Here we are...

...a group of Baby Boomers of sundry religious,
political and cultural orientations, who have been
meeting at the Voorheesville Public Library since 1991
to read and discuss each other's poems.

We include old fathers and young grandmothers,
artists and musicians, and run-of-the-mill eccentrics.
Writers are welcome to stop in and stay if they like us.

Some of Us

Some of Us
Dennis Sullivan, Beverly Osborne, Tom Corrado, Edie Abrams, Art Willis, Alan Casline (all seated); Paul Amidon, Mike Burke, Tim Verhaegen, Mark O'Brien, Barbara Vink, Philomena Moriarty

Friday, October 26, 2007

Here I Go

I don't even want to touch last night, but I will. Business first: Art and Judy Willis have graciously extended an invitation for us to meet at their home in Quaker Street on Sunday, December 2 from 2 - 5 p.m. Snow date: Dec. 9. Art will bring or send directions. Please bring a food offering as we usually do and/or beverage.

Dennis expounded on his discussion ideas for the afternoon. Here is my interpretation: bring one of your own poems which typifies who you are; bring a poem by another poet which helps to define you. Be ready with answers to the questions, what do I want from poetry and what does it mean to me? If Dennis would like to elaborate further, I will be happy to post. In any case, it sounds like a great time, alas that which we lack so much of.

Sometime we need to be able to address other lengthy issues which we are forced to avoid on meeting nights, which brings me to last night, when Philomena opened up a controversy over our protocol. She felt that her last poem had been "trashed" in an un-constructive manner and that we were awash in negativity.

The protocol on the blog and the newer version that Tom worked on (and I have not yet been able to post) both acknowledge that our guidelines are tough and you need to be tough to participate. Critism is just that, and negative is in the eye of the beholder. After the first couple of meetings, nobody who attends and wants feedback is going to be babied. I have brought some real clunkers and some half-clunkers that I thought were wonderful and no one else did, but in every case I listen and try to learn from you. Or I just smile and think what do those idiots know, and do it my own way. If you don't want any critique, all you have to do is say so. If you only want soft and gentle, go elsewhere.

I readily acknowledge that there are writers within the group whose poems I consistently prefer for one reason or another - style or content or the font they type in, etc. To me, that is human nature. My hope is that none of us are offering unwarranted or thoughtless criticism, and that it is not taken personally.

I'm done.

Only one reflection on last nights poems: Tom's left me with a bittersweet vision of rolling naked on the floor in front of the refrigerator in a welter of cherries and honey. Thank you.

Last notes: Tim at Cafe Lena on November 7. 15 writers here, Cathy left the meeting early with a coughing fit, nice to see Joyce and Gary, although we didn't get to their poems. Philomena is going to email me a poem for the blog, setting a precedent for future weeks when those who wish will have an opportunity to do so. Burke has bailed to Ireland for a couple of weeks. Jazz concert (free) at VPL this Sunday at 2 p.m. Next meeting: November 8


  1. Anonymous10/28/2007

    An idea floated somewhere (I forget where) by a locally well-known poet (I forget who) suggested the EOT poets meet three times a month instead of two. Given the attendance at recent meetings and enthusiasm for discussing poems, this idea has considerable merit. Attendance at every meeting, or any meeting, after all, is not mandatory. If this idea comes up for a vote I will vote in favor, and probably be at all three meetings a month. I suspect people who would not join an active discussion of this possibility would nontheless come to the meetings if we put it into effect. Time is what we seem to be lacking, not poems, critics, good ideas, or interesting subjects related to but not directly about the poem at hand. Who, besides me, thinks this an experiment worth trying?


  2. Anonymous10/29/2007

    Three times a month is a great idea. Barbara if thats too much for ya, maybe Paul or I could lead it. The third thursday is taken, how about the first thursday of the month?

    Paul presents a great case.