Tuesdays at Curley's

Welcome to PoemAlley, Stamford, Connecticut's eclectic venue for poets, poetry reading and discussion! Open to anyone living in Fairfield County and the surrounding area, we meet Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm at Curley's Diner on 62 Park Place (behind Target) . Come contribute, get something to eat, or simply listen!

Jul 12, 2016

Writing Toward Sharing, Hope and Healing

Tonight’s four speakers at Curley’s Diner will relate their stories of trauma, hope and empathy, following their participation last year in a creative workshop of self-understanding and healing, guided by psychologist and poetry therapist Dr. Marianela Medrano:

Marianela Merdano

Shelly Ransom is a Darien-based speech language pathologist whose devotion to helping others find their voices has been channeled into assorted approaches beyond addressing communication disorders, including fundraising, yoga and meditation instruction.

An avid biker and reader, Shelly graduated from Sacred Heart University, where she earned the Dean’s Leadership Award.  When she isn’t glued to her computer, she likes hiking, reading, and spending time with her family.

In 2015 Bethel resident Karen Mello came to The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education as its new Director of Development and Communications from the United Way of Western Connecticut, where she oversaw funding for programs in support of low-income families.

Starting in January, Karen, working with this evening’s other guest speakers, launched Survivors Helping To Inspire New Endings (SHINE), an empathy- and solidarity-building program whose members speak on behalf of victims and survivors of sexual violence to let others know they are not alone and how anyone, of any age can be impacted.

She has served with the Statewide Victim Survivor Advisory Council, Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence and, via her work on the Connecticut K-12 Child Sexual Abuse and Assault Education Planning Team, helped implement Erin’s Law.

Cliff Benham is the Director of Design and Sales at Second Chance, a company that upcycles and restores furniture. A Stamford resident, he has been a Center board member for six years. He lives in Stamford with his wife and two daughters.

A two-time survivor as child and adult, herself, Michelle Nelson Giorno moved several times around the South over the past thirty years before ultimately settling in the Ridgefield area. She became a member of the speaker’s bureau for RAINN (Rape Assault Incest National Network) in 2009 and took on a similar role for The Center.

In addition to her public awareness-raising activities, she is working on a memoir which addresses her inspiring transition from victim to social healer. Michelle enjoys her family, nature, yoga, photography and other activities.

PoemAlley members will then respond to the guest testimonies  with work addressing their own experiences with depression, sorrow and the resultant strategies for coping, acceptance and recovery.

Originally organized by PoemAlley, this special four-session program was held at The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education in Stamford in late 2015 and supported through a CAPP grant from the City of Stamford.

Jun 13, 2016

Ways Of Verbal Inspiration With Jerry T. Johnson

Described by one reader as a reaffirmation of “the promise of every new day (through) eloquent, simple wisdom”, Jerry T. Johnson’s first chapbook Good Morning New Year! An Inspirational Journey is a 2015 release available on the Kindle ebook platform.  

As tonight's Open Mic reader, Jerry is a spoken-word artist with numerous appearances to his credit at a range of New York City venues and, as a new contributor to the Connecticut/New York writing community, has placed “I Be a Bad Dude” and “Ways of Peace” in Catalyst magazine and Burningword Literary Journal, respectively.

Hosted by Frank Chambers, Barnes & Noble’s Open Mic Poetry program meets the second Monday of each month in the cookbook section on the main floor of the bookstore (located in the Stamford Town Center), beginning at 7:15 p.m.

For more information, contact:
Barnes & Noble
100 Greyrock Place, Suite H009
Stamford, CT 06906

Jun 8, 2016

Poems For A Feverish Planet: An Evening Of Readings & Conversation With Kamala Platt

In a special PoemAlley engagement tomorrow night at Curley’s Diner, beginning at 7:30, environmental feminist, visual/performance artist, author and adjunct profesora Kamala Platt will share and discuss material from her various collections, including Weedslovers (Finishing Line 2014) and On the Line (Wings Press, 2010), as well as the “green rascuache” lifeways by which she seeks footholds of dignity, well-being and sustainability defying industrialism, militarism and other toxic -isms driving a simmering world’s accumulating crises.

While Kamala’s concern for ecology and human rights owes
its roots to a cross-cultural childhood in Orissa, India and in the Kansas Mennonite community, her knowledge has been enhanced through her work with the Esperanza Center for Peace & Justice, the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, Texas Women Farmers’ Holistic Management and other organizations.

Her creative and social activism finds expression in The Meadowlark Center, a rural venue for community arts, education, environment and social justice activities, situated on the Meadowlark Homestead in Kansas built by her grandmother in the 1950s, as well as Kamala’s complementary Eastside Barrio home in San Antonio, affording guests an all-in-one native habitat/garden, library and studio, where nopalitos, loquats and other seasonal produce are served up in equal measure with books and art.

Kamala has attained fellowships with the Feminist Research Institute at the University of New Mexico and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (Gateways) in San Antonio. Holding several degrees, including an MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University, Ohio and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (University of Texas, Austin), Kamala served as compiler on Kimientos (Wordsworth, 1992) and contributor to Wild Things: Children's Culture and Ecocriticism (Wayne State University Press, 2004).

Explore Kamala’s blog, ”artists vs death penalty” here; you can also click here to find out more about her.


Further Reading:

Adams, Carol J., Ecofeminism and the Sacred (Continuum, 1993)

Diamond, Irene, Fertile Ground: Women, Earth, and the Limits of Control (Beacon Press, 1997)

                     “, Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism (Sierra Club Books, 1990)

Pandey, S, Emergence of Eco-Feminism and Reweaving the World (MD Publications, 2011)

Shiva, Vandana, Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace (North Atlantic Books, 2015)