First readings

Old Songs Community Arts Center

Had a great road trip to Voorheesville (west of Albany) on Sunday. I read at the Old Songs Community Arts Center as the featured guest of the Sunday 4 Poets series. It being my first reading following the publication of my first full-length book, I told the gathering that I felt like I should wear a yamulke, say “Today I am a poet,” and read a passage from “The Waste Land.” Poetry humor.

Voorheesville has a great infrastructure for poets–the venue, formerly the public library, now hosts world-class music performances and was running its annual 3-day music festival nearby, to the delight of 6,000. I drew a somewhat smaller crowd. Also, there is a nearby tavern, which serves great food and reserves a “Poet’s Corner,” where the notorious discussions and disputations of the word-smacked can continue without undue disruption of the public order.

And nearby Delmar is the base of operations for my overnight host, Alan Casline, whose Benevolent Bird Press published my chapbook, The Water I Carry, in 2008, and whose Rootdrinker Institute has North Country roots itself, in the magazine Rootdrinker, printed once upon a time at my old Potsdam printshop. Alan laid on a historical exhibit of Raquette River Printshop artifacts before the reading, including work I had long forgotten, and some I wish I could.

This week it is on to Clayton. I will be reading Thursday at 5 pm at Winged Bull Studio on James Street in Clayton–the stomping ground of Greg Lago, whose wood engravings add so much to A Drop of Ink. We promise to wrap up in time for folks to grab a bite before the Orchestra of Northern New York Concert at the Clayton Opera House.

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