April 10th: Lee Litif and Chris Robbins Feature

Photos 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. On April 10th, Lee Letif and Chris Robbins bring their own blend of poetry, performance art, and comedy to Stone Soup.

Lee Letif has been a regular contribution to the Stone Soup open mike since 1991. He's the author of several chapbooks, including Unpatriotic Flags and Abominating White Houses, Reckless Paella and Defecating Republicans,
and his newest, Ultrasonic Amplifiers and Marshall Amps/Genital Wart Puking Rednecks.

Chris Robbins has volunteered for such causes as the Jane Doe Safety Fnd, the Cambridge International Women's Day celebration of 2005, and Brockton's Black History Month celebration. He has read his poetry in venues around Massachusetts and California. He is putting together a chapbook due out by the end of this year.

Sample poems are below.

The Vendemiating Obventional Metaloph

Jarvey and Slite in a nonferuled express sensory. ON that WEM dominator tube amplifying blisting. Impulsor ejectoring. Electric mistress deluxe flanger rebounding. Embolus evactoring. Jackplug socket linked. Truss rod chanel welded. Guitar patterned rewet. Energizing that oxycontincoalited bmw wagon. To rib thu the psychedelic freeways. The hard rock rampires. And the 3 chord punk turnpikes. In airy fairy hyphoid.

An appal in the ciricoid cartilage. Rickled in the tuberal part. Stooked in the capillary network dismayed in the vagus nerve. Doesn't palp a dorsal root. Doesn't sense a grey matter. Ultrasonc trangressing yeanling gamin. With blanch elytrons. Plus his codon wide open. Is streeling up and away in the prune labrador loft. Without valancing his medial epicondyles.

After a ganja interpeduncolar substance induced dullard. Sparks up 10 Micky Dolenz joints every 18 minutes. He takes out of his thermal brasero. A platter of what he imagines multiple seashoring oysters. Knicking flecking clicking zipping knacking and smacking. Like Spain Mexico Puerto Rico Argentina Columbia and Chile are annexing in fusion. Like a fiesta volk.

A coventina of her lyrics. Danu of her clavier. Avantia of her diathesis. Astiya of her corsaint. A phylum beyant the template. A decury forthby instead of ensuing the dharmamythicizing Mary Ellen Amos. Retains up preteritly. Her maxim renky trabal much gaucia manrent well tailored pants. While she surviews down brantly at your oosmical clad.

During a birth of pirene pernathian feast. A rotta of shandy untitled Randall Rendoun dottling wetty bacchic boon jovy gaudful gladful holidaying Jajuka tibe of Marrakech. Jopping about and faining the lifeway. Plus fivering each other on the solco del cingolo with glazy light bulbs. Which trenes on for many folded tittupy eras.

--Lee Litif

Egalitarian Angel
(dedicated to Sweet Honey in the Rock, Alice Walker and Helen Reddy)

The world
should be honored
to be adorned
by the elegant grace
of an egalitarian woman.
Regardless of whether she stands
three feet tall
or carries the banner
with statuesque poise,
she's a guiding light to follow
out of the dismal, mist-shrouded
dark ages.
With a gentle wave of her hands
in a rhythmic dance ritual,
she churns the air
like brew in a cauldron
to expel the stale scent of old-boy mildew
and bring in a long-awaited refreshing breeze.
She's an inspiration
to people who struggle
through hardship and pain
and never get a grain
of respect or recognition.
She adds a touch of red to our blues
to form the fragrant color of unity.
She searches through countless songs
and when she finds none that speak of her spirit,
she writes her own voice
and sends an angelic song
to the world on eagle's wings.
She holds the world
in a healing tender embrace,
an elixir to soothe over the pain
of pierced hearts and split skin,
and she inspires us to tear down
the barrier of restriction and ignorant ideals
known as the Gender Wall;
so called because it segregates men and women
as if they were separate governments
in the same war-torn European country.
With her inspiration,
perhaps one day
we will learn to love and respect one another
and to love and respect our guiding light,
our Egalitarian Angel.

--Chris Robbins


April 3rd: Afaa Michael Weaver Features

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. On April 3rd, featuring at the venue for the first time and beginning Stone Soup Poetry's celebration of National Poetry Month will be poet, playwright and Pulitzer nominee Afaa Michael Weaver.

In 1951, Afaa Michael Weaver was born Michael S. Weaver to working class parents in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from the Baltimore public schools in 1968 at sixteen as a National Merit Scholar and began studying at the University of Maryland. In 1970 he began a fifteen year career as a factory worker and also served as an army reservist.

In 1997 Tess Onwueme of the University of Wisconsin gave him the Ibo name "Afaa," and in 2002 Dr. Perng Chingsi of National Taiwan University gave him the name Wei Yafeng.

While a factory worker he wrote and published poetry, short fiction, and free lance journalism and founded 7th Son Press. Under 7th Son he published the journal Blind Alleys, which featured Andrei Codrescu, Frank Marshall Davis, Lucille Clifton, Nikky Finney, and other poets and writers. As a free lancer he has written for the Baltimore Sunpapers, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Tribune, and the Baltimore Afro-American.

In 1983 Weaver enrolled in Excelsior College, and in 1985 he received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Immediately upon receiving the NEA fellowship he retired from factory life to enter Brown University's graduate creative writing program on a full university fellowship. In that same year his first book, Water Song, was published by Callaloo Press at the University of Virginia. He received his B.A. from Excelsior in 1986 and in 1987 he received his M.A. (M.F.A.) from Brown. At Brown he studied poetry with Keith Waldrop, C.D. Wright, and Michael S. Harper. His focus was in playwriting and theater, and for those concentrations he studied with the late George H. Bass and Paula Vogel.

In 1985 Weaver was commissioned to write a poem in honor of Roy DeCarava. The poem entitled "The Dancing Veil" was presented to DeCarava at the annual conference of the Society for Photographic Education on March 20-23, 1986 in Baltimore, Maryland. The poem was subsequently published in Hanging Loose.

He began his teaching career as an adjunct in 1987, teaching at New York University, the City University of New York, Seton Hall Law School, and Essex County College. In 1990, he began at Rutgers Camden and received tenure with distinction there as an early candidate. In 1998, he took a full time position at Simmons College as the Alumnae Professor of English

In that same year he was named a Pew fellow in poetry.

Weaver was a member of the faculty of Cave Canem in 1997, and he was later given the honor of being the organization's Elder.

In the spring semester of 1997,he was named the sixteenth poet-in-residence at the Stadler Poetry Center of Bucknell University. He was the first poet of African descent to hold that position.

Between 1985 to 2005, he published nine collections of poetry, had two professional theater productions, published short fiction in journals and anthologies, and served as editor of Obsidian III, based at North Carolina State University. His short fiction appears in Gloria Naylor's Children of the Night, the sequel to Langston Hughes' anthology, Best Short Stories by Negro Writers. He has given several hundred readings in the U.S., Great Britain, France, China, and Taiwan.

The following bio was obtained from the author's web site. More information and links can be found by clicking here.

Click here for a sample of the author's work.


March 27th: Doug Holder 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. Returning to the venue on March 27th will be Ibbetson Street publisher Doug Holder, following a cancellation and a poor feature turn out unfortunately set after a post holiday date he volunteered to take at the last minute. Hopefully, the turnout will be better with more notice and less outside obligations for those those who appreciate both Holder's work and his publishing efforts.

After many years of publishing numerous small press poets through his own Ibbetson Street Press, including his own chapbooks (Dreams At The Au Bon Pan, On Either Side of The Charles, waking In A Cold Sweat), Doug Holder finally gets to sit back and enjoy simply being a published author, thanks to Yellow Pepper Press. On the 31st, Stone Soup Poetry will premiere Holder's new chapbook Wrestling With My Father, which has earned praise from poets such as Harris Gardner and Hugh Fox.

Most recently, Ibbetson Street Press published Sanctus! Sanctus! Sanctus! by past Stone Soup feature Ann Carhart. Also The Somerville News Writers Festival, created by Holder and Heat City Literary Review Editor Tim Gager, took place on November 13 at the Somerville Theatre (see the link at the end of this post).

A sample poem of Holder's is included here.

Another...in a series of turning fifty poems.

My Life: In Contrast With Others.

There is no need for comparison.
Nor is there time.
What I wanted before
has been rendered to caricature.
The Phantom that pulls and pulls at me
I will never clearly see--

The only contrast
will be that short,
tenuous last breath
that will surely be,
the death
of me.

The Ibbetson Street Press website.

The Yellow Pepper Press Website.

The Somerville News Writers Festival.


Boston Zine Fair

The Boston Zine Fair takes place at the Massachusetts College of Art the weekend of March 18 and 19. A table has been reserved, and hopefully several Stone Soup poets will be represented.

Any poet involved with Stone Soup who wants to have their work included at the table or is willing to sit behind the table for one day or both days of the fair, email Chad Parenteau at freakmachinepress@yahoo.com

For more information on the fair, click here.


March 20th: Len Germinara Features

Photo by Sarah Oktay

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 20th, Len Germinara ventures from his Nantucket home to feature at Stone Soup for the first time in years.

Len Germinara has been a fixture on the poetry scene for the past 6 years. First as co-host of the Daily Grind, then Poetribe. He is also the founding member of the Brockton Library series. For the past 3 years Len has been hosting the Nantucket Poetry Slam. Len was recipient of the Cambridge Poetry Award for "Best Narrative Poem" in 2003. Author of three chapbooks, len lives on Nantucket with his wife Dr. Sarah Oktay.

Sample poems from Germinara's website, including the 2003 Cambridge Poetry Award winning "Brautigan."

The Nantucket Poetry Slam.