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 3, 2015

An Unapologetic Pride In The Face Of Time

Tonight’s featured speaker, Robert Roth is based in New York and was born in Jackson Heights, Queens in 1943. A past participant in PA events in the Stamford area, Robert is the author of Health Proxy (Yuganta Press, 2007) and is co-editor with Arnold Sachar of And Then, an annual magazine of poetry, short prose narratives, art and photos, which has published the work of several Curley’s poets over the years.

In addition to sharing selections from his book, Robert will also discuss the evolution and continuing mission of his magazine, which, after 26 years of publication, is being recognized in literary circles for its radical inclusiveness and focus on the connection between the personal and the political—a prospect that once seemed elusive in “On the Ever Increasing Difficulty of Selling And Then”, Robert’s 1998 essay on the threatened supplanting of physical periodical media by the Internet.

Covering several decades over the course of a creative life beginning in the sixth grade, fueled by everyday experiences and thoughts on managing life, work and conscience before the ever-heavier awareness of one’s finiteness, Health Proxy embodies a quiet but brave impatience for the Easter Bunny-like pretenses that shield us from the challenges implicit in direct awareness of how things really are and the uncertainty of where we are heading. J. Stefan-Cole, in his 2008 review for Free Williamsburg, sees Robert as “…Not a tepid salesman of the self, but one to expose the good, the bad and the not so pretty.”

Good examples of his easy-going stoicism are this commentary he makes in an interview about how stronger community ties of past decades made it easier to live “decently poor”, compared with today’s more unforgiving social/economic climate and a glib description in the 2007 reading below from Health Proxy of his tenacious cat’s frail but claw-deployed final days, wherein her owner agrees with the veterinarian to “let her be killed” (as opposed to be being “put to sleep”):


“Time Stand Still”, by the 2015 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award-winning prog-rock trio, Rush (now into their fourth decade), makes for a sympathetically frank and affecting meditation on the regrets and joys of life’s passage:


Feb 2, 2015

When The Big Sad Wins

Susan Cossette-Eng (center), Development
Director, Voices of September 11th and Found-
ing Director Mary Fetchet and Frank Fetchet
Returning to the Stamford poetry scene since her last appearance at Barnes & Noble’s Open Mic program in 2012, New Canaan resident Susan Cosette-Eng will read both favorites and new material at Curley’s this Tuesday evening, including selections from Peggy Sue Messed Up, her new collection currently being shopped around to publishers (click here to read the titular piece).

Known for her semi-satirical, feminist forays into the confounding conformity of growing up in the staid, “privilege prisons” of such affluent enclaves as her own Darien, Susan (who names Sylvia Path, T.S. Eliot, Constantine Cavafy and The Beatles among her many creative influences) posts the full range of her work through her blog, MusePalace, including this empathetic tribute to beloved comedian/actor Robin Williams, who committed suicide last summer after a lifetime struggling with depression:

God’s Comic

\ -for Robin Williams
These are the days.
The big sad rolls in,

With the moon’s mud tide.

Thick fog –

Choking, rising

In a strangling surge.
If I could wish you up
I would.
If I could

Save you—

I would take you with me.
To Paris, or someplace lovely.
These are the days,

I am reminded over tea

How we are perceived–
Rays of light,

Bits of sunshine.




While we fight

The dark inside, and no one no knows.

You stood on your head,

Made me laugh–

What happens,

When the big sad wins?

There is no halftime show.

Susan also deals professionally with the pressures of upholding an external fa├žade of normalcy while dealing with  protracted internal pain on a more public level in her new capacity as Development Director for Voices of September 11th, a New Canaan-based non-profit whose services span mental health, community resiliency/preparedness and long-term support for survivors, victims’ loved ones and first responders impacted by 9/11, the Virginia-Tech massacre and other episodes of domestic mass violence and terrorism.

Coming to her new role from the New Canaan YMCA, where she last served as director of development, Susan has personal ties to the collapse of the Twin Towers, having lost a former co-worker in New York, around the time she started with the Y as Director of Marketing and Communications. Find out more about Voices and its latest work at www.Voicesofseptember11.org.

A graduate of UConn at Storrs, Susan is a recipient of the university’s Wallace Stevens Prize for Poetry in 1985 and 1986. You can read more about her background at AuthorsDen

Dec 7, 2014

Economic Justice & The Universality Of Heartache

At different times over the years serving as a lawyer, teacher and political candidate--while consistently throughout a writer and social justice activist, Richard Duffee returns to Barnes & Noble’s Open Mic as tomorrow night’s featured reader.

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2014
Ferguson, MO, 2014
Richard’s past residence and travels in India, Nepal and numerous other countries lends universal texture to his poetry, satires, commentaries and critiques, which frequently reveal the personal heartache when the forces of culture, social policy and economics collide with human need, rights and aspirations.

The Barnes & Noble Open Mic poetry program meets the second Monday of each month in the cookbook section on the main floor of the bookstore (located in the Stamford Town Center), now beginning at 7:15 p.m.

Watertown, MA, 2013
For more information, contact:

Barnes & Noble
100 Greyrock Place, Suite H009
Stamford, CT 06901