March 13th: Jen Kohl Features

Photo by Ray Gasser

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On March 13th, Jen Kohl will feature at Stone Soup for the first time.

Jen Kohl's poems have appeared in Aegis, The Armenian Weekly, The Bitter Oleander, BlackWater Review, and
Poetry East.

She works in Boston as an editor, and lives in Brighton with her husband. She has an MFA from Emerson College and a BA in English and French from the University of New Hampshire.

She enjoys her husband, friends, family, singing at church and making music, reading and writing, generating ideas, cooking, different sports, spending time with children, and inspiring and being inspired by people.

A sample poem, first published in The Bitter Oleander, is below.

Between Passion and Consequence

is a stage
where I emerge,
a soprano in a red dress,
biting air
with glass breath.

Then I am not her.
I am a bulb,
the underground moon.

The stalk
the avocado seed,
spotted scarlet
in a beige
living room.

I am shallow breath
unfurling on the rug

as I wake
from where I fell
into the Atlantic
with whales.

I swam through dreams,
knew the fin whale
intimately, his shadow,
when he cut
too close. I knew
when to leave
the water.

--Jen Kohl
Don't Forget

Tonight, Kevin Mahoney reads.

Mahoney's book, Serendipity is a Son of a Bitch, was thought to be sold out. However, we found a limited number of copies, and they will be made available for his reading.
March 6th: Bill Perrault and Red to Feature at Stone Soup

Photo by Chad Parenteau

Photo by Bill Perrault

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. Featuring on March 6th, friends and Stone Soup regulars Bill Perrault and Red return to do a feature coinciding with Perrault's birthday.

Bill Perrault was born and lived in Biddeford ME until he finished college for which he had paid by working as a weaver in the textilemills. From 1958 to 1960, the U S Army sent him to Germany as a medic andEducational Counselor. He took the opportunity to tour Europe at that time. When his tour of duty was over, he came home and six weeks later,he married his wife, Lorraine. In 1964, the first of their four children was born and, to date, they are now the proud grandparents of seven. After he and Lorraine married, he began his career teaching high school French and Latin in Maine and upper New York State. He did graduate studies at University of Maine and wrote his masters thesis on Guillaume Apollinaire. In 1973, he moved to Massachusetts to work for Polaroid. Bill now lives in Lowell. Throughout his life, he has enjoyed poetry andphotography. Bill was always the one with a notebook with him to write and a camera to take a picture. He never knew when he might be inspired or find a picture that just needed to be taken. In his retirement, the free time allows him to take these passions to a new level. If it’s joining the Poets in Boston for the Stone Soup Poets or producing local TV programs in Cambridge and Lowell, he is enjoying his creative life. Bill Has been published in the Stone Soup Anthology 2003, Out of the BlueWriters Unite Anthology, and his poetry can be seen on theweb@www.mothwing.com/galleries/billperrault and if you are lucky enoughto be on his e-mail list, the poetry is Hot Off The Presses! Bill has featured, performed and sometimes hosted at open mikes all over NewEngland--including: COOL COFFEE in Biddeford, ME, Bestseller’s Cafe inMedford, MA his Walden Pond Series and, of course, Out Of the BlueGallery. Bill is a staple figure at the Gallery in Cambridge, MA and has faithfully supported the events they hold there every day/night of the week-- Stone Soup Poets, WordBeat, Open Bark and all.

Red is a twenty something Virgoian poetess, short story writer and jewelry maker living in Somerville, Mass. "May December" is her first and certainly not last book of poetry, which is available to purchase. She also
has out a short romance story titled "Room With A View", which is available in limited edition copies. Red grew up in northern New Jersey and didn’t start writing until after high school. She graduated fromVermont
College, Montpelier with a B.A. in poetry and creative writing. The focus of her thesis was Sylvia Plath’s poetry and how it was influenced by her turbulent relationship with Ted Hughes. The same emotional
intensity is visible in Red’s poems. She considers Sylvia a soul who guides her on her journeys, both creative and emotional. Upon moving to the Boston area, she began reading at the open mics at the Out of the Blue art gallery in Cambridge. She still frequents that venue as well as others in the New England area. Red’s handmade beaded jewelry is often available at Out of the Blue as well.
February 27th: Jacques "The Haitian Firefly" Fleury Features

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On February 27th, Jacques "The Haitian Firefly" Fleury will feature at Stone Soup to celebrate the release of his first chapbook, Sparks In The Dark.

Born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, Fleury is a poet, writer, and aesthete. He cruuently hosts the Live TV show "Dream Weavers w. Jacques" on Cambridge Community Television. His poetry and writings have been published in Spare Change News, Somerville News, The Bridge, Whats Up Magazine, and The Alewife. He has featured at Squawk Coffee House, The Harvard Epworth, TOAST, and elsewhere. He is presently working on a poetic memoir based on his journey from Haiti to America. A sample poem of Fleury's is included below.


we'll dock stones
roll andwe'll unroll
In my america
the big flying eagle
birds well done abroad.
Two groups of people
the rich and the poor
the young and the old
the white and the black
and three tons of fat
all in procession
silent tales are blooming
flowers growing shells
olive branches
climbing white house walls
two candles burning
shades of gray
holy bloody sunday comes
sunday morning
god bless those whose veins
bear none
twilight swallows the moon
soldiers gone awol
run like panthers
here and gone
they've staged a snare
running rivers very dry mouths
Dutiful soldiers beat their drums
paragons of strengh and honor
mascarade balls
dinky shoots smack and
the dumb blond flunks
fall down stand up
walk the line
walk backwards
juggling well
will set you free.

--Jacques "The Haitian Firefly" Fleury
February 20th: Anna Birch and Chris Volpe Feature

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. Featuring on the 20th of February, Anna Birch and Chris Volpe not only feature at Stone Soup for the first time, but they also have the pleasure of premiering the first book from their collaborative effort, Penhallow Press.

Anna Birch has successfully operated her own local one-woman art company, Queen Oscar Designs, for nearly a decade. Her poetry explores the absurdities and complexities of everyday life and relationships. Anna has been an active part of the seacoast poetry community for many years, participating in various school programs and workshops, as well as being a featured reader at both the Kittery Art Association Literary Series and Larry Simon’s Beat Night. She has been a member of Portsmouth’s City Hall Poets for ten years, and is currently compiling her first book manuscript.

Chris Volpe, a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook, received his M.A. in writing poetry at the University of New Hampshire, where he was awarded the Ann Pazo Mayberry Award and the Elizabeth Jones Scholarship for his poetry. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, New American Writing, The Antioch Review, The Prose Poem, Mudfish, Third Coast and The Bitter Oleander. His work has been featured on Poetry Daily and his book manuscript, “Night Traffic,” was a finalist for publication by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2004. He works as a communications professional and teaches poetry workshops, literature, and the history of art at the University of New Hampshire and Franklin Pierce College.

Chris and Anna were introduced by a UNH poetry professor in 1999. They were married this past summer and live in Portsmouth, N.H. Together they operate Penhallow Press, an independent literary small press and letterpress printing company. The press’s first title, “Fistfuls of the Invisible,” poems by Exeter native James Rioux, has just been published, Sample poems from Birch and Volpe are included below.


I imagine the mothers held tight their children’s shoulders
the day you came to the fair,
traveling from Limerick to Galway to Ennis
you and the bearded lady, the palm-reading soothsayers
the velvet clad gypsies.

Voice thrower,
spell binder,
whiskey breathed man
with the empty wooden child on your lap.
You find your place on a makeshift crate turned upright,
the crowd forms a loose distant circle around you
as you wheeze life into the deadwood.

In Latin, your profession means
speak from the belly
and so you must talk from inside and outside the center,
live inside two different heads,
hold the short future inside your throat.
You carry the conversation like a scared cat on a platter
that you tease and then comfort,
prod and snare.

You watch the children wrap their arms around their mothers knees,
curious enough to be yours for a moment,
spell bound enough to throw you money for food.

Still, the children do not trust your son of wood and wire,
of cloth and shadow,
its squeaky voice of hysteric invention
rings inside their ears, full of strain and delivery.

Nor do they trust you,
the lurch of your coupled sway,
your cheeks stiff and puckered,
smile oddly stuck.

Wooden child of transfer and trick
tottering bundle of backtalk and spook.

Who is that hungerless child you carry in a sack
who demands nothing,
and does not laugh or bleed or talk off cue?

The one on which you have
such a strange and secret reliance,
where your own voice
meets its smaller and more distant companion,
concealed half-child of your own making.

At night, he rests dangling on wooden pegs in the kitchen
and watches you off to bed,
his insistent, high-pitched questions, his vacant eyes
still hard at work in your dreams.

--Anna Birch


The shadow I should have worn proudly
Snuck off with bad company as soon as it could:

Waylaid by deep snow, half-light of long alleys,
Another distracted omen.

Crows rolled half asleep past my windows.
Bees carried the vernal wreath elsewhere.

Had to look twice for my sleeplessness.
So inept was my glamour.

Had to stand in front of the wind.
So divided was my resolve.

Had to lie down under the bridge of sky.
So uncertain of where I’d better be going.

All my life my mother had to wake me
Calling softly into the back seat, we’re home.

--Chris Volpe

Click here to visit the Penhallow Press site.