October 31st Update

Due to unforseen circumstances, Doug Holder will not be able to read for his planned October 31st feature at Stone Soup Poetry. The reading will be scheduled for a later date.

Instead, Stone Soup Poetry on October 31st will hold a open mike dedicated to Doug Holder's own Ibbetson Street Press. All authors published under Doug Holder's imprint are invited to read and give tribute to his efforts as a publisher.

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.


November 21st: Janaka Stucky Features

Photo by Q. Nuruzzaman.

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. Making his debut feature on November 21st will be poet and publisher Janaka Stucky.

Janaka Stucky is the founder and managing editor of Black Ocean, an non-profit publishing and production company based out of Boston, New York, and Chicago. After receiving hs BFA in writing and literature from Emerson College, he went on to get an MFA in poetry from Vermont College.

Prior to founding Black Ocean, he was the co-founder of the Boston-based nationally touring group, the Guerilla Poets, a street-poetry collective of over 700 members internationally who devoted themselves to injecting poetry into public and commercial spaces on a weekly basis.

Stucky has been a guest lecturer at Vermont College's MFA in writing program. A wnner of several national Haiku competitions, his poems have also been published in a variety of journals, including North American Review, Blue Fifth Review, Frogpond, Elixir, and Volt.

Rooted in Boston, Stucky spends his life traveling, writing, and caring for the dead. He likes his whisky neat and his music dirty. He is developing the perfection of effort and is ever reading to serve you by word.

A sample poem is included below.

Eavesdropping My Funeral

I threw a funeral for myself
and invited all my friends
to see who would show and
who would not.

At the service, I remember
all my in-laws clearing their

I played a guessing game with
my eyes closed—who’s lips were
who’s upon my propped up

And when someone asked,
“Did he suffer much?”
someone else said,
“Like the wings of a butterfly.”

I thought of jumping
up and laughing. I let them bury me

A recent Boston Phoenix article about Janaka Stucky.

The Black Ocean website.
November 14th: Meg Smith Features

Photo by Julia Cheng.

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. Lowell Poet Meg Smith Returns to Feature on November 14th.

Meg Smith has published more than 200 poems, short stories and other works in a variety of literary journals, including many in the Gothic and horror genres. Recent publication credits include Renovation Journal, Poetry Bay, Pulse, The Cafe Review, Erosha, The Lowell Pearl, The Gothic Revue, Dreams of Decadence, and others.

She has published a book of poetry, The First Fire, and is working on a second book. She is a member of the board of directors of the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! Festival dedicated to Beat writer Jack Kerouac, and editor and publisher of Red Eft, an online literary journal. A sample poem is included below, originally published in The Gothic Revue.

Moons of Saturn: Cassini Probe

Now we approach
in the gray descent,
a landscape blurs like shapeless trowsers,
a body not inhabited or summarized.
but bodies we have found, and they
speak a distant code to our own cold white
single garnet.
One breathes its own swirl of gas,
presumptuous as to be almost planetary.
One speaks to canals of comic books
and radio shows.
They have much to give.
But our needs are few.
We wouldn't ask for granite or delusions of seas
that glow green
or trinkets in the atmosphere to form rings.
All we want is the truth of time.
All we want is the first dawn.

Meg Smith's web site.

Red Eft.

November 7th: Coleen Houlihan 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. Coleen T. Houlihan returns to us November 7th to feature.

Coleen T. Houlihan studied writing at Wellesley College and has been a writer for many years with poetry being her first love. Presently she is working on a novel. Her work has published in The Cambridge Alewife and the 2003 Stone Soup Anthology. She also has two chapbooks: This Human Heart and Desire's Burn.

She has always been attracted to the written form as a way of giving rise to emotions and disentangling them, both in herself and in others. Like any exercise, which involves two components, the writer and created piece work together to become the key that can unlock the door to the reader’s mind. Through slim picture books read to her as a child, Coleen first became that reader. She presently resides in Boston, MA. Below is a sample poem recently published in the Alewife.

The Elephants

Please understand me,
for I am mine tonight-

The ringmaster says the elephants
are all right
but as I passed their cage,
all metal and no sun,
I caught a glimpse of their eyes
and the way they were mashing
bars and tufts and chains,
the way they were biting their own skin
said to me
the elephants are wild tonight.

And he was so confident
as he lead them into the ring
with balls, hoops of fire and whips of hide-
I took a seat knowing what it would bring
and the elephants came running
around the tent as if they were sheep
deep grey and as large as submarines.
Yes, something will go down tonight.
Not me, not me, not me.

And one by one he introduced them,
names of Dolly, Sally, Pete-
and I remembered thinking,
right before the screams,
that these elephants were once from Africa-
distant, wild and free
and who did he think he was addressing,
what was it that he was choosing to see?
Not me, not me, not me.

They were beautiful
and the people screamed.
The woman next to me waved her arms
falling like brittle leaves-
clearly she did not see,
and as her head hit the floor
I thought,
“Not me.”

Dressed in red, crimson channels
that flowed down their flanks
and their wounds were the shapes of
deserts, lakes and trees
more powerful than the mark
of any hand that had touched
those wild, wild beasts…

And their cries reminded me
of my own.

But the ringmaster was shouting
foreign, bitter words.
Then the ringmaster was a decoration,
his body a blur
of white ivory and red skin
and the people were all screaming
as the hoops blazed yellow sun
and the balls burst and collapsed
and the woman on the floor was yelling,
“My god, my god what is this!”

I smiled when I saw her
looked her in the eye,
“It’s the elephants,” I said.
“They are wild tonight.”
And then I sank my teeth
into her flesh
and as the elephants thrashed,
as the elephants pressed,
I knew
they understood.


October 31st: 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 next Monday will be local small press figure Doug Holder.

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 advance praise from poets such as Harris Gardner and Hugh Fox.

Last month, Ibbetson Street Press published Sanctus! Sanctus! Sanctus! by recent Stone Soup feature Ann Carhart. Also The Somerville News Writers Festival, created by Holder and Heat City Literary Review Editor Tim Gager, will be taking 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.


October 24th: Robert Milby 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. Featuring this Monday for the first time will be New York poet Robert Milby.

Robert Milby has hosted poetry readings throughout the Hudson Valley since 1995. He is the author of four poetry chapbooks (his most recent, The Ruin of Camelot) and a spoken word CD (Revenant Echo). He has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies such as Hunger Magazine, Will Work for Peace, Hart, Fertile Ground, Chronogram, The Hudson Valley Literary Magazine, The Orange Voice, and Motivate a Mind.

Currently, Milby hosts a poetry series at Joey’s Café in Washingtonville, NY and at the Mudd Puddle Café in New Paltz, NY.

A sample poem from Milby is included below.

Summer Ghosts

The stench of rotting peat moss;
animals killed by ignominious drivers, last year’s onion casualties,
rises beneath an ominous,
humidity swollen August Moon.
Old Summer’s heavy ghosts sit nearby and watch.
Here is an elderly phantom,
leaning on a pretentious real-estate sign.
Another shade, merely glowing eyes,
screams from a frog dominated culvert
in a ditch near the quiet onion field.
How, then, can I walk during the death of purple ochre afterglow,
Along the access road, pavement still ornery, heat growling underfoot,
Of August’s sultry insanity?
She appears only when I remove my glasses to clean them…
Her forty years extinguished by technology.
The migrant worker’s shock would have risen through dimensions…
A mother, crushed beneath large, peat caked tires of an onion tractor.
Was it children who’d painted the memorial on the road, near the elementary school?
The swooning phantoms have sucked away grueling humidity,
to allow my word knitting on a cool back porch this morning.
Late August is a precarious time…ghosts do not wish to wean themselves of their Solar medication…
Summer has no desire to desiccate or to blush in cooler weather.
Summer knows…that having storms, only serves the kingdom of Autumn:
Frost fanfare, migrating flocks, insect funerals, and huddled animals…


October 17th: Walter Howard Features

Photo by Bill Perrault.

An Open Mike favorite who has read everywhere from Stone Soup to Word Beat to the Boston Public Library as part of the 5th Annual Poetry Month Festival, poet Walter Howard will now get a full 20-30 minute feature slot to entertain us.

As always, 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.
Christopher Kain's Reading

Photo by Bill Perrault.

We'd like to thank Christopher Kain for reading as well as share news we were not privy to until his reading.

Kain's first chapbook, Homefront, will be available soon. To be informed when it comes out, you can email him at cdkain@yahoo.com.


Past Performances

The volunteers at Stone Soup Poetry will attempt to post these photos with more regularlity. All photos are by Bill Perrault.

Felipe Victor Martinez from October 3rd, reading from Alan Ginsberg's "Howl" while friend Timothy George accompanies with percussion.

Ala Khaki from September 24th, reading while Jack Powers Observes.

Carolyn Gregory from September 19th.


October 10: Christopher Kain Features

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. Featuring for the first time on October 10 will be Christopher Kain.

Christopher Kain first found poetry at a cafe inNorthampton, MA, in the early 90's and has been in love ever since. An English major from UMass Amherst, Kain later found areas to read in Connecticut and Virginia,where his poetry was included in two local anthologies. He has been featured at the Cantab Lounge Cambridge, MA where he still reads a new poem each week as part of the poetry venue's open mike. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in Library Science. A sample poem is below:

i meant to write you a poem
but the words fell out of rhyme
i meant to write you a book
but i lost track of time

i meant to write you a song
but the notes fell out of tune
i meant to write about you
so i wrote for the moon
Future Performers

October 10th: Local poet Christopher Kaine.

October 17th: Frequent Stone Soup open Miker Walter Howard.

October 24: New York Poet Robert Milby.

October 31: Ibbetson Street Press founder Doug Holder with his new book.

November 7th: Poet and novelist Coleen Houlihan.

November 14th: Lowell poet and activist Meg Smith.

November 21: Guerrilla Poet and Small Press Organizer Janaka Stucky.


October 3: Felipe Victor Martinez Features

Photo by Bill Perrault

A beat-influenced poet with strong ties to Stone Soup, Felipe Victor Martinez divides his time maintaining the successful business Astro Imaging, hosting the monthly Word Beat gathering at Out of The Blue, and co-fronting (with Lynne Sticklor) Cozmic Orange Press. The press recently put out a special limited editon of Poems by Bill Perrault by the fellow Stone Souper and plans to publish a new poetry journal. Martinez returns to us for a feature this Monday and hopes for yet another appearance by Jack Powers, having missed the birthday celebration of our founder last month.

Click here for sample poems by Martinez.

Click here for more information on Word Beat and the other Out Of The Blue Spoken word Events.

Click here for Martinez' Astro Imaging Page.