Tag Archives: St. Mark’s Church

JOIN US: Poets For Change Celebratory Reading At St. Marks Church!

Clear your calendar and join us Friday, 10pm, September 28, 2012 at St. Marks Church for the opening night of a weekend full of events on behalf of 100,000 Poets for Change! The Poetry Project is hosting an open reading commemorating the Occupy Wall Street and the 100,000 Poets for Change communities. For those unfamiliar with 100tpc, September 29, 2012 marks the second annual global event of 100tpc, a grassroots organization that brings poets, artists and musicians (new this year) together to call for environmental, social, and political change, within the framework of peace and sustainability. The local focus is key to this global event as communities around the world raise their voices through concerts, readings, workshops, flash mobs and demonstrations that speak to the heart of their specific area of concerns, such as homelessness, ecocide, racism and censorship. This past year the Occupy Wall Street movement has been a major force diligently working for a better, more sustainable, more imaginative world, so it’s only natural that 100tpc and the poets of Occupy Wall Street join forces for the opening night of a weekend of 100tpc inspired readings (link to all the 100tpc readings happening in NYC).

In honor of the inventive spirit and the continual striving for inclusivity conducted by Occupiers this past year, the open-to-all who wish to participate reading at St. Marks Church will be held in an experimental way. The intent of this experiment is to break from the confines of routinely structured open mic nights. Instead of focusing the night on individuals confined to a time limit, the night aims to bring everyone in attendance together to create one, fantastic, long, meandering poem which encompasses everyone in attendance and focuses on the collective experience.

Upon arrival at St. Marks, poets will choose a word they feel an attachment to or a word that represents them or that they’re particularly fond of or think funny, etc – just pick a word! One word per person and one person per word (first come/ first pick). When choosing a word, please be mindful that you’re in a room full of people that also want to have a chance to read. Volunteers will ensure no one picks the same word and will prod anyone (the less imaginative poets seeking the limelight) that wants to pick a highly used word, to come up with another choice. (example words not to pick: and, or, is, the, it, your, my, a, no, yes, etc).

Choose a word that you’re pretty sure will be called. Chances are good no one will read a poem with the word glossolalia (meaning: fluent nonsense) in it, unfortunately. The word a poet chooses will be their key to read for the evening. Every time a poets’ word is read by another poet, the poet whose word was read will stand up, display their word, (which will signal the poet that was reading to stop and sit down) and then begin reading. The reading poet will continue until one of their words signals for another to begin. Please bring a range of poems and stretch that vocabulary, as every time your word is said you can/should read from a different poem or a different section of a poem already read from… the goal of the night is to get everyone reading fragments and pieces of work, with everyone’s work bleeding and melding into each others…. that said, a poet may only get one word in before the next reader begins or a poet may read 2 – 3 – 4 – 5(doubtful) poems before the next poet is signaled to begin. The amount of times and the length of time will entirely depend on the size of the crowd and words people read and chose. Hopefully this will create space for us to ruminate (in a fun and playful manner) on our interconnectedness, while we simultaneously create a completely original-communal body of work.

If someones word is never said, the poet can read a poem at the end of the night for our livestream cameras (up to three minutes// also let us know if you wish to not be filmed as we’ll have a special section of the room for you). Livestream cameras will be filming the night so people around the world can tune in. Eventually the night will be transcribed (unless a poet wishes their work be withdrawn), and the results will be posted here. However, if it’s getting late into the night and your word hasn’t been read, I’d encourage letting your neighbors know and would encourage people to create new poems as the night goes on with the words of those around you. Everyone should invest their energies into getting everyone multiple chances to add to the collective poem.

Also, as part of the night, I’m working on creating an installation of sorts, so the space has a nice feel and some decor to go along with the communal spirit we’ll hopefully all be embracing. I sent out an email to the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology list serv (if you didn’t get it and want to be on the list serv please let me know – stephenjboyer@gmail{dot}com), asking poets to email me one photo of themselves or a photo that they feel represents themselves– I might use them as part of the nights installation (technology provided). So if you want a photo of yourself or one that represents you to be included in the installation (as long as everything comes together), then please email me a photo as soon as possible… I’m still accepting and hoping to receive more photos. Also on display the night of the 28th, will be a copy of the final version of the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, as well as the original versions that were in the park. A table will be set up as a communal poetry library/bookstore. Poets should bring copies of their work to give away, sell or trade (zines, chapbooks, whatever)!!! It’s up to the poet as to whether or not they want their contribution sold, shared, or for display purposes… whatever items a poet brings the night of, if it’s not gone by the end of the night please be prepared to take it home with you.

And finally! Volunteers are needed to make this night happen! All volunteers will be loved forever. And don’t worry– volunteers will fully be able to participate in the reading, so volunteers don’t have to worry about missing out on any part of the night. In fact, volunteers will have the honor of knowing they’re essential to making the night run smoothly. If you’re interested in helping with setting up the space the night of the 28th, or helping with livestream, or helping people pick/assign words upon entry, or looking after the book table (sales/distribution/ensuring books that aren’t to leave remain at the table) or if you’re available to help paint a few things a few days before the 28th or if you want to send me some ideas or moral support –please email me at stephenjboyer@gmail{dot}com.

St. Marks Church is located at 131 East 10th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenue in the East Village (google map). The reading starts at 10pm on September 28th and (crowd permitted) will run till around midnight… Really hope to see you there! And remember to wear something fun ‘cuz the night is going to be viewed by people from all over the world! There is an $8 suggested donation (helps support the Poetry Project), but no one will be turned away for lack of funds! Invite your friends! All are welcome.

And in case my explanation of the night is really confusing, here’s a more visual example of the way the night will proceed:

The following text excerpts are from the OWS Poetry Anthology -except for the second Adrienne Rich poem, which is from an article in The Nation. This was put together for example purposes only and isn’t intended to be an actual representation of the poets whose work was used.

Poet A (Adrienne Rich / chosen word is mother):

Ankles shackled
metalled and islanded
holding aloft a mirror, feral
lipstick, eye-liner

Poet B (Stephen Boyer / chosen word is eye-liner):

gazing into my crystal ball

Poet C (Jeffrey Grunthaner – chosen word is ball):

ad execs of the busyness where L-U-C-K’
s godly, & death’s even possible
by imbibing kitty emetics. O, the miser-
able remnants left on the aortic sidewalk!

Poet D (Filip Marinovich – chosen word is sidewalk):

You lose everything except your S.U.V.
even your children all 8 of them murdered
8 infinity symbol stood up straight
8 double-headed lariat noose cut loose
I fit my Gemini heads through two yellow loops
flying through deep space to meet Mother

Poet A (Adrienne Rich – chosen word is mother):

Saw you walking barefoot
taking a long look
at the new moon’s

Poet E (Ama Birch – chosen word is moon):

Dear President,
Leader of the free world,
Remember who pays your rent
Is wisdom’s pearl.

White House
Turned Brown
Cherry blossom mouse
Cheering sound.

Chopper, Chopper.
Swirling winds.
Marker, Marker.
Light ray blends.

Eggs are laid on the lawns.
You must protect your pawns.

Sincerely,
Ama Birch

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Filed under Announcements, Free Speech, Party time!, Poetry, Stephen, Time Travel

OWS Poetry Anthology Update 11

The 11th update of the OWS Poetry Anthology is officially online, here. The latest update has about a hundred pages of poems and some poetic oil paintings that cartoonist/artist, Sharon Rosenzweig, shared with us. One of her works is the above image.

All poems are welcome to be added to the anthology. If you would be so kind as to send poems in the following format (size 12, TIMES font):

TITLE (bold)
by, Author (normal)
for JOE JOHN (italics)
SOMEWHERE, FARAWAY (italics)

BODY OF POEM (your unique vision!)

The OWS Poetry Anthology is open to all languages! Every week more and more languages are added to the anthology as more and more poets from around the world are joining in to make this text more nuanced. I’m very sorry, I’m limited to English so please pass this on in other languages if you possess such magickal abilities. No poem will be translated as that creates a heirachy of language. However, if the poet who sends in a poems wishes to include the poem in more than one language, all the versions will be added.

Everyone is also welcome to contribute to the “POETIC INTRODUCTIONS” section of the anthology. The introduction section is a place for “essays/writings/stories” about what the Anthology means to you. It’s a space for you to write an introduction for the anthology.

On February 17th, at St. Marks Church, the Poetry Project is honoring the OWS Poetry Anthology with a celebratory reading. It’s free! The reading will be held in the same fashion as the OWS Poetry Assemblies, Poets will put their names in a “hat” and every reader will call the next reader at random. You can see this style of reading in action by watching the recent OWS Poetry Assembly that was held at the Bowery Poetry Club here.

Because the event is taking place at St. Mark’s Church we are going to be able to offer poets more time to represent their work. Depending on the size of the crowd, poets will have 6-10minutes to read their work. All are welcome to join.

And remember, Feel free to print and distribute the anthology as you envision the anthology should look, however, I encourage you to spread it as its intended to represent all that have contributed.

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Filed under Poetry, Stephen

All Languages are Needed for the Poetry Anthology


The Occupy Wall St. Poetry Anthology is blossoming!

Yesterday Patti Smith came to the People’s Library. She dropped off about ten copies of Just Kids and signed them and I showed her the poetry anthology and she liked it and we talked about Allen Ginsberg and the occupations in Spain and she told me she has been recovering from bronchitis but wants to get better and do more and I couldn’t stop glowing!! And then Patti left to walk around the park and some woman came up to me and was like, “HEY, CAN I TAKE A PICTURE OF YOU, YOU HAVE THE BIGGEST SMILE!” And I was like, “SURE, PATTI SMITH WAS JUST HERE! SHE’S ONE OF MY GREATEST LOVES!!” And then Patti came back! I was stocking books and noticed Patti had taken off her boots and gave her wool socks to an elderly woman sleeping in the park. It was so incredibly real and so incredibly altruistic/humble and I ran back up to her and we talked some more about her recent trip to Madrid, the marches she’s been going and the incredible spirit sweeping the globe. I told her I gave her poems after her performance/reading celebrating her anniversary of her first reading at St. Marks and she said she still has them. Then we exchanged info so we can try to set up a time for her to read/talk at the peoples library, so hopefully she’ll come down to the library! And hopefully she’ll send poems for the anthology!

Today the Wall St. Journal published an article on the anthology! And the anthology seems to continually get better! And it’s imperative we get someone that is a master of many languages to join the anthology so that the anthology isn’t English-centric. We need someone that can wrangle in poets from many languages so the poetic spirit of the anthology transcends language barriers. I feel the poems shouldn’t be translated as that would create a hierarchy of language. Instead, poets from all languages should contribute their poems and it’s up to the readership to evolve so they can appreciate the vastness of language! So please, please help me spread the word so the many poetic voices of all the languages of the world can contribute to this massive text of dissidence, a testament to the infinite beauty of the human spirit.

And if your language is an oral language then by all means come to the library, grab a copy of the anthology and repeat your poems continuously!!

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Filed under Announcements, Poetry, Stephen