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!

Mar 23, 2017

Higher Learning In Service To Higher Consciousness

As the plight of college students beset with debt exceeds even that of credit card holders and tech mogul Peter Thiel is actually paying future entrepreneurs to quit school, altogether, the latest of seven public programs comprising “Love Action Art Lounge”, the current show at Stamford’s Franklin Street Works, presents a novel, individualized take on academia and what it could offer when liberated from convention. 

Faculty member/poet Ana Božičević (Stars of the Night Commute Commute [Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009], Lambda Award-winner Rise In the Fall [Birds LLC, 2013]), and artists-in-residence Nina Behrle and Jesse Chun of the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, will lead B-YOU/BUILD YOUR OWN UNIVERSITY, a workshop and
primer on how to create your own institution of higher learning this weekend (subversively enough, just down the street from the UConn-Stamford campus!).

Considering the standard pedagogical process in view of developing a methodology for grassroots learning, Ana, Jesse (an
interdisciplinary/international artist who studies the linguistic and cultural mechanics of belonging) and Nina (whose own ouvre spans sculpture, prop design, and comedy) will encourage participants to balance what they can teach with what they want to know from art, as well as determine what administrative and curricular policies can best support the creative pursuit. 
The Bruce High Quality Foundation University, named after two Bruces who formed the free, educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2009 while studying art at Cooper Union “guard their anonymity fiercely,” according to The New York Times’ Roberta Smith, forming the collective with other students, “when Hans Haacke, one of the fathers of institutional critique, was still teaching there.”

This program is free and open to the public. 
Franklin Street Works
41 Franklin Street
Stamford, CT 06901

Saturday, March 25, 2017
4-6 pm

Terri C. Smith
Creative Director
Franklin Street Works

Sep 11, 2016

Gil Fagiani: Our Competing Attentions For The Soul & Heart

An essayist, short story writer and poet, this Tuesday night’s featured speaker at Curley’s, Gil Fagiani, has filled his ouvre with accounts of the ups and downs of close to seventy years of life, shaped at different times by discipline, despair and rediscovery.

Several of his poetry collections cover his middle class upbringing in Stamford, such as Chianti in Connecticut (Bordighera Press, 2010) and Grandpa’sWine (Poets Wear Prada, 2008; a bilingual version forthcoming, translated into Italian by Professor Paul D’Agostino of Brooklyn College). Rooks (Rain Mountain Press, 2007) concerns his military college years at Weider University in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Now living in Long Island City in proximity to the streets of his time as a heroin addict in the 1960s, Gil grew into a social activist in response to the discrimination he witnessed by the police when dealing with drug users of different backgrounds and, by his forties, found poetry and fiction the most affecting forms of communicating awareness of the injustices he saw. As he says in a 2015 New York Times interview with David Gonzalez, “You don’t change people with political rhetoric.”

Following on such titles as the state hospital-situated Serfs of Psychiatry (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Gil’s latest book from his time at a South Bronx heroin treatment center, Logos (Guernica Editions, 2015), emphasizes the need for wider understanding of the complexity of an issue too often dismissed judgmentally by extending his internal struggles (including the confusing mix of hope and potent illusions of empowerment) to those of all of us in times of crisis.

En route, and instrumental to Gil’s recovery were his rekindled ties to his heritage upon learning that the Fagianis hailed from a line of dialect-specific poets in Lanciano: “These towns in Italy were their own universes,” he told Gonzales. “When I asked someone for directions to the street named after my uncle, he started reciting one of his poems.” This has culminated in his current co-curation of the Italian American Writers’ Association, based in Manhattan.
Below is his contribution with Stephen Siciliano, reading, respectively, from Stone Walls (Bordighera Press, 2014) and The Goodfather at a 2015 IAWA event held at the Cornelia Street Café; musical accompaniment by Peter Dizozza:

Additional Reading:

Mate, Gabor, M.D., In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts (North Atlantic Books, 2010)

Sep 10, 2016