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!

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

Oct 13, 2019

Kaaren Whitney: Turning Of The Year--And Turning A New Global Leaf

Tomorrow night's Open Mic speaker is Kaaren Whitney, a UK-based homeopath, who returns this month each year to the Connecticut from which she originally hails, sharing her most recent poetry and observations on the alternating tensions and acts of tenderness defining our associations with one another and the natural world.

Protected behind the furious media competition as to whether the terminal degradation of the biosphere will be irreversible in some twelve years, can be technologically remediated in thirty, is irreversible right now (or is even happening at all), lies a seemingly collective, half-conscious unwillingness to acknowledge the only fruitful responses that are as time-tested as they are unavoidable to any outcome—adaptation and reciprocity.
Kaaren's 2016 collaboration with photographer Jim Nind, The Turning Of the Year: A Book for 8 Seasons (Solstice-Equinox Press), marking the annual times honoring celestial shifts and ancient celebrations, is part of an ouvre which serenely, yet firmly draws attention to the interplay between these neglected perspectives and the dominant ones of obsessive appropriation and indifference.  
This weekend’s Typhoon Hagibis striking Japan is just the latest consequence of this current disregard for the wilderness beyond a collective solipsistic idea of a worthwhile reality, having struck Fukushima Prefecture--site of the world's largest ongoing nuclear disaster, which has been killing life in the Pacific for eight years.
Complementing her homeopathic practice in Suffolk, Kaaren has also constructed her own Labyrinth and walks this as a form of meditation, enhancing what she brings to several ritual groups.  In addition to taking part in three area poetry groups, Karen has appeared at the Halesworth Fringe Festival and has participated in poetry events as far as Australia. 

Catch up on some of her past appearances in Stamford here, here and here.

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


Jun 10, 2019

Terry M. Dugan: Dancing With (And Through) Adversity & Injustice

Medical researcher and writer of poetry/prose that places human-scale attention to the daunting social costs of war, violence and AIDS, Terry M. Dugan will be speaking tomorrow at PoemAlley to share her experiences as a journalist, a researcher in the 1980s at Bellevue Hosptial's Pediatric AIDS Clinic and as a lifelong social justice activist. Terry will also read material from her latest chapbook, I'm the Reason All the Kids Are Dead (Moonstone Arts Center).

As she explains below on the June 5 segment of "One On One With Vin Dacquino", Reason's title is inspired by the role of current political polarization in the failure of adults to address school gun violence throughout the United States:

Tapping the interplay between creativity and passionate advocacy (causing her dismissal from the University of Texas' graduate program, where she nonetheless earned three MAs), Terry tells past PA guest John F. McMullen on the Johnmac Radio Show of how, as a child, she began practically "(writing) before she could read" and went on to contribute to a wide range of publications, including Inkwell, New Verse News, Women's Study Quarterly, the Bellevue Literary Review and the 2007 anthology Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose On HIV/AIDS From the Black Diaspora, edited by Randall Horton, M.L. Hunter, Becky Thompson and Haki Madhubuti (Third World Press, 2007).

Her academic appearances at the Ford Foundation, Oxford University addressing human rights and AIDS in Africa, and at the Social Science Research Council on research methodology, have been complemented by invitations to read fiction and poetry at the United Nations, Hudson Valley Writers Center, the Bowery Poetry Club and Fordham University.

The piece below, which ran in A&U magazine on March 28, 2018, relates Terry's faith in the sustaining power of artistic expression against the darkness of suffering and uncertainty:

Why We Dance
Because we do the electric slide into the clinic to the tune of crying babies.
Because every day we fox trot in and out of intensive care.
Because we breakdance after rounds while waiting for lab reports.
Because we waltz into patients' rooms waving their sheet music.
Because we're sick of doing the hokey pokey with hospital administrators.
Because we tell strangers what we do and they shimmy away from us.
Because we square dance while death calls out partner changes.