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December 14th: Leo Raciot Returns to Stone Soup

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 December 14th, Stone Soup is fortunate to feature the return of Lowell-based poet and writer Leo Racicot.

Leo Racicot's work has appeared in Co-Evolution Quarterly, Utne Reader, Gay Sunshine Journal, First Hand, Spiritual Life, Poetry, Faith and Inspiration, Shakespeare's Monkey, Ibbetson Street Press, Boston Literary Magazine, and Yankee. He is the recipient of the Antonio Machado Poetry Forum Award (1998) and has featured his work at Out of the Blue Gallery, The Lily Pad, 119 Gallery, Parker House, Boston City Hall, The New England Poetry Conference and at City Lights Bookstore (San Francisco) and as a guest this past summer of the Obama Administration (Washington D.C.)

December 7th: Patricia Fillingham Tribute with Dave Fillingham

Photo by Debra Cash

Photo by Chad Parenteau

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 December 7th, Stone Soup gives another tribute to Patricia Fillingham, a past Stone Soup feature and regular who passed away in 2007. The works will be read by David Fillingham, Patricia's son, who has continued to earn her mother's work with a posthumous collection in the works.

Patricia Fillingham (May 4, 1924 to December 3, 2007) ran two poetry series in West Orange, New Jersey and New York City for 35 years. She also published poetry for 28 years with her Wart Hog Press imprint, first publishing the work of Cornelius Eady. Recieving degrees in electrical engineering and sociology, she and her husband were active members of the ACLU and early members of Amnesty International. A posthumous collection of her poetry is in the works.

Click here for a poem by Patricia published in Spoonful.


November 30th: The Debut of The Baby Chronicles

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 30th, you are urged to attend the release of The Baby Chronicles, a persona poem anthology unlike any other.

Steve Subrizi wrote "Seaweed Baby" in response to a request to write a persona poem. Whether out of divine inspiration or the desperate need for a writing prompt during the 365/365 poem-a-day challenge, Subrizi's poem spawned a fury of homages and imitations, some adhering close to the simple story of a baby and his seaweed, some going completely off to the deep end of the ocean. If any other collection of poems was brought together by stranger means, no one has admitted it, and we haven't bothered checking anyway.

Contributors to the anthology include Subrizi, performance poet Patrick S., local legend Ryk McIntyre, Stone Soup host Chad Parenteau, and Blogtalk radio host Michael E. Quigg, who gathered the poems and the donations necessary to print the book. Illustrated throughout by Spoonful artist James Conant, The Baby Chronicles will be sold the night of the feature, with proceeds from the book being donated to Partners in Health.


November 23: Joanna Nealon and Philip Hasouris Feature

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 23rd, Joanna Nealon and Philip Hasouris will be appearing to celebrate the release of their new books from Joanna Nealon and Ken Ingham's IN Publications.

Joanna Nealon is a Fullbright Scholar who has published five books. In addition to Stone Soup, she has read for various venues such as Tapestry of Voices, Ibbetson Street Press, Walden Pond Poetry and the Newton and Brockton Library series. She has been published in The Aurorean, Ibbetson Street Review, the Stone Soup anthologies, Cosmic Trend, Bitteroot, Northeast Corridor, and Poesis. Her newest release is Poems of The Zodiac.

Philip Hasouris has been writing for many years. Like many poets, he began unsure of his words, kept them hidden in notebooks, draws, closets, always in the back of his mind. He started reading publicly and eventually people started listening. Since then he has taken every opportunity to share his words. He is currently a co-host of the Brockton Library Poetry. is the author of Swimming Alone, and his recently released book,
Blow Out the Moon.

Order both books from IN Publications.

Visit Philip Hasouris' web site.


November 16th: Rachel McKibbens 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 16th, Rachel McKibbens visits from New York with her debut collection.

Rachel McKibbens juggles five children and a keyboard in upstate New York. She is a 2007 New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow and Pushcart Nominee. Her poems and short stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Frigg Magazine, The New York Quarterly, World Literature Today, The London Magazine, Wicked Alice and The Acentos Review. She teaches poetry and creative writing all over the country and her debut book of poetry, Pink Elephant, (Cypher Press) is available now.

Visit Rachel McKibbens' website.



James McCoy Reads at Stone Soup This Monday, November 9th.

Anyone who wishes to pay tribute to Brother Blue, who passed away last week, will be welcome to during the open mike.

More Words on Brother Blue

I am very sad to hear about Brother Blue's passing. I had the great fortune to meet him at my first reading at the Out of the Blue Gallery this year. Besides being a great performer, he was a very kind person with a charming personality. My condolences to his family. Brother Blue will always be legend. And he will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, Brother Blue!!

--Randy Barish


Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill, "Brother Blue," 1921-2009

The Last Quixote - In Memory of Brother Blue - An Appreciation

By Seth J. Itzkan, November 5, 2009

"Be a butterfly break dancing on the sky."

"How many want to climb the mountain?...The mountain is inside of you. Climb to that place where the higher self is!"

"May I call you God?"

An appreciation of Brother Blue, by definition, can not be written. It is simply, in his own words, "ahhhh" - the sound of the inner smile, the sound of the butterfly discovering flight, the sound of tears forming in a new mother's eye. How can anyone express in words the gratitude for a man who's sole purpose in life was to help transport us to the place where words dissolve? And, of course, he took us there through story. Being, in his own self mocking terms, a "fool" and "jester", his Pied Piper sermon was intended for your own discovery of the inexplicable, and delivered, as he his motto clearly stated, "from the middle of the middle of me, to the middle of the middle of you."

For decades beyond which few can remember, the street performer extraordinaire, Brother Blue, graced the Boston scene with his colorful storytelling antics, unflappable optimism, and kaleidoscopic charisma. How are those for words? He's inspired them. Bother Blue was both a holdout from a by-gone era, and, we hope, a gateway for a future one. In his years as a performer, mentor, host, and mascot, he won every honor, award, and citation a man of his ilk could garner, and many that were no doubt created just for him. I won't even bother try to sort them all out, and you can look them up yourself, but the list seems endless. Both Boston and Cambridge claimed him as their official storyteller, and countless other communities around the world counted him as an honorary member. He was the original First Night parade mascot, leading the pageantry with his magic wand and flowing wardrobe. He continued to be the mascot for the next 33 years, ushering in New Years Eve for generations of Bostonians. Legions of mayors and other dignitaries walked behind him. No one walked in front. The parade began with Brother Blue.

Everyone who ever met Brother Blue, or, as he was affectionately called, simply, Blue, remembers him as their friend and mentor. Everyone has a story about how they met Blue, or what they did with him. You could never just have a conversation with Blue. That was impossible. If you simply said, "Blue, I'd like to introduce you to my friend so and so", you would be embarking a journey in which you both became noble lords and laddies, enshrined with the duty of discovering your inner sun for lighting the world. This adventure would continue without end until Blue's lovely wife Ruth, who, with the patience of Job, would wait for the right moment, and then gently intervene so that others could get their chance to be the sorcerer's apprentice.

Once while walking down the street with Blue and Ruth, Blue stopped to talk to a neighbor - a small elderly woman. Blue showered her with compliments about how charming and beautiful she was, and I'll be darned if she didn't become more so with each word Blue uttered, soaking it in like water to a thirsty plant. Ruth would attempt to politely get Blue to continue on their course, but the more force she put into the effort, the more emphatic Blue got in his adulation of this lady. Eventually Ruth yanked him by the arm, at which point Blue turned to the lady and, while being pulled away, and in the vein of Don Quixote, shouted, "Your spirit is so high, you lift the street!"

Often, at his weekly seminars, Blue implores the crowd, "How many people does it take to form a critical mass?" He urgently asks as if it is the most important question you will ever hear. "How many?!", he demands. "Umm", you think to yourself, a bit nervous, and wondering if this is a math question you should have learned in high school. "One!", Blue exclaims like a tremor from Vesuvius. "One!...You!"


I first met Brother Blue almost thirty years ago and am honored to have known him, and, like so many others, considered him a friend. About nine years ago I setup his website in cooperation with his wife and it's been practically untouched since, http://www.brotherblue.com. The most important thing I did was secure the domain name. Only weeks after I secured it, some cult in California lamented that they hadn't gotten it for their own "Brother Blue". I read about it on their message board, now long gone.

On July 12, 1995, Brother Blue and his wife joined me and a few others in honoring the 100th birthday of Buckminister Fuller, by visiting Bucky's grave site in Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. Standing around the grave, we each took turns telling stories about Buckminister Fuller. Of course, when it was Blue's turn, he went into song and dance, and eventually tears, as he wept on the flat stone that simple reads, "Call me Trim Tab". Blue and Bucky were both great admirers of each other.

In 2000, or there about, Brother Blue and I performed a duet for mutual friends who were being married. Blue did the "Ooohh Aaahh" story, and I provided accompaniment on a wooden flute.

And for hundreds of evenings at Blue and Ruth's storytelling sessions, I listened to innumerable stories and video taped hours of Blue, always thinking that someday I would tell a story. I never did, perhaps, until just now.

Goodbye Blue. God's in good company.

- Seth

Germane links below:





November 9th: James McCoy 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 9th, Stone Soup welcomes its frequent listener and YouTube mini-sensation, James McCoy.

His work, including "Don't Quit Your Day Job" – the most viewed video on Chad Parenteau's FreakMachinePress YouTube website – has been described as "fearless ... moving from the workaday to the mythical."McCoy will tell other original rhyming narratives, including "Thompson Was My Only Failure", the story of Francis Thompson, a 19th-century poet, Catholic and failed boot-maker. "Poignant and sweet, as only James can be." By incorporating meter, McCoy gives his poems a heartbeat. "Let's talk about your performance and your poem! BOTH really amazing."


November 2: Chris Robbins 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 2nd, Stone Soup begins November with the return of past feature and open mike reguar, Chris Robbins.

If you can imagine Alice Walker dating Jim Morrison and their kid having George Carlin and John Valby for teachers, you’d have a fair picture of Chris Robbins. His darker side is a cross between “Animal Farm” and “Animal House”. Ever since he discovered that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, he quit writing feminist poems in favor of writing autistic ones because he believes that he’ll become more relevant that way. In other words, just like former Boston Red Sox player Manny Ramirez joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chris is playing on a different team now, but he’s still playing the same game.