Underground poetry featured in the July 21 ACGT Art WalkWritten by Stefanie Neuman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of Toledo’s underground poets are being included in the summer’s Art Walks.
“Poetry is definitely an underground scene in Toledo. Nobody really hears about it; it’s not talked about,” said Greg Peters, a local poet. “It’s not out there anywhere; it’s not really mainstream.”
July 21 in the Toledo Free Press warehouse at the corner of Huron and Washington streets Downtown, Peters and local poets John Dorsey, Michael Grover, Kayla Marie Williams, Christina Brooks and Mike Hackney will read their works as a stop on the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo Art Walk.
“I’ve been telling people for years that we’re in between two cultural meccas of writing that people aren’t aware of, Ann Arbor and Bowling Green,” Hackney said.
He said all poetry read will be original and most of it will be free verse, without a set rhyme scheme or rhythmic meter.
“I feel obligated to write [poetry] because I read it. It’s a heightened sense of awareness, a heightened sense of language, we all feel passionately about it. Passion is a good word,” Hackney said.
Despite the passion of the writers, they’re having trouble getting attention from the public.
“People get scared of poetry,” Grover said.
“I think the readings by and large are poets reading to other poets,” Hackney said.
Though Peters said about 15 listeners attended the last Art Walk readings, the poets are hoping for a much larger and more diverse crowd on July 21.
The free event will be open from 6 to 9 p.m.
Toledo Free Press is also co-sponsoring the Aug. 6 “Zygote in My Fez Poetry Festival,” from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Collingwood Arts Center. Red Fez and Zygote in my Coffee are the primary forces behind the event, which will feature nearly two dozen poets reading their works.
“It’s not only entertainment; it’s enlightenment as entertainment. And it’s free! It’s the best show in town for nothing,” Peters said.