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!

Apr 27, 2017

Writing For Democracy This Evening In Norwalk

Laurel Peterson
A movement that started on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday this year, involving writers from across the country to “re-inaugurate” democracy, continues today in a three-hour program at Norwalk Community College.

Writers Resist at NCC is organized by Norwalk’s Poet Laureate Laurel Peterson and NCC professors Rebecca Hussey and Hannah Moeckel-Rieke, featuring area authors reading from their own works, or that of other admired writers who have something significant to say about the preciousness of open society and its sustenance.
Hannah Moeckel-Rieke
Drawing on the voices and writings of close to thirty participants, this program will include NCC President Dr. David Levinson, CT Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin, novelist Joanne Dobson (author of the Professor Karen Pelletier mystery series),  Santia Rene, Editor of Musings, as well as PoemAlley members Ralph Nazareth, Susan Cossette Eng (Peggy Sue Messed Up… and Other Poems [Princess Press, 2017]), Dr. Marianela Medrano and  Richard Duffee (The Slow News ofNeed [Yuganta Press, 2008]).
Rennie McQuilkin
In a time of growing anti-intellectualism and multi-media distraction masquerading as social discourse, Ralph makes a pointed defense in this 2009 Bent Pin interview for the invaluable necessity of poetry as a reflective and inescapably empathetic means to delve into the heart of that which affects our lives, those of others, our society and our world:

The readings will be broken up with musical interludes provided by Greg and Madeleine Golda.

Our democracy is at risk. Growing public cynicism and an alarming disdain for truth is eroding our most dearly-held democratic ideals. As writers we have tremendous power to bypass empty political discourse and focus public attention on the ideals of a free, just, and compassionate society. 

The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome. 

Norwalk Community College
East Campus Atrium
188 Richards Avenue 
Norwalk, CT

Thursday, April 27th, 2017


Apr 18, 2017

J. Barrett Wolf: Caviar For The Mind

On Dad's scooter, 1958 Freeport, NY
This evening’s featured reader has traveled, performed or conducted workshops over the last quarter-century in locales as diverse as The Limestone Dusty Poetry Festival in Hunstville, Alabama and the pubs on the Scottish isle of Arran. 

In Dublin he also studied with Eavan Boland and Theo Dorgan at the Irish Writer's Center and found the opportunity to merge his enthusiasm for poetry with motorcycling in Cape Cod, where he began touring and performing each August as part of the Highway Poets Motorcycle Club, operated by the International Association of Published Bikers (find out more about this dual fascination in Jose JoeGo Gouveia, Rubber Rubber Side Down: The Biker Poet Anthology, published by Archer Books in 2008 to which Wolf contributed and in this profile from 2016). 

Wolf’s own collection, Stark Raving Calm appeared in 2011 through Boone’s Dock Press and was followed by the e-book collection, The Moon is Always In Transit (Amazon Kindle, 2012).
When he moved to Stamford in the 1990s, Wolf worked at the Ferguson Library and was elected president of the Loft Artists’ Association in his first year. In 1994, he was one of just eight poets for a coveted slot on the Connecticut Commission on the Arts 'Touring Artist' roster and, as a resident, performed regularly as half of the bilingual, English/Spanish poetry duo "Café con Leche" with PA’s own noted Dominican poet/poetry therapist Marianela Medrano. You can find selected poems in both English and Spanish at his homepagejbarrettwolf.com, divided into the categories of Place, Romance and the Road. 

The only artist to receive a United Cultural Fund (UCF) grant in 2012 by the Broome County Arts Council of Binghamton, New York, Wolf used it to  produce the reading series “Here & There: Poets from Near and Far”, a five-reading series pairing area poets with counterparts from the greater Northeastern United States, including, locally, Jessica Dubey, Joe Weil and Nicole Santalucia and, among those representing the Northeast, Adeke Rose, Ryk McIntyre and Sean Thomas Dougherty of Batlimore, Maryland, Providence, Rhode Island and Erie, Pennsylvania, respectively. 

While Wolf's poetry has been described by one peer as “caviar for the mind”, its live delivery by the writer is just as rich and involving. His reading of "Courting the Librarian" features pointed gestures, expressive eyebrow movement and inviting, 180-degree audience contact:

J. Barrett Wolf currently lives and writes in Binghamton in his home state of New York, where he ha hosted the poetry open mic program at the now-defunct RiverRead Books, a local independent bookstore, for close to six years.

Apr 2, 2017

A Favorite Returns Returns To "Our Pub"

Raves Phil Shapiro (host of the radio program Bound for Glory) of this Tuesday’s guest singer/poet, "Andrew Calhoun is a powerful songsmith, a quiet and sly performer, and fine traditional singer as well... fascinating and unpredictable." 

That unpredictability owes much to forty years’ dedication as a performer (and New Haven native) in building an ever-expansive, multi-genre range, from original material, Irish and American folk songs, to Scottish ballads (listen to tracks from his 2017 release, Rhymer’s Tower: Ballads of the Anglo-Scottish Border here), as well as African-American spirituals, hymns and musical adaptations of Mary Oliver, Robert Frost and other writers.

The spark was lit for Andrew in 1967, when he got his first guitar at age ten and began penning his own songs two years later, making his way into the folk scene in Chicago by the 1970s and finding profound lifelong influence in the works of Leonard Cohen and Martin Carthy. Click here and here for more about this period and other career details from Andrew's previous appearances at Curley's.

On the production side, Andrew founded WaterbugRecords in 1992, an artists' cooperative folk label, now up to 125 titles—appropriately enough, a valued channel for bringing some of the brightest singer-songwriters and folk musicians to an international audience by a performer who has become a renown musical fixture abroad, in his own right.

Below is his 2016 rendition of Robert Burns’ “The Lazy Mist”:

Besides various musical releases, including 2005’s Staring at the Sun (Songs 1973-1981), Shadow Of a Wing (2004) and Living Room (2013), Andrew has collected his poetry in Twenty-Four Poems (illustrated by Lee Broede) and Hay.  He has also received the Lantern Bearer Award in 2012 for twenty-five years of service to the folk arts in the Midwest by the Folk Alliance Regional Midwest, followed by the Lifetime Achievement Award, Woodstock Folk Festival in 2014.

The piece below is Andrew's interesting meditation on the low-key confluence between conviviality and territoriality.


© Andrew Calhoun

In Austria
(We were there)
Boys came in
We were there first
But it was their pub

Handsome boys
Chanted and drank shots down
And shot darts with deadly skill
And drank draughts
With a laughing girl
Who looked to be in love with one of them
The one with hair as brown and thick as hers
They left before we did
But it was their pub

Check out his music, other writing, tour dates, as well as performances with his daughter, Casey at www.andrewcalhoun.com.