October 21st: John Hodgen to Feature at Open Bark

Open Bark is Deb Priestly's open mike event that happens every Saturday night starting at 8:00 p.m. at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge. This week, Open Bark will feature poet Shrewsbury native John Hodgen will be reading from his new book, Grace.

Winner of the 2005 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Hodgen, who teaches writing at Assumption College in Worcester, has two other prize-winning books, and his poems, according to Ha Jin, National Book Award winner and professor at Boston University, contain "a voice that speaks directly from the heart."

His publications include the anthologies Witness and Wait: Thirteen Poets From New England and Something and We Teach Them All: Teachers Writing About Diversity. His other honors include the Grolier Prize in Poetry in 1980 and an Arvon Foundation Award (Kensington, England) in 1981.
Open Bark Announces Features

Photo by Bill Perrault

The Open Bark is Deb Pirestly's open mike event that occurs every Saturday night at the Out of the Blue Art Gallery on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge, starting at 8:00.

Priestly has recently teamed with Mike Amado (pictured above, from his October 2nd Stone Soup performance) in an effort to start including regular features at the Open Bark.

A seperate web site and email adress for the Open Bark will be announced soon. Those interested in featuring for the Open Bark can send an email to stonesouppoetry@yahoo.com for the time being.


November 27th: Janet Cormier Features

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On November27th, poet, commedian, visual artist, activist and organizer Janet Cormier shows off her many hats at Stone Soup.

"I have been writing all my life. Before I could read or write, I loved creating stories. Once I learned the alphabet there was no stopping me.

"I started writing poetry in jr. high school. It started with a homework asignment. Our teacher brought in a stack of photos. She said to pick one and write a poem about the photo. In the last couple of years, I have writeen poems about that experience and about writing poetry.

"I also do stand-up comedy and am a visual artist. I have always been an artist, but didn't claim the title until 1999. At the same time I started doing stand-up comedy. The combination works well for me. My process is that I start out paining, but the image becomes verbal, and it turns into a poem or a joke. I find that the different media inspire the images, mood and rhythym of my work."

Cormiers' writing has appeared in local newspapers. She has read in Cambridge, Jamaica Plain, Malden as well as various local TV programs, most redcently for Somerville Community Access Television. She hosted a reading for the Franklin Libray in Franklin, Massachusetts and currently hosts Cormier's Comedy Madness every month at All Asia, located on 334 Mass Ave in Cambridge.

A sample poem follows below.


Our rights, like leaves
dragged into a muddy whirlpool.
I can barely see the Stature of Liberty!

--Janet Cormier
November 20th: Gordon Marshall Features

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On November 20th, Gordon Marshall, a regular in Stone Soup's weekly open mike, will have the chance to flex his muscles for an entire thirty minute feature.

This will be Gordon Marshall's first solo reading since Jack Powers featured him at Charlie's Tap in the summer of 1986. Gordon was born in New Haven, CT, in 1963. He has been writing poetry, with some periods of down time, for 25 years, balancing the practice, like most poets, with work and school. He worked for several years in the financial industry, received a degree at UMass Boston, and went back into the financial scene to get an M.A. in English in December 2005.

over a period of twenty years, Gordon has surreptitiously moved from a neo-classical style, to one that may be described as neo-surrealist. His photographic treatments of nature written in metric forms in the '80's have given way to recent prose and free-verse outings, where shots of nature and urban life rub up against spectral memories and deconstructed dreams. Think Cesar Vallegjo growing up in Surburban Boston.

Marshall grew up in surburban Boston (Hingham) on the South Shore. He attended both public and private schools. He liked drawing and music, and studied jazz and classical piano at the South Shore Conservatory in Hingham. He like to ski as a child--enjoying it more an exceling at it-- and he also liked, and continues to like, to sail around the Boston Harbor islands. All these things infuse his poetry.

Marshall's hero is William Wordsworth, and his ambition is to realize Wordsworth's vision of the Philosophic Poem. He works at a bookstore and would like to teach creative writing someday. He lives in Boston's North End. A sample poem follows.

Player Piano

Blow my dreams into dust, dirt darling; tear out my tongue and hang it on a hook. Twist my eyes like tangerines, and tell my dirtiest secrets to your sister. Sleep with me under the stars of soap operas; spill my seed into the stream of your thought. Hang out with me at the club on 52nd Street, where the cool-jazz clarinetist climbs his chords. Pick up a flute and blow blue notes in my ear. I'll buy you a mint julep, a plate of non pareilis and a canape. I'll suck on your straw and steer your hand to the remote on the camel hair couch. Let's watch the fish flow across the flat screen TV. Let's linger in the lava lamp light. Let's walk outside to my walk-up, and wheel through William Shakespeare, or William Wordsworth, or William Blake. For love's sake, take a break from heartache; rake the flakes of flaring from the brakes of shame. Verify the verve of the verse. Clarify the clusters of luster, dust off the must of my soul. Let it roll.

--Gordon Marshall
November 13th: Tony Brown Features

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On November 13th, Stone Soup welcomespoet and venue host Tony Brown back to Stone Soup.

Tony Brown is an award winning published poet and performer whose work straddles the line between page and stage. His work has appeared in journals such as The Furnace Review, The November 3rd Club, Home Planet News; his poems have been anthologized in volumes such as 100 Poets Against the War (Salt Publishing) and In Our Own Words: Poems from Generation X (MPW Books). He has been involved with slam poetry for many years in many capacities, has read and performed his work all over the US, and currently runs a reading series in Providence RI. He also is a columnist at gotpoetry.com. A sample poem--previously unpublished--follows below.


He announces that the poem
he'll be reading is a gift
from the ancient ones
unveiling the dangers of the coming
Then he begins in German
and if he could speak German
at anything more
than a freshman level
we might find
less menace to his voice.
Instead the elementary cadence
marches uninflected
over art into history.
We catch snips of words
and phrases, some in English:
holy war,
We shift in our seats,
startle when he reaches
under his shirt. Nothing
is forthcoming but no one
relaxes. His voice rises
to a near shout. He concludes
with English: "man cannot destroy
the earth, he is of the earth." We
are not comforted, we who are in
this room full of smart people terrified by
a strange man reading a bad poem
in halting German. But when he is done
we applaud, looking around to see
who is applauding, who is not, who sees us

--Tony Brown
November 6th: Luke Warm Water Features

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On November 6th, Stone Soup welcomes poet and activist Luke Warm Water.

Luke Warm Water is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota tribe who was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. Luke writes within the context of contemporary American Indians, mostly within urban communities. Many of his poems contain unsafe topics; they have perspectives of racial issues past and present, along with adult themes and content. But his poems also have a sense of hope and a thread of humor, often dark humor.

In 2005, Luke was awarded two artist fellowships for his poetry. Since 2000, Luke has featured at poetry venues throughout the U.S. and in Europe. He also won several Poetry Slams from Oregon to Germany. Recent publication credits include: Drumvoices Revue, Cold Mountain Revue and Red Ink. In 2005 Luke released his latest collection of poems titled On Indian Time along with his animated short film titled Iktomi And The Food Stamp Incident.

Luke is an activist for Indigenous people’s rights, especially in the cause to help free the unjust incarceration of American Indian activist Leonard Peltier. A sample poem follows below.

Art of Huffing Paint

When the green lizard is gone
while you're on the wrong planet
whom silver and gold are your best friends
where train tracks run behind Safeway
Mills Drug Store and Don Margo's Liquor store
near the viaduct from which that sign
proudly proclaimed
'North Rapid, A Great Place'
circa 1970's Rapid City, SD
Pass out drainage tunnels or
in thickets on abandoned lots
empty Wonder Bread bags
of modern day warrior dreams unfulfilled
Riding my orange Schwinn banana seat bicycle
with the cool black racing stripe fenders
innocence of summer break days
grades take new meaning when
up hill peddling with only one gear
coasting down all too familiar
cracked pavement streets
gravel alleys soaked with black oil
dirt walking paths
keeping my distance
from those unfortunate misplaced
spirited warrior ghosts
my fear stronger than compassion
Maneuvering my bike between
broken wine bottles
pot holes
big rocks
avoiding wipeouts
like a slalom downhill skier
for the bronze medal
In turn peddling takes on new meaning
when there are no more food stamps to sell
items stolen or fished out of dumpsters
for Safeway and Mills Drug Store
and a parking lot re-sale
not enough change for a jug
from Don Margo's Liquor store
so go find that hidden in the weeds
spray paint can again
I had witnessed
too many brown faces with
silver and gold stained lips
not yet comprehending at that young age
this could have been my future

--Luke Warm Water
October 30th: Ryk McIntyre Features

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On October 30th, Stone Soup celebrates the return of Ryk McIntyre.

Ryk McIntyre is a three-time National Poetry Slam Team member, as well as Co-host at The Cantab Poetry Reading. He has toured nationally and in Canada, opening for acts as varied as Leon Redbone and Jim Carroll, as well as appearing as part of Lollapalooza 1994. He performed in "The Legends Of Slam" Showcase at NPS2006. He has been published in Short-Fuse- An Anthology Of New Fusion Poets, 100 Poets Against The New World Order, Nth Position Magazine and The Worcester Review. He is a known biped, and he has pretty blue eyes.

Click here for a sample poem published in Nth Position Magazine.


Tonight, October 2nd

Mike Amado Features.

Return to this blog later this week for more updates for October and November.