September 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
September 23, 2011 § 2 Comments
Saul Williams identifies as a griot, a West African poet/musician/story-teller, able to reach his audience through many mediums, able to combine all mediums, have his message transcend medium. In his book The Dead Emcee Scrolls, Williams professes his deep-seeded love for hip-hop, and how he stumbled into poetry while an NYU graduate student in acting. Scrolls features words Saul has spoken onstage as slam poetry and rapped as lyrics on his album, Amethyst Rock Star. Yet the same words act differently when wrapped in new packaging, when stretched across new mediums initially not their intention. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
The founders of People Herd will read this Saturday night, September 10th, as part of LitCrawlNYC!
Details: Vig Bar, 12 Spring St., 8pm
LitCrawl’s events run all night on the 10th, all around Downtown Manhattan. See LitCrawlNYC’s full schedule.
May 17, 2011 § 2 Comments
Open the waist-high iron gate and slink down the alley aglow in a lone bulb. Be sure you’re decked in Sunday best. Pull back the curtain and find The Back Room, a Lower East Side lounge that harks back to an opium den or speakeasy, replete with velvet walls and beverages served in coffee cups with saucers (an old trick to mask the illegal contents in case of a raid). Whores mingle around the stools and railings and plush couches, men in frilled shirts and suspenders, women in fishnets and Victorian corsets.
March 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
“Boy howdy what’s the deal with bottled water?” asked Adam Robinson from the podium, his eyes on us expectantly. Robinson’s beard recalled Rutherford B. Hayes, and his poems stumbled out of him with a nod to Andy Kaufman’s infamous faux stage fright. Initially, an audience unfamiliar with the schtick recoiled, but Robinson won us, using his intentionally stilted delivery and penchant for colloquialism as sugar stirred into the sadness of his poems, like a mother sneaking spinach into cupcakes. When he read “Glenn Tipton,” a narrative poem addressing his parents’ intolerance, and deadpanned, “I wasn’t raised to appreciate other people’s opinions,” we giggled. In another reader’s hands, this theme could evoke pathos, but not pathos and titters.
I welcome poets who give thought to stage presence. Though I may love a poem upon first read, I, as many, can find it difficult to engage upon initial listen, no matter the reader. In the audience, my mind gropes the air for concrete images or potent phrases to hopefully, by poem’s end, amass a tower of meaning somewhat close to the poet’s intention. Often I end with a rickety lean-to or abandon construction halfway, wandering off, contemplating whether to blame my tools or the poet’s supplies. The poet loses me, and I may not come back. But some readers are seasoned in the art of luring us in.