The First Woman Who Danced: A Tribute to an Ancient Art is dancer and poet Evie Ivy’s loving tribute to the ancient and mysterious art of belly dancing. Ivy has been performing Raks Sharqui for more than 20 years and has been on the poetry circuit for just as long. Just as in Ivy’s Dance of the Word open mic poetry events, The First Woman Who Danced will lure you in with veils, zills, and a haunting beat. Although her use of meter and rhyme can often be traditional, Ivy has a unique sense of style and word choice that will draw you in.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, April 18th, 2014||No Comments »|
Oliver Covington’s newest poetry collection Paper Cuts spans many different subjects, but they all have one thing in common: laser-sharp insight into the darker aspects of human nature, especially if you suffer from a mental illness. Covington explores how even supposedly well-adjusted adults can hide inner emotional scars; whether it’s from being verbally abused by their nasty sixth grade teacher or the fear of letting one’s anxiety get the better of them, his poems illuminate how difficult it is to be labeled “different” in a society that is eager to stamp out any and all non-conformity.
With biting wit, Covington’s writing allows readers to understand just how difficult it is to endlessly perform a balancing act. One wrong move, just a little too much pressure, and crack! The civilized shell will come crumbling down, exposing a tangled mess of nerves, anxiety, and soul-sucking depression that is an anathema to a society who wants everyone to be extroverted and happy 24/7. While often dark, Covington’s lyrical poetry offers comfort to those who have battled mental health issues and brings a creative sense of awareness for those who haven’t.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, April 1st, 2014||No Comments »|
Brooklyn born up-and-coming poet Anthony Vigorito is a busy man. He’s currently the MC for two open mic poetry events: Tom Kane’s Boulevard Bards, which is held the first Wednesday of every month at Dyker Height’s Boulevard Books, and Ken Siegelman’s Poetry Outreach, which is held on the last Thursday of every month at the Park Slope Barnes and Noble.
His first book of poetry, Pier 48 South Brooklyn, was published in 2010 and revolves around Vigorito’s life both as a child and as an adult living in Brooklyn. From Bay Ridge to MacDonald Avenue, lifelong Brooklynites of the Old Guard are sure to appreciate his work. Vigorito’s poetry is also quite witty as well—”Preservation” is a hysterical ode to the plastic-covered sofas that many Brooklyn Italian-Americans grew up with and details how the kids in the family always had to beware, lest they start to sweat in the summer and find themselves stuck to the couch. Also, the poem “Sister Mary Martin” will have readers giggling at the dread Catholic school students must have felt when they entered the classroom of the stern nun who appears in the piece as a sort of Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter wannabe.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, March 6th, 2014||No Comments »|
Billy Collins is a name you probably heard before. He has been hailed as “the most popular poet in America.” His poetry is even on display in subways and on the back of Metrocards. Achieving a level of fame most poets covet, Collins regularly sells out events and has served twice as the United States Poet Laureate from 2001-2003 and again from 2004-2006. During his second term as Poet Laureate, Collins was picked to be the New York State Poet for 2004.
Born on March 22nd, 1941, Collins is best known for his conversational poetry that is upbeat and witty. However, his poems also reveal a quirky and tender side, especially when it revolves around everyday routines and even on poetry itself. Collins admits that his work often appeals to people because he’s not afraid to be domestic, middle-class, and unabashedly “suburban” in his poetry.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, February 25th, 2014||No Comments »|