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!

Oct 25, 2014

A Fall Celebration Of Poetry And Music

Following-up on last winter’s cozily snowbound and well-received program of readings, music and singing (delivered with delightful off-the-cuff verve by Jane Wickham and Ralph Nazareth on the piano, respectively), as well as a video presentation on the life of Emily Dickinson, Jane has put together another PoemAlley presentation for this weekend, this time celebrating Autumn.

A resident of the Mapleview Towers senior apartment complex (around the corner from the Stamford Town Center), Jane is known as much for her handmade jewelry as for her thoughtful selection of photography and art used to spot illustrate the, by turns, locally- and Continentally-flavored pieces she shares at Curley’s.

Open to the public and PA members, alike, all are encouraged to bring a favorite poem to share, or to just to come by for a listen and to enjoy complimentary refreshments. Wear a costume, if you dare!
Community Room
Mapleview Towers
51 Grove Street (Corner of Broad and Grove)

Sunday, October 26, 2014
3-6 pm

Jane Wickham, 203-274-5474

Sponsored by PoemAlley and Curley’s Diner, this event is free; only on-street parking is permitted, unless you have a Mapleview Towers Parking Permit.

Sep 2, 2014

Souls Who Knew Things

Hoby Rosen in his studio at
Loft Artists Association
This evening PoemAlley will be holding a special group reading in front of Curley’s Diner to honor the memories and contributions of Herb Davison, Alex McDonald and Hoby Rosen, three cherished members who have passed away in recent years.

Fellow poets will gather to read some of their favorite pieces compiled for distribution by Veronica Jones in Columbus Park, embodying three lifetimes’ experience, moving observation and humor, to be followed by dinner inside.

Below is a tribute to Herb (killed on his way to PoemAlley five years ago), written by Curley’s co-owner, Eleni Anastos Begetis:

Herb Davison
At the end of your voyage, of your Stygian ride
Heed not the ebb tides with the death of the light-
dark rises shadows in the pond of the dead-
Of people like us, loved ones whom you left behind,
Lest you torture yourself those long days and restless nights.
But in the full moon, when the earth swims in static,
On those Tuesday nights when our club is alive,
Climb to the granite hills and look up to the sky.
In every star is the face of a poet,
In each breath of the wind is a poem.
Within our hearts there is sorrow,
Within our minds there is a word of wonder.
Even when you don't hear our electric comments to celebrate the spirits as we orbit,
The simple in life, our passion for poetry--to which you gave your life,
I know you are sure we speak of you as though you never left us,
Because your 'soul knows things,' like mine.

Hoby and Alex McDonald at Curley's
Besides their writing, the output of these men’s lives have encompassed--directly and indirectly--a remarkable range of areas, with profound impacts on family, friends, community and the region, from Hoby’s sculptural work and his co-founding of a summer camp for girls, Herb’s jewelry-making and his striking self-designed geodesic residence in Stamford, to Alex’s contribution of a state political figure via his son, Andrew J. McDonald, currently serving as Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Find out more about some these sorely-missed friends here.

Curley’s Diner
62 W. Park Place
(between Target and Columbus Park)


September 2, 2014
7 pm

Jul 29, 2014

An Anthropology Of Emotion

Lebanon-born Armenian poet, editor and sculptor Lola Koundakjian guest leads tonight’s PoemAlley gathering at Curley’s, sharing selections from The Accidental Observer, Advice to a Poet (an illustrated bilingual Finalist at the 2012 Orange Book Prize, Armenia excerpted here), her 20-plus years’ organizing of events dedicated to the Dead Armenian Poets’ Society and other projects.

A participant of many domestic and international poetry festivals, Lola has appeared at events in California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, as well as Manhattan’s Cornelia Street Café and the first New York Poetry Festival held in 2011; last year she was invited to the Second Festival Internacional de Poesía, in Lima, Peru and the first Mamilla International Poetry Festival in Ramallah, West Bank and will appear at the Trois-Rivières poetry festival in Canada in October.

Lola is also a pronounced presence online and in associated media, with work appearing in alpialdelapalabra (Argentina), TheLiterary Groong (University of Southern California), Mediterranean.nu (Sweden) and UniVerse: A United Nations of Poetry (Chicago).

You can listen here to “She Sent it With Love” (part of the “Above the Bridge” series, recorded live in 2011 at Ceres Gallery in Chelsea), a musing on how the preparation of a meal can prove as faithful a conduit of emotion and experience across vast distances as a letter or Skype conversation.

Hiroshima digital storytelling,
Bowery Poetry Club (2010)
Click here to watch Lola's Three Armenian Artists, a video montage of Arshile Gorky, Marcos Grigorian and one-time Stamford resident Reuben Nakian, which lovingly interweaves their lives and careers with Lola’s memories of her own formative encounters with them as a writer and ceramic artist. Likewise with the series of well-composed video postcard-like snippets of others’ performances and her travels abroad found on her YouTube channel, Lola demonstrates a deep passion for chronicling the world and the works of the people in it for posterity.

Genocide victims, Erzurum (1895) 
Between her role in the 2010 Hiroshima digital storytelling program at the Bowery Poetry Club, pluming the legacy and meaning of the Armenian Genocide in the Armenian Reporter and such appearances as the reading of “Vida” in Armenian, recited before a Colombian audience (with Spanish captions) at the  XX Festival Internacional de Poesía in Medellín in 2010, her ouvre is a unifying testament not just to the urgency of preserving life, but the wealth of personal events and too-often unsung ennobling actions shaping it that make that preservation so dear.
XX Festival Internacional
de Poesía, Colombia (2010)

Embodying her reverence for the transmission and retention of human experience and observation with an almost anthropological zeal is StoryCorps, a traveling non-profit that offers free audio recording services of life recollections shared between family members, couples, life-long friends and spouses. Below is an animation based on two of eight siblings’ account of how their strict father’s response to learning that the oldest was gay affected their childhoods:  

Find out more about this program at their website, www.storycorps.org.

Lola’s poetry and articles have been published worldwide in The Enchanting Verses Literary Review (Allahabad, India), Pakin (Beruit), Horizon Weekly (Montreal), Poetic Justice Press, Fornix (Lima) and this year’s Poems for The Hazara: A Multilingual Poetry Anthology and Collaborative Poem by 125 Poets from 68 Countries, an anthology edited by Kamran Mir Hazar (Full Page Publishing). Winner of grants from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and, most recently, the Naji Naaman literary prize in Lebanon, Lola has been editor of the multi-lingual Armenian Poetry Project since 2006.

Following attaining her M.A. from Columbia University, Lola presented academic papers in several Armenian Studies and Middle East Studies Association conferences, many of which have been included in conference proceedings in the United States, Europe and Armenia. 

She has resided in New York City since 1979. You can find out much more about, her work and activities at her website, www.lolakoundakjian.com and at her blog, http://lolakoundakjian.wordpress.com/.