|||

Jackson Heights Poetry Festival is Profiled in The New York Times

I don’t particularly like the title, Poets Gather in Exile, in Queens,” because I certainly don’t think of myself, as a writer or in any other way, as living in exile because I make my home in Queens, NY, but I like the article very much.

It’s funny how these things happen. I took over the First Tuesdays reading series in June of this year and started hosting the series in September. K C Trommer was our first reader and it was a lovely evening, especially because we got some nice press coverage on DNAinfo. Paul DeBenedetto, the reporter who wrote that story, was so taken with the evening that he did a profile of one of the poets who read, Norman Stock, whose first book of poems, Buying Breakfast for My Kamikaze Pilot, won the 1994 Peregrine Smith Poetry Series. (Norman’s second book is called Pickled Dreams Naked.) John Leland of The New York Times read DeBenedetto’s profile of Stock and contacted me to see if there might be a story about a developing community of writer’s in Queens. John came down to our October reading, at which Lloyd Robson was the featured reader, met some of the writers who attended, and Poets Gather in Exile was the result. What I like best about the article is the way it captures the sense of a building and burgeoning community of writers, which is, for me, the most important function that First Tuesdays can serve:

For Mr. Goodrich and Ms. [Honor] Molloy, the exiles from Brooklyn, the monthly reading could not compensate for what they had lost — what they had moved to New York to be a part of. Ms. Molloy used to spend free hours toiling in the Brooklyn Writers Space; wherever she walked there were other writers, who would tell her about their readings and offer to come to hers. I feel like an expatriate,” she said, like I lost my country.” And yet. Was it really so injurious for a writer to be away from what Mr. Goodrich called the designer organic tapioca shops” or hipsters with double-wide strollers”? In two months, they had found a good wine shop, a dry cleaner, a grocery. They had run into a newly arrived actor they knew; another day they ran into the poet K C Trommer, with whom Ms. Molloy used to work at Simon & Schuster and who was also a newcomer to the neighborhood. They had met Mr. Feldstein, who told them about the reading series. It all starts to fall together,” Mr. Goodrich said.

I also–I can’t help it–like the picture that Michael Kirby Smith got of me:

I hope you’ll go read the whole piece, and I hope you’ll come to next month’s reading, with Luis H. Francia on November 13th.

Up next First Tuesdays Presents Lloyd Robson First Tuesdays Presents Luis Francia
Latest posts The Cento for October 1, 2019 David Siller at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Julia Scudiero at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Liz Gray at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Norman Stock at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Lydia Chang at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Shams A Momin at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Dan Fleshler at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Basia Winograd at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Henry Sussman at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Peter Marra at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 First Tuesdays Presents Abeer Hoque The Cento for September 3, 2019 Peter Marra, featured reader at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Malcolm Chang at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 David Siller at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Valerie G. Keane at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Patricia Carragon at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Norman Stock at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Marty Levine at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Lydia Chang at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Herb Rubenstein at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Henry Sussman at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Faizan Sayed at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 First Tuesday Joins PEN’s Break Out Initiative First Tuesdays Presents Peter Marra First Tuesdays Announces Its 2019-2020 Season First Tuesdays Presents Miranda Beverly-Whittemore First Tuesdays Presents Valerie G. Keane First Tuesdays Will Be at the Queens Literary Festival on Sunday, August 2nd First Tuesdays Will be at The New York City Poetry Festival on July 25th