” She also is the publisher of Sententia Books and edits Sententia: The Literary Journal.

J. Lester Allen is an American writer and poet. Originally hailing from the Central Pennsylvania region, he currently calls the waterfall rich holler of Ludlowville, NY home. He published his first collection of poems, The Days Carnivore, in 2008 and has since published three other collections of poetry and short stories, most notably This Is a Land of Wolves Now (Kung Fu Treachery 2019). A fourth collection, Beyond The Wounded Horizon, a split effort with fellow poet James H. Duncan, is also available on Alpine Ghost Press.

A former collegiate offensive lineman and football coach for 26 years, Dan Provost’s poetry has been published both online and in print since 1993. He is the author of 14 books/chapbooks. His latest, Foundations of Cheap Penance, was released by DeadMansPressInk in November 2021. He has been twice nominated for The Best of the Web and has read his poetry throughout the United States. He lives in Berlin, New Hampshire with his wife Laura, and dog Bella.

Cord Moreski, John Dorsey, Jason Baldinger
Cord Moreski, John Dorsey, Jason Baldinger

Cord Moreski is a poet from the Jersey Shore. Moreski is the author of Confined Spaces (Two Key Customs, 2022), The News Around Town (Maverick Duck Press, 2020), and Shaking Hands with Time (Indigent Press, 2018). When he is not writing, Cord waits tables for a living and teaches middle school children that poetry is awesome.

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016),  Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017), Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020), Afterlife Karaoke (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2021) and Sundown at the Redneck Carnival (Spartan Press, 2022). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous.

Jason Baldinger is from Pittsburgh and looks forward to roaming the country and writing poems again. His newest books are A Threadbare Universe (Kung Fu Treachery Press) and The Afterlife is a Hangover (Stubborn Mule Press). A History of Backroads Misplaced: Selected Poems 2010-2020 (Kung Fu Treachery) is forthcoming later this year. His work has been published widely across print journals and online. You can hear him read his work on Bandcamp and on LPs by The Gotobeds and Theremonster.

Jason Ryberg, Victor Clevenger, Tony Brewer
Jason Ryberg, Victor Clevenger, Tony Brewer

Jason Ryberg is the author of eighteen books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks, and scraps of paper that could one day be (loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in-residence at both The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collection of poems is The Great American Pyramid Scheme (co-authored with W.E. Leathem, Tim Tarkelly, and Mack Thorn, OAC Books, 2022). He lives part-time in Kansas City, MO with a rooster named Little Red and a billygoat named Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks, near the Gasconade River, where there are also many strange and wonderful woodland critters.

Victor Clevenger spends his days in a Madhouse and his nights writing. Selected pieces of his work have appeared in print magazines and journals around the world; it has also been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize. He is the author of several collections of poetry including A Finger in the Hornets’ Nest (Red Flag Poetry, 2018), Corned Beef Hash By Candlelight (Luchador Press, 2019), A Wildflower In Blood (Roaring Junior Press, 2020), Scratching to Get By (Between Shadows Press, 2021), and 47 Poems (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2022). Together with American poet John Dorsey, they run River Dog.

Tony Brewer has lived in Indiana forever. His books include Hot Type Cold Read (Chatter House Press, 2013), Homunculus (Dos Madres Press, 2019), The History of Projectiles (Alien Buddha Press, 2021), Tabletop Anxieties & Sweet Decay (with Tim Heerdink, Roaring Junior Press, 2021), and Pity for Sale (Gasconade Press, 2022). He frequently collaborates with experimental audio collective Urban Deer Recording Cvlt and is one-third of the poetry performance group Reservoir Dogwoods.

Ian Macks, Tohm Bakelas, Mary Panza
Ian Macks, Tohm Bakelas, Mary Panza

Currently based in the Capital Region of NY, Ian Macks originally hails from The Bronx, NY. As a youth, Ian was non-verbal for most of his first decade on Earth. This early point of view manifested in Ian’s emotional sensitivities toward love, loss, racism, and hardship. Ian’s distinct voice and literary light shine throughout the poems in Identity Crisis (Recto y Verso Editions, 2021). Ian’s debut chapbook A Loss and Gain of Comfort was released in 2014 and since then Ian has been active performing at several poetry venues and open mics in Upstate, NY, and in New York City.

Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He has published 18 chapbooks and 2 collections. He runs Between Shadows Press.

Mary Panza has been a permanent fixture in the Capital Region poetry & spoken word community since 1988. Her first time reading on the stage of the legendary QE2 cemented her love for performing. She has hosted a number of open mics including a five-year run at Borders in the 1990s and a 15-year run with Poets Speak Loud at the Lark Tavern (and then McGeary’s Irish Pub from 2005 to 2020). She had her heyday with publishing her work in the 90s when small zines were king. She has published three chapbooks with poet Gina Grega and five small chapbooks with the late Paul Weinman. She has hosted an endless amount of events from poetry, music, and spoken word to the extraordinary recycled fashion show “Discard Avant Garb.” She has been writing the blog Housewife Tuesday since 2012. She is currently working on staying as sane as she can in an insane world.