Saturday, October 22, 2011

Poetry Lab is on hiatus : The Soundry in Vienna, VA has closed

After 3 years of tremendously successful efforts building a community of artists in Vienna, VA., the Soundry was shuttered for apparent financial difficulties. For 22 months of that span, the Poetry Lab has proudly called the space there "HOME'. And the list of poets who graced the stage there is longer than I am prepared to go into at this moment. I will say that we have had poets from Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Colorado, and Washington DC "in the house".

Unfortunately, this puts the Poetry Lab into immediate hiatus while we figure out how (and where) we will proceed.

more details are they become available.

thanks to one and all!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Paul Fauteux The Best Way to Drink Tea

This is a Poetry Lab success story!

I met Paul at the Soundry in late Sept. 2009 during one of their Verbal Assault nights. Every Friday was a Verbal Assault night, actually. Verbal Assault being a combination of poetry/comedy/performance/dialogue/WHAT-HAVE-YOU nights at the time. I was there to tune up for a reading I was involved with the following weekend outside of Baltimore and I remember Paul as much for his one legged hopping as for his poetry.

A few months later, December 2009, I started the Poetry Lab on the first Friday of the month at the Soundry and Paul was a fixture from the beginning. I liked what I heard and I also knew he was in the MFA program at George Mason. He kept coming to the Poetry Lab and I kept getting to hear him, so in the natural progression of things, I offered him a Feature for November 2010. Now, Paul is a regular at the Soundry so word of his upcoming Feature was shared with Jen, the owner of the Soundry, who urged Paul to "do something different" and with that was born a multimedia presentation of a poem that Paul had written earlier entitled "The Best Way to Drink Tea". He debuted the piece in November 2010 with a short film by Ben Nicholson and percussion by Spencer Leach. It was stunningly successful! Even as it was being performed for the first time, while standing in the back of the room, I knew that this was something special. They had done something very, very interesting.

I immediately approached Paul about publishing the piece. That led to the book The Best Way to Drink Tea which came out in Spring 2011, with a still image from Nicholson's film on the cover. It's now in its second printing and the group (dunno if they consider themselves as a group but for writing purposes I group them) have performed the piece a few times. It's been recorded for eventual Youtube posting. The book is available here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

March 2011

(host stevenallenmay), Barbara DeCesare, Travis Leith, W F Lantry.

Another great reading. DeCesare traveled down from PA. Travis lives in Sterling, VA and Lantry in Silver Spring, MD. Each brought a different element to the event. Barbara combined her strong reading presence with a "radio play" which included most of the audience - group participation! Got to love that.

Travis recited his polished work with musical accompaniment, albeit digitally mastered. Lantry read in his relaxed stance which is his normal at the Poetry Lab.

The open reading saw a developing crop of new poets working out their own voice and presentation stylings. I read a brand new piece that was "cannibalized" from The Beat Generation by Albert Zugsmith, taken from the screenplay for the movie "The Beat Generation" which was produced by Zugsmith. I was intent on making fun of the pathetic attempt of the author to "get" the Beat language. While reading, Barbara DeCesare pounced on bongo drums which were on the edge of the stage and provided me with some improv percussion at the same time that M. Magnus began to bang metal chairs together, producing an unexpected cacophony. The piece concluded with me tossing the source book across the room. An audience member later retrieved the book and asked to keep it. I had circled the passages in the text that I used for the poem, "girl with no bra chanting weird poetry". All the same, I gave the gentleman the book. I didn't need it any longer.

With 35 people in the audience, the night was a raging success! Hurrah for poetry in Northern VA!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Feb. Plan B Press poetry mob

robert miltner, jason venner, stevenallenmay, Constance Boyle, Jo Barbara Taylor, C L Bledsoe

an incredible night tied-in to AWP event. Everyone was great. Taylor brought visuals, great night.