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 7:30 pm at Curley's Diner on 62 Park Place (behind Target) . Come contribute, get something to eat, or simply listen!

Nov 30, 2019

NEW TIME: Ekphrastic Poets Give Voice To Social Erasure This Sunday At Close Of Franklin Street Works' "Otherwise Obscured" Exhibit

PoemAlley and other members of the area poetry community are invited this coming Sunday to a poetry salon hosted by Franklin Street Works of Stamford, featuring (above, left to right) three culturally-diverse poets, Sara Elkamel, Jan-Henry Gray, and Malcolm Tariq, who dissect normatively-imposed concepts of distortion and invisibility in relation to nationality, ethnicity and gender identity as part of their creative practice.

The free reading, beginning at 3:15 pm, is partially sponsored through the Stamford Arts & Culture Community Arts Partnership Program and complements FSW’s current exhibit, Otherwise Obscured: Erasure in Body and Text, which will end its run on January 26 with a closing party, offering a complementary wine/champagne reception and a final tour conducted by program curator Danilo Machado (right), who selected the three poets for their alignment with the themes of the program.

Based in New York City and her hometown Cairo, Sara has facilitated various writing workshops in Alexandria, Amman, Wadi Rum and other cities in Egypt and Jordan, addressing the relationship between text and the body, memory and language, the notion and physicality of pilgrimage and other topics central to her work. She holds an MA in arts journalism from Columbia University and is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at New York University. Her writing has appeared as part of the Halal If You Here Me anthology edited by Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo (Haymarket Books, 2019), as well as in The Rumpus, American Chordata, Winter Tangerine and other literary journals.

A Kundiman fellow also involved in numerous writing and poetry workshops, Philippine-born Jan-Henry Gray was raised in California, and worked as a chef in San Francisco for more than 12 years. Living undocumented in the United States for more than three decades, Jan-Henry graduated from SFU and the Columbia College Chicago’s MFA program; he earned the inaugural Undocupoets Fellowship and awards from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and the Academy of American

Jan-Henry's first book, Documents, was selected as the winner of the BOA Editions Poulin Poetry Prize in 2018. In addition to releasing a chapbook, selected emails through speCt! Books, he has placed pieces in several publications, from Chris Soto's Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color (Nightboat Books, 2018) and the Colorado Review, The Margins, Quarterly West and Puerto del Sol.

Malcolm Tariq’s
Heed the Hollow: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2019) won the Cave Canem Prize, while 2017’s Extended Play received the Gertrude Press Poetry Chapbook Contest for that year. A native of Savannah, Georgia, Malcolm’s poetry explores the invisibility and vulnerability of “the bottom” as it applies to blackness and sexuality against the backdrop of the American South. Malcolm holds a PhD in English from the University of Michigan. 

A not-for-profit contemporary art space located in downtown Stamford, Franklin Street Works has worked with more than 300 internationally exhibiting artists, curated 34 original exhibitions, and has received two Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts grants and three Fairfield County's Community Foundation grants. FSW exhibitions have also received positive reviews and features in ArtCritical, Art in America online, Art New England, Modern Painters and other major art publications. Find out more at http://www.franklinstreetworks.org.


3-6 pm

Sunday, January 26, 2019

Franklin Street Works
41 Franklin Street
Stamford, CT 06901

Terri C Smith
Creative Director

Nov 18, 2019

Ann Cefola: Listening For The Lyre Of Hope And Love In The Underworld Of the Atomic Age

Following a book launch at Fordham University of her latest title, Free Ferry (Upper Hand Press, 2017),  this Tuesday’s PoemAlley reader, Ann Cefola will share selections from her novel-length poem of the first artificial isolation of plutonium and its impact across two decades on an American family. Abutting science with mythology, Ferry depicts wife and mother Euridyce’s subsurface vacillation between the idyllic bubble of postwar suburbia and the Cold War threat of nuclear mundicide.  
As a Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Residency recipient at the Santa Fe Institute, Ann is highly prized for the faithfulness of her English-language editions, such as last year’s The Hero (Chax Press). Tapping into the hero archetype and his exploits from all angles using dramatic wording and you-are-there texture, Helene Sanguinetti’s French is complemented by a “splendidly nuanced translation,” according to Cole Swenson, “in which nothing at all is lost; the English language gains a powerful and beautiful book.”
A winner of the Robert Penn Warren Award (judged by John Ashbery), Ann also translated the same author's Hence This Cradle, from Seismicity Editions in 2007, the same year her first chapbook was released, Sugaring (Dancing Girl Press), which, in featuring her own cover art, was viewed ” by Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom as an exercise in “synesthesia involving taste and color before even reading a line.”

The blend of relaxed rhythms with striking imagery are precisely woven into narratives of redemption, love and hope in Ann’s first full poetry collection, Face Painting in the Dark (Dos Madres Press, 2014), noted by Kevin Pilkington for such pieces as “Dance in the City” and “Blue Moon”.

“Velocity”, her 2015 contribution to Joel Allegretti's Rabbit Ears (NYQ Books, 2015), the first anthology of poetry about television, exudes a similar poignancy in its consideration of new film footage of John F. Kennedy just seconds prior to his assassination, released for the first time in 2007:

You can find out more about Ann, her poetry, observations and activities both on www.anncefola.com and on her blog, www.annogram.blogspot.com.

Nov 11, 2019

Robert Zwilling: Weaving The Macrame Between What Is And What We Think It Is

Evoking the insight of naturalist Loren Eisley and the extrapolative satire of Charles Stross, or Neal Stephenson, this evening’s featured Barnes and Noble Open Mic reader, Robert Zwilling, is an environmental poet and digital artist who blends words and imagery to upturn the conventional proposition enforced by technology and materialism that if we are the rightful subject of creation, then the Earth and the cosmos are necessarily no more than objects in service to human needs.
Robert uses a kind of stream-of-consciousness writing style exploring this and other divisive follies, deliriously compressing so many concepts into a single composition, his koan-like poetry and epigrams practically demand repeated readings.

Citing such passages as "Be wary of ghost forests dead on their feet...", “A rat's brain is only a couple hundred times smaller than ours; what does size matter when the memories are real?" and "With no connection to reality, we marvel at consciousness," Virginia Arthur, in her review of his 2018 collection Life Imitating Stars (Kindle), feels Robert’s work is "meant to bend your mind, like literary macrame."

In further pursuit of universal unity, Robert’s latest, Modern Primitive Poetry: 36 Illustrated Titles Without The Words (self-published, 2019) showcases Robert’s digital photography deliberately depicting illustrated titles with the expected text left out in order to elude the „mind’s event horizon that takes everything in and returns back less than a vague idea of what is actually happening.“ 

Asteroid Fever (Dreaming News, 2018), one of his science fiction novels, plays out the murders, intrigues and piracy of a future Gold Rush in the asteroid belt beyond Mars, involving detectives able to see the past imprinted on solid surfaces, a service that hawks dreams for a decent night’s sleep, a cult of space tourists whose brains have been commandeered by nanobots and other factions set against a surreal setting where today’s growing struggle between the actual and virtual worldviews has only matured.

A member of the PoemAlley group, Robert has also released Living In The Event Horizon Of A Big Mud Hole (Books 1 and 2), More Connected Than We Think (Kindle, 2012 and 2016, respectively), Poetry Of Every Thing (Smashwords, 2018) and more on assorted ebook platforms (also available in print editions, on request).

Hosted by Frank Chambers, Barnes & Noble Open Mic meets the second Monday, each month in the movie/music section on the main floor of the Stamford bookstore at 7:15 pm. For more information and directions, contact:
Barnes & Noble
100 Greyrock Place, Suite H009
Stamford, Ct 06901