Dorsey: Good News, Bad News: Events UpdateWritten by John Dorsey | | email@example.com
One thing you can say about our poetry community is that things are never boring. In fact, this past week I was flooded with so much poetry news, both good and bad, that it was hard to know what to write about. I had originally planned to talk about my recent reading tour in California and how to travel on a shoestring budget, but now I think I’ll save that for later. I’ve always been a glass is half empty sort of guy, so let’s start with the bad news.
It’s Monday morning and I’m sitting here speechless, having recently found out about the closing of Brooklyn’s Daily Grind. More than just a café or wine bar, in recent months ‘The Grind’ had become a dependable venue for artists of all mediums, poets included. Owner Larry Humphries, always made everyone feel at home. Don’t let me give you the wrong idea, this column isn’t meant to serve as an obituary for another beloved local business, but a reminder to enjoy things while they last. ‘The Grind’ had been the home of Mikki Williams’ popular Wednesday night event ‘Simply Poetry’ and had also hosted the debut art exhibition of local poet Craig Firsdon. Both of whom, I was proud to cover right here in the pages of the TFP Star.
On a much lighter note, I recently opened my mailbox and found out that I’m a very important person. At least that’s what the invitation to Mike Hackney’s latest event said anyway. Truly one of the most colorful characters in our literary community, Hackney has always approached poetry with an honesty and passion that at times seems in short supply. Even better yet, he does so without an ounce of pretension. Why is this event such good news? Because it isn’t a standard reading, but more of a relaxed get together with like minded people to discuss the craft of writing itself, which is refreshing news to me anyway. This social gathering of literary minds is being held at the Chandler Café in Sylvania, on Feb. 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
On the spicier side of things, we also have WEPAwebtv’S BARRIO SETV launch event in Bowling Green on Feb. 4, at Sam B’s Restaurant. This highly anticipated arts spectacle will include poetry, music, DJ’s, dancers, burlesque comedians and surprise guests. BARRIO SETV is produced by noted poet and journalist Luis Chaluisan and Maria Rodriguez-Winter, co-founder of the Sofia Quintero Center. BARRIO SETV is broadcast through Winter’s independent arts space LA GALERIA. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $3 for students with ID. Pre-sale tickets are also available for $10 and include two complimentary drinks. Doors open at 8 p.m.
February will also mark the return of Poetry Speaks@your library. The series, organized by Lucas County Poet Laureate Joel Lipman, will soon be coming back to the McMaster Center, located in the downtown branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. Reading dates are currently set for February 5 and 12. For more information, visit www.toledolibrary.org.
Other upcoming events include an appearance by the poets from the Original Sub Shop & Deli at the Toledo Museum of Art, which will also be hosting a Frank O’ Hara reader’s theatre. Also look for an appearance by National Poetry Slam Champion Buddy Wakefield at the Collingwood Arts Center; I will be opening this one myself, along with Michael Grover and his Imaginary Band. All of these events are set for April and I’ll be sure to provide more information as we get a little closer to the show dates.
So Toledo, this time out it was mostly good news. Remember things change with the seasons, it certainly feels like we may be headed toward an upswing; let’s ride this wave of positive energy into the spring.
Until next time…keep your pencil sharp.
John Dorsey resides in Toledo’s Old West End. His work is widely published and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.