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

Monday, November 24, 2008

Notes from Dennis

Dear Fellow Poets,

Just a note to remind folks of two upcoming events, the dates for which you might want to jot down in your calendar with the intent of joining in them in the ways they allow.

First of all, Benevolent Bird will be reading at the Social Justice Center in Albany on Thursday, December 18 at 7:30 I think it is. He gave out reminders to that end yesterday at the Sunday Four open mic. What dine poems all around, really.

To share in Bird?s reading, several of us are going to get together for dinner at circa 5:30 at Ichiban on Central Avenue for eats and a few laughs. Mark suggested last even another nearby place, Thai [?]? if folks want to go there and MO?B wishes to organize that, I will go anywhere. We would like a little room or outlet or inlet, however which we were able to get the last time we went for such an event, when I read or was it Barb?s gig? Perhaps this could be one of our convivial social events?we do try so hard sometimes and occasionally succeed in being so.

Then on December 28th, the Sunday after Christmas, for those who celebrate that event, there will be an even greater birth, if you will: the esteemed and venerable Tom᳠Corrado will be the featured poet at the Sunday Four Poetry Open Mic at Old Songs. For one of the founders of the Thursday group and inveterate veterans of vetting?oh sweet redundancies!!?perhaps you might consider coming out?to support Tom and to read as well. He says he has some interesting dings in mind; he gave me some ideas re: that yesterday but has sworn me to secrecy. That is at 3 pm. We have been getting a pretty good showing; I am surprises that so many people who call themselves poets do not appear to be interested in presenting their work aloud in such venues. But there was Wallace Stevens and The Belle of Amherst, was that her name?

Also in January of February I am thinking of having an event at Ga?s and my domicile, a 2nd Willis Farm Syndrome. Let folks speak up if they are interested informally. I have a small agenda, spelled a-g-e-n-d-a?sometimes I do use that word?for the event that will require some work. The idea is for us to be better poets by extending our boundaries, no? That was rhetorical.

If Barb gets this up for Thursday, I wish everyone a fruitful Thanksgiving amidst the ever-changing definitions of family this 21st century continues to wreak. DCS



  1. Anonymous11/24/2008

    Thank you Dennis, I'll try go to all three events.

    - Tim Verhaegen

  2. Anonymous12/02/2008

    This is my take on the poetry contest. One man, Robert, decided to continue a tradition of having a poetry contest that used to be held in a different region, during a different time of the year, and hold it at the Colonie Library, where his group is. Robert has a long history in the Albany writing community. He has very strong opinions and strong feelings on many of the long established writers in our Albany writing community. His very strong opinions and feelings do not reflect my opinions and feelings on the Albany writing community.

    Once it became clear all will be judged based on Robert’s personal strong opinions and strong feelings on his preferences and his dislikes, my sole purpose of going was so that other good poets I haven’t met might hear my work. I succeeded in my mission. I was thrilled Miriam Axel Lute and Will Nixon were there. After the contest, Miriam Axel Lute gave me one of her books.

    I was very impressed with the turnout. It was great to see six or seven poets I’ve never seen at a poetry group and/or an open mic. It quickly became apparent this would not be a poetry contest in any sense. Dennis Sullivan, myself and others continually expressed confusion about what was going on, and what the real criteria is. Dennis Sullivan and myself expressed our surprise when it became apparent that Robert would be the sole judge. Robert did not explain the criteria he was using before or after the contest. Robert continuously emphasized that one had to be very close to the time limit. So that was obviously important. What became questionable, seemingly to all of us, was whether any other factor was important. If you read the phonebook and stopped exactly at 2 minutes, was this a slam dunk? Hard to know.

    Alan who had won the year before, used his first two minute round to make announcements and advise there would be broadsides in the back. This really confused me. I presumed Alan’s action meant that previous winners could not win again. Robert did not disclose this in the beginning. Michael Hare did not even read poetry. He was reading from a prose book of mini biographies he’d written about people in Saratoga.

    I think Michael Hare won of the top prizes. We were not told. Robert was very secretive about the results publicly other than the first prize. We had to check with each other. Robert did say I came in 8th. Dennis came in 6th (what? excuse me?) When I asked Robert what criteria he used, he said nothing. Robert criteria. Robert chose Miriam as first, who was a wonderful performer.

    Dennis’ and my take was Will should have come in 1st, Dennis 2nd, Miriam 3rd, Timmy 4th. Our criteria was words first, presentation second, then somewhere in a low third, close to time limit.

    Robert noted all poets were close to the time limit.

    - Tim Verhaegen