Dorsey: Zygote on the roadWritten by John Dorsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
What began right here in Toledo has blown up into an underground cultural phenomenon. You may remember that just last August, Toledo Free Press sponsored the Zygote in My Fez Poetry Festival, an event that brought together many published poets from across the country at the Collingwood Arts Center’s Lois M. Nelson Theatre.
This time around, the organizers are doing something a little different by taking the festival on the road to a number of cities across the country. All of these events will be weekend-long instead of the all-day marathon we had in Toledo. For those unfamiliar with the festival, the festivities are organized by the publishers of various underground magazines, including Zygote in My Coffee, www.zygoteinmycoffee.com, and Red Fez, www.redfez.net. This year will also feature contributions from Full of Crow, www.fullofcrow.com.
Things will start in Oakland, Calif., from July 5 -8, at the New Parish, located at 579 18th St. (at San Pablo). Scheduled readers include Lynn Alexander, Leah Angstman, Iris Berry, MK Chavez, Paul Corman-Roberts, Cathleen Daly, Brian Fugett, Bill Gainer, Jesus Angel Garcia, Debbie Kirk, Frankie Metro, Tim Murray, Jason Neese, A. Razor, Frank Reardon, Luis Rivas, David Smith, John Swain, William Taylor Jr., Lindsey Thomas, Three Times Bad, Zarina Zabrisky and Misti Rainwater-Lites. There will also be an open mic.
The Albuquerque, N.M., event is set to kick off on Nov. 2. There will be a reading the following day from 6-9 p.m. at the Blackbird Buvette featuring William Seward Bonnie, Corman-Roberts, Fugett, Gainer, Jack Henry, Anne McMillen, Rainwater-Lites, Doc Sigerson, Thomas and Zabrisky. The venue is located at 509 Central NW in downtown Albuquerque.
The Springfield, Ill., reading will take us into 2013. The readings are set for April 12-13. No other details are available at this time, but I will of course keep you posted as we get closer.
One of the primary reasons all of these artists are coming together now is because of the community togetherness they found in Toledo. This is something we can really be proud of.
Now, before you say that these events are too far to travel to, remember this: Many of these same poets came to our city, on their own dime, and read their hearts out. What are we saying about Toledo if we don’t go out into the world with the same level of commitment? I myself plan to put my money where my
mouth is and travel to at least
one of these events. Do you want to sit there and read Jack Kerouac or do you want to experience the road that he was talking about? It’s up to you.
Just how can you get involved? By going to Facebook and looking up the page for each of the separate events, you’ll find them listed under Zyfez. All of the readings have open spots and I’m sure if you ask nicely any one these organizers would be happy to host another booming voice from the Glass City, so get in there!
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.