According to her bio, “Mary Panza has been a mainstay on the Albany poetry scene since 1988. She has been witness to countless open mics, naked poets, fires, drunks, chapbooks, career changes, organizations (both coming and going), festivals, and great poetry and spoken word. ”
Mary hosted two long-running open mics – 5 years at Borders in the late-90s and the Poets Speak Loud series at the Lark Tavern and then McGeary’s for 15 years until the pandemic hit in 2020.
Last December, Mary read her poem, “We’re Barefoot People,” at the first “Year in Review” spoken word event at The Linda. I asked her what inspired that poem and how motherhood has shaped her writing.
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