Last night was the first of four found poetry workshops that we’re teaching at Philly’s Fleisher Art Memorial. We’re working with the Teen Lounge students to explore various found poetry techniques (blackout, cut-up, overheard, artifact, list, etc) to engage in the idea that literature is everywhere. Special thanks goes to Teen Lounge coordinator (and poet) Maryan Captan, and our friend and mentor, Jenny Hill, who introduced some of these techniques to us last spring in her Tellus 360 workshop.
We’ll be at Fleischer once a week throughout March. Our end goal is to create a collaborative zine of the students’ work.
If you want to learn more about the incredible work that the people at Fleisher are doing for the arts and arts education in Philadelphia, check out their site!
Also, Check out out interview with Maryan Captan from last fall.
WITF (89.5FM) did a feature story about The Triangle! It’s scheduled to air today (Wednesday 3/5) at 6:30am, 8:30am and 12:30pm.
Many thanks to Joe Ulrich (Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host) for his work putting this together and to Le Hinton for his willingness to be interviewed!
You can also check out the story at the WITF website by visiting http://www.witf.org/arts-culture/2014/03/the-triangle-finding-the-writing-community-in-central-pa.php.
Hope to see you around town at some literary events soon!
Visual Interviews are where we send a writer a disposable camera and a list of ideas to photograph along with a few short questions. Once the camera is mailed back, we develop the photos and arrange them collage style to give you a unique glimpse into the life of the writer we’ve selected. Check out past Visual Interviews and stay tuned because we have Elisa Gabbert, John Mortara, Jim Goar, and Lindsay Hunter coming up over the next couple of months!
Anis Mojgani is a spoken word poet, visual artist and musician based in Austin, Texas. Mojgani the author of three poetry collections, all published by Write Bloody Publishing: Songs From Under the River (2013), The Feather Room (2011), and Over the Anvil We Stretch (2008). Series sponsored by Tellus360 and compiled by Erin Dorney and Tyler Barton.
Photographs and text by Anis Mojgani: a) Anis Mojgani’s house; b) the first thing Anis Mojgani sees when he wakes up; c) all of the Write Bloody books on Anis Mojgani’s shelf; d) the Texas flag; e) a nearby coffee shop where Anis Mojgani does most of his writing; f) Anis Mojgani’s distraction (the “internet”).
The Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel is a weekly reading series held at the Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg. It’s hosted by the tireless Christian Thiede and it begins at 7pm. Every week Thiede invites a new featured reader to perform after the open reading portion, and this week it’s us! (Tyler Barton and Erin Dorney). Some recent past features include our friends Daina Savage and Le Hinton. We’re very excited and hope to see some familiar faces. If you’re in Harrisburg tonight, stop by!
Hey poets, performers, and storytellers…
I’ve been organizing and hosting Poetry Aloud for over two years now in Lancaster city at The Ware Center. This spring we’ll be holding the event on April 4th at 6:30pm (Click here to view the Facebook Event page!) We’ve had the pleasure of seeing incredible spoken word poets such as Anis Mojgani and Andrea Gibson in 2013. This year, we’ve got Jon Sands, a poet from NYC who’s really carved out a specific style of the genre for himself. He’s an incredible and unique performer said to, “take absolute possession of the room,” when he performs.
Most importantly, Poetry Aloud has given over 50 local writers of all ages and experience-levels a chance to show their work during the open readings. Check out some of the performances from last fall:
We have room for about 12 open mic performers. Your spot would be 2-3 minutes. Please email me directly @ tylerstevenbarton AT gmail DOT com if you’re interested!
2014 has showcased snow storm after snow storm. The Furniture Press Poetry Reading & Open Mic was initially scheduled for December, but snow happened. And what do you know, but there was snow for the rescheduled day, too. Not too much snow this time, enabling attempt 2.0 to go down without any problems at Tellus360 in Lancaster, PA. Organized by The Triangle and Furniture Press Books, the event placed poets from Lancaster, Baltimore, and New York on the same bill.
As a venue, Tellus360 provides an excellent atmosphere. While their standard events tend to be live music (particularly folk/jazz), they host a variety of non-musical events as well. One of their stages is set up near the bar, in front of large, curtained windows overlooking King Street. Tellus360 is comforting; the way they’ve crafted the bar/dining room area brings to mind a fine restaurant with a surprisingly casual attitude. It’s a fine line that they’ve done a good job of balancing. This atmosphere contributed to the reading, with seats at the bar filling up, forcing people to sit on the grand staircase and gather in the back. Not a bad turnout for a Saturday afternoon with a lazy snowfall…
The event was split into two sections: an open mic reading and then five featured poets: Andrew Sargus Klein, Christophe Casamassima, Iris Marble Cushing, Daina Savage, and Jennifer Hill. Poetry events in Lancaster sometimes seem to cater to specific demographics, but it became obvious during the open reading that this event was different. There was an interesting cross-section of area writers who shared their art with us, creating an exhilarating effect. This variety showed itself through the topics presented, the styles written, and the reading voices used. Each person who stepped on stage brought something new and engaging to the table.
An open reading will highlight general local talent, however the featured performers are where an event really flexes its muscles. The first headliner was Andrew Sargus Klein, a Baltimore-based poet who infuses his poetry with pop culture. His poems flowed in a stream-of-consciousness way, allowing ideas to naturally follow one after the other. Klein has a keen eye for the little quirks that we take for granted. In bringing these out and highlighting them, we, as an audience, were confronted with new perspectives on everyday life. There were points where he’d interrupt himself mid-delivery to give a little anecdote or explanation before relaunching into the piece. Although that stream-of-consciousness made Klein’s poetry a bit hard to follow, his confident delivery helped to make each line compelling.
Daina Savage has been a stalwart figure in the Lancaster poetry scene and was named the second Poet Laureate of Lancaster County. Her poems revealed a sense of somber wonder, creating a more serious tone than the other readers utilized. One of the strengths of Savage’s reading was the way she used similes to bring about new ways of examining life. Using a polished, intentional wordplay that matched her reading style, Savage spun a beautiful array of images. Her pacing was slow, giving each word the attention it needed. Pauses helped give and reveal layers to what she was saying.
The editor of Furniture Press Books is Christophe Casamassima, another Baltimore-based poet. A bundle of energy on stage, Casamassima demanded audience attention from the outset, both with his reading voice and his penchant for requesting input from the audience. Yet the requests often came off as rhetorical, as Casamassima didn’t allow enough time for the audience to grapple with the question before he was bounding off to something else.
The fourth featured reader, Jennifer Hill, is a Lancaster-based writer and all-around arts/performance icon. Hill read with a crystal-clear voice—she knows how to make a sentence sound amazing. There was a wry quality to Hill’s work that made it feel like she was addressing each audience member directly. This talent for communication flowed naturally into using the audience in her performance. Hill wanted (and expected) engagement from the people listening to her, and had us standing and shouting at specific points. It’s was a level of interaction that few poets could have pulled off, but Hill quickly gained the audience’s trust and guided us in order to remove our sense of embarrassment.
The event came to a close with Iris Marble Cushing of New York. Cushing’s poems—and her performance—created a dialogue with the audience. Although the audience didn’t participate with her the way they did during Hill’s performance, Cushing’s level of engagement provided that same sensation. She conveyed ease at being on stage as her eyes casually drew everyone in to catch every word. Cushing told stories that were easy to comprehend, due in no small part to the flexibility of her voice. Some of it was the tone and quality, which switched between smooth and measured to a more natural speaking voice, but a lot of it had to do with how she made use of unexpected pauses to allow lines and words to linger in the listener’s mind. Other times she’d draw words out or dance over them. It was a hypnotic effect.
While only a two hour event, the Furniture Press Reading and Open Mic delivered a wide selection of poetry styles and reader aesthetics. It’s the sort of event that makes you happy at the time, while lingering long after the event is over.
Thank you to Bruce Bakker for creating the above video highlighting the Furniture Press Reading and Open Mic event at Tellus360!
First of all, if you use this site, if you read our articles, if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, if you attend any literary events, we want to say THANK YOU. We’ve been working on The Triangle for almost a year now. There’s still a lot to do and explore in the south central Pennsylvania literary community. We’re excited (as always) about everything that is going on.
Our site is evolving and we’re going to start posting here more frequently, including things like:
- news about The Triangle and the literary community at large
- event updates (changes in times, scheduling, etc) and reminders
- pictures from literary events that we either host or attend
- book reviews, event reviews, and general commentary (hopefully featuring some new contributors!)
As always, we’ll continue with our writer interviews and Visual Interview series. There will be one of those each posted every month. We encourage readers to share these articles as well as comment and give us feedback. Remember, you can always email us with questions, ideas, or if you need help with booking an event at thetrianglepa [at] gmail [dot] com.