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!

Feb 11, 2018

Music, Lyrics (And Logistics) With Bill Hayden

Tomorrow evening’s featured poet/guitarist at Barnes and Noble’s Open Mic is Norwalk resident and PoemAlley regular Bill Hayden, who first gravitated toward music, painting and writing around age seven growing up in the Truesdale Lake are of South Salem, New York.

Following studies in Spanish Literature at Columbia College at Morningside Heights, Bill originally came to Connecticut from Manhattan to join the staff of The Little Apple, a short-lived poetry and arts magazine showcasing photography, poetry and interviews with artists of the Fairfield County area.  

Brother Sun
Complementing a career in international logistics, Bill upheld a dedicated participation in numerous poetry workshops (led by Agnes De Haviland, Dale Shaw and others) and readings in assorted SoNo venues over the years, as well as working with his wife Brandi to make their own “The Good Folk Coffeehouse” series a monthly mainstay of the Rowayton Methodist Church. “Good Folk” has presented a wide range of singer-songwriters and spoken word artists over the last quarter-century, most recently Brother Sun and Bill Staines.
Bill Staines

In the 1970s Bill and Brandi (who will be joining Bill in duets tomorrow) also took to the stage with fellow Norwalk resident Walt Graham as Suede, their folk-rock band, performing both original material and covers throughout the county, contributing a set as part of the Norwalk Oyster Festival one year.  

Organized by Frank Chambers, Open Mic meets the second Monday of each month, beginning at 7:15, in the CD/DVD section of the Stamford Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Please come and listen to local poets, bring a favorite poem, or read your own poetry.

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

Dec 18, 2017

Robert Roth: “In Our Essential Beauty And Defiance”

Hailed by Free Williamsburg for his rebellious, undiluted style reminiscent of Norman Mailer, Robert Roth’s poetry and assorted convention-rattling discourses on life, social justice, hierarchical presuppositions and many other subjects hits the senses like a stiff breeze at a time when exchanges over crucial issues too often get sidelined by fears of stoked, or even concocted sensitivities.  
Robert will be reading from Health Proxy (Yuganta Press, 2007) and Book of Pieces (2016) this Tuesday at Curley’s. Spanning 35 years of writing, his latest collection complements commentary and poetry with an interview and a libretto, and is released through And Then, his ad-free, reader-supported literary journal, which in the past has also published material by Rona D. Schenkerman and other PoemAlley members. 

Together with co-founder Arnold Sachar, Robert has used the annual (now in its third decade) as a platform to explore the ties between the individual and the political through relating experiences via art, photography, poetry or short prose. 

Robert currently resides in New York (check out this 2010 biographical interview with Dyske Suematsu on Vimeo) and likes to think of the PoemAlley community as “his home away from home”. 

The “Green Fuse” spring poetry celebration, a 2010 co-presentation of PA and Stamford’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Robert appears in the video highlights below at 5:29) is one of numerous area poetry activities to which he has contributed over the years:

You can get further details about Robert, his writing and social observations, as well as And Then here; reach Robert for information on ordering the latest issue at roblroth@gmail.com.

Dec 6, 2017

"In The Land Of the (Willfully) Blind": Poets In Conversation With Ralph Nazareth And Duane Esposito

Ralph Nazareth
Duane Esposito
In addition to reading their own work, Ralph Nazareth and Duane Esposito, Thursday night's guests of the Norwalk Poet Laureate’s Poets In Conversation series, will also discuss favorite subjects, respective approaches to the craft and their ideas as to its purpose and necessity—especially in today’s unsettling times.
Ralph’s 2017 follow-up to 2005’s Ferrying Secrets, Between Us the Long Road (released by Owlfeather Collective as a fundraising vehicle for a non-profit he co-founded [see below]), while featuring pieces of phantasmagoric satire, outrage, desire, mourning and more penned before the current administration, nevertheless maintains a well-timed propulsive inevitability in its critique of everything from the simplistic allure of parochial political thinking (“Oil Change”), intercultural contact/assimilation (“The Song Of the Plumber”) and unexpected exultation and hope (“The Eyes Of Gaza").

In particular, the Ozymandean spectre of unconscionable destruction (“The Long Oar”) versus the sensitive demands of the child (“Listening To the Radio On the Way To the Nursery”, "After Night Prayers"), whose logic we dismiss for some mad definition of the “practical”, challenges the reader to consider just who the real grown-up is.

The urgency of this juxtaposition is matched with uncomfortable fidelity by Rush’s authoritative performance of their thirty-three-year-old song “Distant Early Warning”, released at the height of the last period of threatened nuclear conflagration:

Duane’s own writing wrestles on similar ground to his friend Ralph’s (especially as to the ultimate indifference of time and Nature to our comparatively ephemeral concerns), constellating about suffering, the burden of knowing (both for the individual and the society) and, as the following video of his “In the Whitecaps Of Pain” suggests, the alienation associated with both:

A professor of English at Nassau Community College, from where Ralph retired in the same capacity, Duane spoke at Curley’s Diner in 2012 and has appeared in numerous literary publications. He has three collections, including Cadillac Battleship (Broken Tribe Press, 2005) and Declaration For Your Bones (Yuganta, 2012). A Long Island resident, he received an MFA from the University of Arizona; in 1994 his writing was selected by Diane Glancy for an Academy of American Poets Award. You can find out about Duane’s latest writing and appearances on Facebook here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017
7-8:15 pm

Norwalk Public Library
(Main Library Reading Area)

1 Belden Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06850

Cynde Bloom Lahey
Director of Library Information Services

Poets In Conversation is a free program of the Norwalk Public Library, organized by Pushcart Prize-nominated Laurel Peterson, Norwalk Poet Laureate; learn more about the participants and the series by contacting Laurel directly at laurelpeterson@att.net.


Proceeds from the sale of each copy of Between Us the Long Road will be donated to GraceWorks International, a charitable organization based in India, co-founded by Ralph (a Mangalore native), providing humanitarian outreach to countries in the developing world. Structured on a less intermediated basis than most other non-profits, 100 percent of donations go directly to people in need.