March 14: Dick Lourie 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 March 14th, we welcome esteemed author and musician Dick Lourie.

Dick Lourie is a poet and blues saxophone player whose two professions drew him to the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta. If the Delta Was the Sea, his eighth book of poems, explores the region’s rich heritage of music, history, and a diversity of cultures, particularly in the city of Clarksdale, long regarded as a center of Delta blues. The book results from Lourie’s frequent visits to the Delta over the past twelve years to play with lo...cal musicians and write about the area.

Dick Lourie’s poems have appeared widely for more than forty years, in such literary journals as ACM, Agni, The Arkansas Review, Exquisite Corpse, Lungfull!, The Massachusetts Review, Sun, Transfer, and Verse. Among his seven previous books are Stumbling (The Crossing Press) and Anima (Hanging Loose). His most recently published book, Ghost Radio, and Ghost Radio Blues, a companion CD, are both still available from Hanging Loose Press. Writing about Lourie’s poetry, Denise Levertov observed that his “voice speaks with a unique and convincing eloquence.”

“Dick Lourie has written a rich, spacious book. Observing the principles that ‘we are all embedded in history’ and that the individual ‘contains multitudes,’ these poems present a portrait of a place, Clarksdale, Mississippi, and its people, through a unique cultural and social perspective. Lourie has an impeccable ear for colloquial nuances and an acute eye . . . If the Delta Was the Sea is a genuine delight.”—Ha Jin

“Dick Lourie has something to say and he says it well. Here, in direct, clear, no-nonsense language, he tells the story of Clarksdale, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. The voices of the town ring true, from blues legend Robert Johnson to civil rights leader Aaron Henry to Lin “Pap” Pang, an elder in the Chinese community, all presented with irony, humor and honest insight. This is a poet who fully understands the burdens and the blessings of history, and knows that there is much to celebrate in the spirit of the survivors.”—Martín Espada

March 12th: Bill Perrault and Friends at Stone Soup

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 12th, Stone Soup welcomes back friend Bill Perrault, who will be celebrating his birthday featuring alongside friends Walter Howard, Joanna Nealon, and Carol Weston.

Photo by Chad Parenteau

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 an...d, 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 Blue Writers Unite Anthology, and various web pages, 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.

Photo by Bill Perrault

Walter Howard is a retired history professor, English teacher, and journalist. He is a member of the Longfellow Society, Natick Writers, and the Wayland Poetry Workshop. His poems have appeared in Motive, Longfellow Journal, Ibbetson Street Press, Journal of Modern Writing, Endicott Review, and others.

Photo by Bill Perrault

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.

Photo by Bill Perrault

Carol Weston has featured many times with Stone Soup. She read alongside Jack Powers and Allen Ginsberg in 1973 in the former Charles Street Universalist Church. In the Winter of 1983, she was asked by Powers to feature in Boston's City Hall along with John Wieners. Her poetry has been published in The Farleigh Literary Review, Bomb, Stone Soup Anthology 2003, Spoonful and The Blind See Only This World.