June 4th: Michael Czarnecki 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 June 4th, Stone Soup welcomes visiting poet and publisher Michael Czarnecki.

Poet, oral memorist and small press publisher Michael Czarnecki has crafted his life and work around poetry. Author of several poetry collections inspired by nature, travel and ancient Asian poetry, he has operated FootHills Publishing in Upsate New York for over 20 years. With his family working alongside him at their rural homestead, he has published the work of hundreds of poets in chapbooks and anthologies. Czarnecki's own titles include Sea Smoke and Sand Dollars, Crisscross, Zoo Haiku and Twenty Days on Route 20. He teaches as a poet-in-residence and oral memorist at schools, colleges, libraries, museums and writers' organizations, and has been featured at more than 250 readings throughout the US. A sample poem follows below.

The Echo Of What Has Passed

T'ao Ch'ien would understand.
I sit drinking wine
chanting poems
dreaming of mountains.
Bills pile high at the door.
White hairs infiltrate my beard.
Daughter approaches womanhood.
Young son no longer crawls.
Late autumn, already snow
has covered the ground.
Sipping wine, I shiver
as a chill breeze
caresses me from behind.

--Michael Czarnecki

Click here to visit FootHills Publishing.


May 28th: Book Release Celebration with Ryk McIntyre

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. Stone Soup's 36th anniversary celebration finishes this Monday, May 28th, with a book release party of Look! Up in the Sky!, an anthhology of comic book inspired poetry edited by Melissa Guillet and feature poet 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 Andrei Codrescu 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.

Visit the poet's Livejournal.

To order Look! Up in the Sky, click here.


Thank You, Billy Tuggle

Photo by Bill Perrault

On April 30th, due to Steve Manchester's illness Stone Soup would have been without a feature, had it not been to an unplanned but momentous visit by Chicago poet Bily Tuggle, who gave an amazing reading with little planning for the gathered audience.

Stone Soup thanks Billy Tuggle for his timely intervention and encourages visitors to this site to visit the links below.

Visit the poet's homepage.

Visit the poet's press.


May 21st: Jack McCarthy Featues

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 May 21st, Stone Soup has the honor of welcoming back local poetry icon Jack McCarthy, as he stops by the venue for his only Boston area performance as part of a new tour.

Jack McCarthy is a working guy from the Boston area who’s been writing poetry since the mid-60s. He’d been averaging about a poem a year until 1992-93, when two things happened. First, his new wife, Carol, blackmailed him into attending a workshop with Galway Kinnell; then he brought his daughter Annie, for her birthday, to the open mike at the Cantab Lounge in Central Square, Cambridge, hoping she’d get excited about poetry. Jack was the one who got hooked.

Since then he’s brought out Grace Notes, two chapbooks (Actual Grace Notes and Too Old to Make Excuses (But Still Young Enough to Make Love)), a 60-minute cassette tape (Poems for Hannah), and a CD (Breaking Down Outside a Gas Station). A major book, Say Goodnight, Grace Notes, was released in 2003 by EM Press to rave reviews. His work has appeared in a number of anthologies, including The Spoken Word Revolution.

Jack was a member of the Boston team at the 1996 National Poetry Slam, and was an engaging minor character in the feature film "Slamnation," which documented those proceedings, and he was a member of the Worcester team at the 2000 National Poetry Slam, where he finished as the 10th ranked individual. The Boston Phoenix has named him “Best Standup Poet,” the Boston Poetry Awards “Best Love Poet,” and the Cambridge Poetry Awards “Best Spoken Word” and “Best Humorous Poet .” The Boston Globe says, “In the poetry world, he's a rock star.”

Among his influences he numbers Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, and Garrison Keillor. He doesn't think of himself as a "performance poet," but as a "standup poetry guy," a writer of poems that perform themselves.

Poet Stephen Dobyns has written, "Jack McCarthy is one of the wonders of contemporary poetry. He writes—and often performs—dazzling narratives full of wit and humor, sadness and hard thinking. He should be cloned." Of Say Goodnight, Grace Notes, ALA Booklist says, "McCarthy brings his compelling experiences to his poetry with nimble humor, hard-won wisdom, and a raconteur's knack for telling diabolically barbed stories…concrete, candid, personal, and utterly captivating…caustic, sexy and smart."

Thomas Lux has written, "The only ambition he seems to have is to tell the truth as best he can in poems." That is a very worthy ambition, but it's not his only one. He also hopes to be remembered as an integral member of the movement to restore poetry to its rightful place in everyday American life. So that when Americans think of poetry, they don't think of school and homework, but of laughter and tears; a shortcut to the heart.

Bio and photo taken from Jack McCarthy's website. Click here for more information and a sample of the author's work.

May 14th: Patricia Fillingham 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 May 14th, we honor Stone Soup staple Patricia Fillingham with a full feature in tribute to her efforts in both poetry and publishing.

Patricia Fillingham is a celebrated regular at Stone Soup. Through her own imprint, Wart Hog Press, she has published a number of books by herself and others, including most recently Sam's Place by Charles H. Johnson. Her most recent collection of poetry is Existential Blues.