June 2nd: Christopher Kain 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 2nd, we welcome the return of past feature, Christopher Kain.

Christopher Kain found reading poetry aloud an irresistible urge since he encountered his first public appearance at the Haymarket Cafe in Northampton, MA in 1992. he continued to read at various venues in Cincinnati, OH. when he moved to Washington, DC in 1994, he was anthologized in the Live Poets Society journal in Alexandria, VA as well as the Federal Poet in Washington, DC. returning to CT, he read his poetry at various open mics in the area. in 1999, he released his first chapbook memory plays, which he hopes to re-release at this reading.

Moving to Boston, MA, he found new venues to read, first at Harris Gardner's Tapestry of Voices at the Borders Bookstore in Boston, MA, then at the Out of the Blue Gallery in 2002. he encountered the venue that would forever change his work, the Third Rail at the Cantab Lounge in Central Square. in February of 2003, he had a 30-minute feature of his work. in March of this year, he had a 10-minute spotlight feature showcasing his new book of poetry, called homefront, containing many of the poems he read at the Cantab over the past five years. The sample poem below is excerpted from memory plays.

when i was with Love
we had a daughter named Hope
she was the only good song
on our jukebox
the gem in our junkpile

Hope would cry in the morning
& in evenings hum herself
to sleep--love & i kept each other
awake with our restlessness

there was something beautiful
when Love held Hope in her arms
as if there wasn't any trouble
i lived on that

after Love & i left each other
i get Hope on certain appointed times
it's hard on her
because she's no longer Love's
& no longer mine


May 26: Marc Goldfinger and Dan Shanahan Feature

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 26th, Stone Soup concludes the month-long celebration of its 37th year with two Stone Soup staples returning to feature: Marc Goldfinger and Dan Shanahan.

Marc D. Goldfinger has been published by Ibbetson Street Press, The Aurorean, Pegasus, The Boston Poet, Clamor magazine, Earth First! and the Crooked River Press among others. He is currently the poetry editor of Spare Change News, a paper put out for the benefit of homeless people. He is a counselor for people with Substance Use Disorders and some of his work has been used to augment courses at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. His latest book is Essays On Major Mental Illness with a Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorder or What Came First: The Chicken or The White Horse.

Dan Shanahan was reading and selling his poems to passers-bye on Beacon Hill in 1969 when he met Jack Powers. Jack was holding readings at the Old West Church then and soon after Jack initiated the weekly Stone Soup readings in his gallery on Cambridge Street. Dan left Boston for Alaska in 1972 where he lived for six years.

Stone Soup published The Alaska Poems, his first book of poems, in 1995, with assistance of a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant. In 1997 his second collection, Crystal Lake, was published. Crystal Lake reflects on the immanent present and historical past of a mill pond owned by Giles and Martha Corey, two victims of the Salem witch trials of the seventeenth century. In 2003, Dan produced an audio book on CD entitled The Lotus Seed Poems, a suite of poems recollecting his experience of living with a meditation master whom he lived with in India.


May 19th: Cosmic Spelunker Theater Reunites

Photo by Elizabeth Schweber Doles

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 19th, Stone Soup welcomes the reuniting Cosmic Spelunker Theatre troupe, coming back together to perform at Stone Soup for the first time ever.

Cosmic Spelunker Theater is a Boston based collaborative performance art troupe that has been presenting its fusion of spoken word and movement since 2002, appearing at Mobius (Boston, MA), Puppet Showplace Theatre (Brookline, MA), Artists at Large, Inc. (Hyde Park, MA), Casa Nia, Zeitgeist Gallery, Out of the Blue Art Gallery (Cambridge, MA), The Revolving Museum (Lowell, MA), AS220 (Providence, RI) Warwick Museum of Art (Warwick, RI), and Bowery Poetry Club (New York, NY)

William J. Barnum is a stage actor whose long career began at the age of 17 playing Valentine in a production of Twelfth Night. His roles often had him sharing the stage with George C. Scott, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Bennedict, and Spaulding Gray. As a mime, he received training from √Čtienne Decroux, the father of modern mime, Tony Montanaro, and Samuel Avital, he was also one of the leads for Paul Curtis’ American Mime Theatre. He danced with the Boston Ballet and with Jos√© Limon. Barnum began to synthesize his stage skills as a performer with his own poetic compositions to form his own body of work. His poetry was collected in the volume Of Rare Design (VB Press.)

James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s and performed with the Mirage Mime Theater from 1980 to 1987 during which time he was also taught classes offered by Mirage. From 1987 to 1988 he was a member of the Collective Mime. His poetry has been anthologized in Out of the Blue Writers Unite. He has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992 and regularly reads at Bay State Prison as part of their poetry program. Currently, Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop. Van Looy also has second degree black belt in Karate and is a Vietnam War era veteran.

Ian Thal‘s poetry grew out of his participation in Boston’s post-punk “spoken word” scene of the late 1990s before studying mime with Van Looy. His blog about his work with Bread & Puppet Theater was recently placed on the reading list for a course at the University of London. He is a member of the commedia dell’arte troupe, i Sebastiani, where he serves as both an actor and choreographer. He studies kathak, a classical dance form of Northern India, at the Chhandika Institute of Kathak Dance, and also serves as the mime and commedia dell’arte instructor at Open Air Circus, a Somerville based youth circus.
May 12th: Lynne Stickor "The Prize Lady," Chad Parenteau, Carol Weston Feature

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. Participants are encouraged to arrive early on May 12th, as Stone Soup will be featuring three performers to help continue with Stone Soup's celebration of its 37th anniversary: An opening performance by Lynne Sticklor "The Prize Lady," a micro feature by Chad Parenteau, and a main feature by Carol Weston.

Photo by Lynne Sticklor

Lynne Sticklor "The Prize Lady" is a performance artist, poet, and creator of Visual art: magazine collage, acrylics & sparkles, clay and Text & Graphics as mediums. She is the sole creator of The Prize Lady Experience, which is a one-on-one performance art piece, as well as a Stage Show with grand poetic theatrics and "fabulous prizes". It has been performed at many venues and at many events--public and private.

She describes The Prize Lady Experience as a way to feel worthy of being creative just because you've expressed yourself. It's about opening your mind to your creative side, to the clown or performer in all of us, and to the thoughts or ideas that can only surface when we are inspired in an indirect way. It's about feeling and being worthy of winning a prize just because you embrace the moment of creativity as your own. It breaks down the barrier between Artist and Non-Creative type and even Performer and Audience.

Photo by Janice Parenteau

Chad Parenteau helps host and coordinate Stone Soup and edits the online tribute journal Spoonful with Lynne Sticklor. His new chapbook comes out later this year. He has been a past participant in April's National Poetry Writing Month challenge. His feature will focus on recently completed work done for the recently completed NaPoWriMo event of 2008.

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.

Visit The Prize Lady's web site.

Visit Spoonful for samples of Parenteau's and Weston's work.