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 10, 2016

Tapping Your Inner Yeti To Know The Outer World: Boria Sax And The Zoological Guides To Reality

Boria Sax, tomorrow's featured speaker at Barnes & Noble's Open Mic program in Stamford, has some 15 books to his credit, translated into French, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, and Czech, spanning fiction, poetry, history, reference, folklore and, in particular, human/animal relations, both on the zoological and imaginary levels. Choice academic library journal named two books, Animals in the Third Reich: Pets, Scapegoats, and the Holocaust
(Continuum, 2000) and The Mythical Zoo: An Encyclopedia of Animals in Myth, Legend, and Literature (Overlook Press, 2013) among their "outstanding titles of the year".

Boria earned his doctorate in Intellectual History and German from the State University of New York, Buffalo, has served as a human rights consultant for Amnesty International and Helsinki Watch and is founder of Nature in Legend and Story, a non-profit organization fostering appreciation of the traditional bonds between humans and the natural world.

His deep fascination for the metaphorical roots of our species' complex and contradictory ties to other living creatures, whether wild, domesticated, or mythic, is best articulated in the introduction to Imaginary Animals: The Monstrous, the Wondrous and the Human (Reaktion, 2013): "... all imaginary animals, to some degree all animals, are ultimately both monsters and wonders, which assist us by deflecting and absorbing our uncertainties." Depending on our hopes and fears of the moment or the age, "Men and women are not only part angel and part demon, as the old cliché goes; they are also part centaur, part werewolf, part mandrake, and part sphinx."

Below is a video from Overlook Press, publisher of 2012's City of Ravens, where Boria talks of the historical connection between the city of London and its ubiquitous bird population:

Poet's Press, 2010
Boria has received national awards for e-learning, and is a mentor in the Sloan-C Certificate program in online teaching. Currently, he teaches in the graduate literature program of Mercy College, as well as liberal arts courses at Sing Sing and Taconic prisons, where he enjoys the attention of "perhaps the most engaged, interested college students in the world."

"Our Triumphant March Toward Humility", "Animals and Cultural Diplomacy", "Why the French Army Collapsed at Waterloo" and "History and Experience: Revisiting My Childhood In an FBI File" are some of the provocative entries addressing human culture and prospects on the blog he maintains for the Huffington Post, the last addressing his father's role in nuclear espionage during the Cold War. His Stealing Fire: Memoir of a Boyhood in the Shadow of Atomic Espionage relates these confusing, turbulent years in detail.

His latest project is a cultural history of lizards. For more on his writing, visit boriasax.com.

Hosted by Frank Chambers, Barnes & Noble’s Open Mic Poetry takes place (usually) on 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


Mar 21, 2016

An Evening With Poet Faith Vicinanza: 2,500 Miles, 13 Grandchildren, Four Collections—And No Cabs

Tomorrow night’s featured reader at Curley’s will be Faith Vicinanza, Newtown-based poet, nature photographer, avid gardener, arts educator, adventurer, and grandmother of 13.
Published far and wide, Faith has produced four collections of poetry to date, including Jupiter Colliding With the Sun (Hanover Press, 1995) and the following year’s In the Thick of It from the same house, which cautions the uninitiated how it is “… best for all of us that Faith is an incredibly gifted poet, not a taxi cab driver,” as she takes a no-holds-barred approach to her writing, lifting readers out of their collective comfort zone into a difficult, often confusing personal and creative journey, ultimately, proffering a welcome “… outstretched hand to return (them) safely home.”
Now busy working on two more collections, as well as a memoir, Faith has also extended her instructive skills into print via 2002’s My Not-Quite Blank Book (also from Hanover), a unique workbook co-written with screenwriter Joan Gleckler, featuring challenging exercises with a fanciful bent to stir the literary creative juices.
Faith’s own expressive flair can be enjoyed in this on-stage reading of “What One Ash of Your Bone” at the 2008 Confluencia poetry series, at Naugatuck Valley Community College, the Playbox Theater, in Waterbury:

This and other clips of her performances (and those of favorite artists) can be found on her personal video channel.
Faith is a member of the US Slam Team that competed in Stockholm in 1997; in the same year, she also served as Executive Director of the National Slam Championships and the Connecticut Poetry Festival, which, in drawing over 300 national and international poets to Middletown for five days, remains the largest poetry event in state history. Among her other accomplishments, she has been a poet laureate nominee, and earned the 2003 Connecticut Commission on the Arts Advocate for the Arts Award. 

You can read about her 100-day blog published from the road while cycling with Peter, her husband (and fellow IT specialist), 2,500 miles over 98 days from Key West, Florida to St. Stephen, Canada in the summer of 2005 at http://faithandpeter.blogs.com.

Feb 22, 2016

Poetic Notes & Creative Insights With Christie Fountain

Vijay Seshadri
Christie Fountain is a Stamford resident and unpublished writer whose muse is the United States Postal Service. 
Initially involved with the Tuesday night sessions at Curley’s in 2010, tomorrow night Christie will present notes and observations taken from a workshop on creative nonfiction she took with Vijay Seshadri, a few months after he received the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Hope Street, Glenbrook, CT
Holding a master’s degree in linguistics, Christie served on the staff of Wigwag, a short-lived general interest magazine in 1989-1990, one of a variegated range of pursuits over the years: “I’ve done a lot of things but not one thing for very long. I recently found my Pan Am stewardess uniform in a trunk in the basement. What’s that thing pinned to the blouse? Oh yes, the cockpit key.” Currently, she is founder and president of Stamford's Glenbrook Neighborhood Association.