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!

Apr 1, 2019

Zilka Joseph: Beauty, Chaos & The Human Condition

Pushcart nominee and 2016 finalist for the Foreword Indie Book Award, Zilka Joseph shares selections published in Mantis, Frontier Poetry and anthologies like Cheers To Muses: Works by Asian American Women (AAWAA Press, 2007), as well as from her own collections, tonight at Curley's.

Born in Bombay, raised in Calcutta and a resident of Auburn, Michigan since 1997, Zilka lays out through her work the emotionally-complex experiences and sensory observations of the life of a Jewish Indian spanning the Eastern world and the American Midwest, be it the history of the sari, mortality as it impacts people, bees, elephants and goddesses, the loss of Eden, or, as the reading below recounts from 2010's Midwest Literary Walk Community Open Mic, the varied meaning and applications of individually- and publicly-declared blessings:

Besides placing work in numerous journals, including Poetry DailyKenyon Review and Gastronomica, Zilka has also published Sharp Blue Search Of Flame (Wayne State University Press, 2016), Lands I Live In (Mayapple Press, 2007) and What Dread from Finishing Line Press; the latter two were nominated for PEN America and Pushcart Awards, respectively.

On a highly visual note is 2011's India: A Light Within, an interdisciplinary project co-written with Neem Bipin Avashia, featuring the remarkable imagery of Carnegie Mellon University's Charlee Brodsky; Light is a companion publication to a 2009 presentation of photography, Indian classical dance, prose and poetry held at the University of Michigan's Duderstadt Gallery in Ann Arbor.

Zilka teaches creative writing and is a freelance editor and manuscript coach. You can find out about her appearances, collaborations, workshop activities and more at www.zilkajoseph.com.

Remembering Caroline

PoemAlley members and friends are invited to read a poem or share a memory in tribute to Caroline Holme, a beloved and involved member of the Curley's Tuesday night community in Stamford and the Hudson Valley Writers Center in New York. Caroline passed away this past weekend.

A regular member of PoemAlley, Caroline was known both for her generous feedback on others' work as she was for her own pieces submitted to the group, which were prized by Jennifer Franklin, her instructor at the Hudson Valley Writing Center, for their blending of the "hyperbole of the metaphysical (with) the passionate interiority of the confessional".

Below is a portion of a moving letter, courtesy of Bill Buschel, from Caroline's brother, John, to Jennifer Franklin bespeaking Caroline's inspiring devotion to her favorite form of writing:

As you know, Caroline loved to write poetry. She was thoughtful, courageous and assiduous in her craft. Your skillful guidance helped her fulfill a deep desire to express herself honestly to her readers, and receive their understanding and acceptance in return. Caroline was so grateful for the guidance and understanding you offered her, and mentioned to me in several conversations how much she appreciated your gifted teaching."

Caroline also studied with Elaine Sexton at the Sarah Lawrence Writers' Institute. Her family invites friends, fellow writers and classmates to attend either or both of the following gatherings:

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
7-9 PM
Magners Funeral Home
12 Mott Street, Norwalk

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
11 AM service
the chapel in Riverside Cemetery
81 Riverside Avenue, Norwalk

Nov 12, 2018

Pat St. Pierre: “Composing Nows” In Words And Images

As this evening's Open Mic guest, Wilton resident Pat St. Pierre is a freelance writer and amateur photographer whose love for the written word and poetry, in particular, was kindled initially while attending New Canaan High School.
An admirer of the simplistic style of Emily Dickinson, Pat uses words and photography in capturing small vignettes, ranging from life's ordinary events to its darker journeys--as depicted with startling inevitability in the following from The Ephrastic Review:

The Family in the Red House

While walking through woods
Near a rambling river
I came upon a paint peeled red house

barn like in appearance,

broken window panes,
tall grasses covering old cement steps
unattended for years.

Who inhabited this red house
and where are they now?
I entered cautiously through the front door,

looked around the open space.

Dishes with cobwebs adorned
the wooden kitchen table.

Shriveled food occupied the old refrigerator.

The scene appeared as though 

a family simply disappeared.

Bedroom quilts covered most beds,
one bed remained unmade.

As I walked around

floorboards creaked like soft screams.

I slipped on a small throw rug;
moving the rug with my feet,
I discovered a trap door located in the floor.

Slowly, I lifted the rusty hinge.

There in the hollow space
were skeleton bodies.
The family stayed behind in the paint peeled red house.

Pat's award-winning adult and children's poetry, as well as assorted fiction/non-fiction, has run in The Camel Saloon, Fiction 365, Friday Flash Fiction, The Kids Ark, Silver Boomer Books, among many other venues, while her photography has graced the covers and pages of Gravel, Sediments, Our Day’s Encounter and Peacock Journal

Her first chapbook, Reality of Life, was published by Foothills Publishing, followed by Theater of Life (Finishing Line Press)--nominated in 2010 for the New England/Pen/LL Winship Award; fellow Finishing Line poet Debbie Richard considered Pat's third release, the photo-accompanied Full Circle (Kelsay Books, 2014) a “mosaic... of memories... reflect(ing) the seasons in nature, in human frailties, and in coming home again.”

An avid participant in many writing workshops over the years, Pat is a past member of the Saugatuck Poetry Group and the Rose and Thorn Literary Ezine. Go to her blog, pstpierre.wordpress.com, to view her latest photography and writing.

Hosted by Frank Chambers, Barnes & Noble’s Open Mic Poetry program meets the second Monday of each month on the main floor of the bookstore (located in the Stamford Town Center), beginning at 7:15 p.m.

For more information, contact:

Barnes & Noble
100 Greyrock Place, Suite H009
Stamford, CT 06906