Happy Birthday Langston Hughes

February 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Paul Hecht‘s ongoing series celebrating the birthdays of poets with words and music continues this Monday with an evening devoted to the life and work of Langston Hughes. Hosted & directed by Hecht, featuring the mighty and sometimes mohawked Malesha Jessie, pianist Ellen Mandel, and actors Denise Burse, Michael Early and Phillip James Brannon.

Feb 13, 6pm. Visit our lovely website or call 212/989-9319 to make reservations.


Hydrogen Jukebox To Debut First Record; Ne’erdowells Believed Partly Responsible

October 25, 2011 § 2 Comments

On Thursday Brant Lyon’s mainstay word & music series Hydrogen Jukebox will release Hydrogen Jukebox with The Ne’erdowells: brain ampin’, inscribing forever in polycarbonite plastic their Café-honed home brew of poetry and live improvisatory music. For over two years Lyon & his compats have come together in our Downstairs alongside ageless vetrans and upstart open-mic astronauts, turning loose planned spontaneity every month like fine-cut spinning tops.  The album is a full-stop studio-made production that, in these words from Mr. Lyon’s latest message to the press, “brims with all the unpredictability and verve of poets performing at Hydro Juke’s live shows, while brilliantly showcasing the talents of the band—Davey Patterson, guitar; Matt Riganese, keys; Mary Noecker, bass; and Ry Pilla, drums—and their uncanny ability to strike the right note in endlessly inventive ways.”

The spoken word, meanwhile, “covers a dizzying array of topics ranging from the dangers of a hyper-digitalized world and virtual reality dystopias, to a neo-Beat groove, gospel-inflected tribute to Langston Hughes and Allen Ginsberg, a punk rock romp through a phantasmagoria of mind-bending images, bittersweet Coney Island reminiscences, and more.” All this intoned by familiar names; the record features work by David Lawton, Jane LeCroy, Peter Carlaftes, Thomas Fucaloro, Karl Roulston, Puma Perl, Brant Lyon, Frank Simone, Robert Gibbons, Jane Ormerod, and Kat Georges, no strangers to our Café and its friends.

Hydro Juke will celebrate the birth of their CD baby at an All-Star Show & Release Party to be held Thursday, October 27th from 6-8pm. Artists featured on the record will present their work alongside ziggurat stacks of freshly shrink-wrapped compact discs, gleaming in anticipation of your embrace. For those who don’t know Brant & his crew, it’ll be top-knotch 101; for longtime fans, surely a happy reunion, and a great chance to directly support work from the artists you cherish.

Richard Hoehler

March 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

After a brief haitus, 29 Cornelia Street returns with a shift in focus: from the events of the underground to the artists, performers and extended families that populate our stage and salon. As their lives and works intertwine, they knit together the reverberant community that makes the Cornelia Street Cafe a space apart.

Last Wednesday, Richard Hoehler–playwright, actor, and arts educator, duly published and veteran of countless performances everywhere from off-Broadway to on TV–came Downstairs to break new personal ground amidst old friends. For the first very first time on stage, he read poetry. The work was from “poemz for dayz”, a forthcoming collection inspired by his experiences teaching theater to New York City high schoolers. Before new work greets its wider audience, Hoehler brings it to Cornelia for experimentation and the special feedback that emanates from its intimate audiences. “I’ve done talkbacks and such,” he explained over the phone the following day, “and it’s never quite the same. The comments are from the head, and by the time you hear them, their moment has passed.” In a room just larger than a Cadillac, performers acutely experience their work’s peaks and valleys as it leaves the stage to permeate those assembled. “It’s more than just if jokes draw laughs. It can’t be explained, but you learn to feel where you’ve got attention and emotion, and where things fall.” So it was both times Hoehler was developing his one-man shows, so it has been with each appearance since he was first brought to Cornelia for a reading years ago by Susan Chacko. His performance that night caught Robin’s ear, and he was invited back to recur regularly. “Cornelia Street Cafe is a safe place,” he said. Like so many who appear here, he was ushered in by a friend of his and came to be a friend of Ours.  Hoehler returns in August to debut a new one-man play; his poetry will be findable soon on his website.

Anne Waldman

February 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

[photo: margaret randall]

On Friday, February 26th Cornelia is very pleased to welcome  Anne Waldman. Born in Jersey, raised on MacDougal Street, Waldman is one of the Village’s most prolific and well-traveled denizens. Her poetry has gained her both accolades and readership throughout the world, with work translated into French, Italian, German, Turkish, Spanish, and Chinese. She is as much student as artist, as much archivist as creator, maintaining an extensive collection of art, literature, correspondance and ephemera at the University of Michigan. You can learn more and in-depth here and see her read for just $7. She is accompanied tomorrow night by her nephew’s Montrealais jazz ensemble.

Poetry & Spoken Word Outlook: Bob Quatrone, 5 Spices and Jon Curley.

February 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

[All performances begin at 6pm unless otherwise noted]

Tuesday, February 16th: Pitchers, Catchers and Hitters, featuring Pete Kearney, Frank Messina and Greg Prince. On this first day of spring training, we celebrate baseball, and for good measure we also celebrate boxing. Playboy calls Frank Messina “One of the most widely recognized young poets in America.” He’s also a die-hard Mets fan who authored four books including the critically acclaimed Full Count: The Book of Mets Poetry (Lyons Press).

Greg Prince is the co-author, along with Jason Fry, of the very popular blog, Faith and Fear in Flushing, which was recently featured in the January 27th Village Voice cover story as one of “Gotham’s Best” blogs. He’s also the author of the book, Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets (Skyhorse Press). Greg will be reading from his book as well as sharing insights into what’s in store for the Mets in 2010.

Pete Kearney has boxed for the Floral Park Boy’s Club, the U.S. Navy -McMurdo Sound Antarctica- the New York Daily News Golden Gloves and the Echo Park Boxing Club of West Hempstead. His writing addresses a lifelong interest in getting punched in the face.”

Also on Tuesday at 8:30pm, Sherry Weaver’s Speakeasy: Stories from the Back Room, featuring Greg Walloch, Martin Dockery, Leslie Goshko, Gabrielle Selz, William Mullin and John Flynn.

Wednesday, February 17th it’s the George Wallace Poetry Explosion, an open mic event this week featuring poet Clarity.

Friday, February 19th is the latest installment of the legendary Son of Pony open mic series, hosted by Kat Georges. This week we welcome Bob Quatrone, who has written poetry since the late 1960s at Columbia, where his Master’s study on the creative process in Yeats earned him a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. His poetry has been published in the Aquarian, Passaic Review, Lips and the literary ezine, The 4 Horsemen, where he is editor-in-chief. You can peep the Facebook invite here.

Saturday, February 20th, the Greek-American Writers Association convenes.

Sunday, February 21st, four writers arrive from 5 Spice Press. Lois Adams spent part of her early childhood in the Middle East, in Beirut and in Saudi Arabia, and part of her adolescence in South Korea. She has lived since then in and around New York City, where she works as an editor in the field of children’s book publishing. She is the author of the chapbook Body and Soul, published by 5 Spice Press, and is one of the coauthors of To Genesis, a collection of poems also by 5 Spice Press. Patricia Markert was born and grew up in Syracuse, New York. While she was an undergraduate at the University of Iowa, she edited Me Too, a literary magazine, with Mary Swanson. Since moving to New York City, she has worked in the publishing industry and is now a librarian. Constance Norgren is the author of the chapbook Same Boat and co-author (with Lois Adams, Barbara Elovic and Patricia Markert) of To Genesis, both from 5 Spice Press. She has poems published in West Branch, Common Ground Review and Yankee – as well as in other journals. She has been a teacher of young children for over thirty years and lives with her family in Brooklyn. Pui Ying Wong is a native of Hong Kong and is bilingual in English and Chinese. She is the author of two chapbooks: Mementos (Finishing Line Press, 2007), Sonnet for a New Country (Pudding House Press, 2008). Her poems have appeared in The Asian Pacific American Journal, Blue Fifth Review, DMQ Review, 5 AM, New York Quarterly, Poetz. An interview with her at Southern Bookman can be seen here.

Monday, February 21st, readings by…Jon Curley, a poet from the Garden State. His new book is New Shadows (Dos Madres Press), and he is originally from New England. Despite all the Newness, he is an Old Soul. Poet Fanny Howe describes his work as having “an aura of homesickness, both Gnostic and New Englandy.” How(e) right she is. Burt Kimmelman has published six collections of poetry and for over a decade was Senior Editor of Poetry New York: A Journal of Poetry and Translation. He is a professor of English at New Jersey Institute of Technology and the author of two book-length literary studies. Michael Heller’s latest volume is Eschaton, published by Talisman House Press. Uncertain Poetries: Essays on Poets, Poetry and Poetics appeared in 2005. He is an award-winning author of many books of poetry and criticism.

See you next week!

Weekly Poetry & Spoken Word Outlook

January 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

[All performance times are at 6pm unless otherwise noted]

Monday, February 1st, Tulis McCall hosts Monologues & Madness. Actors, time limits, laughter, tears, and our floorboards are used to perfection. No slamming, no judges, just great material, excellent actors and YOU. Come See These Amazing Daredevils Perform Without a Net!!!

Tuesday, February 2nd, at 8:30pm, Sherry Weaver hosts Speakeasy: Stories From the Backroom. No scripts. No crib notes. No rehearsals. SpeakEasy has a dynamic and constantly changing cast of storytellers that include such greats as Mike Daisey, Jonathan Ames, and Reno, along with homemakers, lawyers, dog walkers, street magicians and writers.

Wednesday, February 3rd, Mira Ptacin hosts Free Range Readings, featuring Meera Nair, Janice Erlbaum, and Kyle Minor. Janice Erlbaum is the author of HAVE YOU FOUND HER: A Memoir (Villard, Feb. ‘08), and GIRLBOMB: A Halfway Homeless Memoir (Villard, March ‘06). Kyle Minor is the author of In the Devil’s Territory, a collection of short fiction, and co-editor of The Other Chekhov. Meera Nair grew up in India and came to the United States in 1997. She is the author of VIDEO: Stories, and a forthcoming novel from Pantheon, tentatively titled HARVEST.

Thursday, February 4th, it’s our monthly Artists’ Salon. Food’s on us, drinks on you, joke’s on everybody. Come rub elbows with new faces.

Friday, February 5th, Kat Georges hosts Son of Pony. Arrive early to sign up for the open mic. Featured readers: Kahlil Almustafa & Eli McCarthy PLUS NYC’s Best Open POETRY Mike.

See you next week!

This Week’s Poetry & Spoken Word: NY Storytelling Exchange, Emotional Rescue & The Greek-American Writer’s Association…

January 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Another week, another round of scheduled verbiage. Our latest offerings:

Tonight, Monday January 11th at 6:00PM: POETS. Hosted by our own Poet Laureate, Angelo Verga. Featuring Kate Greenstreet; Suzanne Heyd; Jack Lynch. Kate Greenstreet‘s second book, The Last 4 Things, is new from Ahsahta Press. Her first book, case sensitive, was published by Ahsahta in 2006. Her most recent chapbook is This is why I hurt you (Lame House Press). Find her poems in current or forthcoming issues of jubilat, VOLT, the Denver Quarterly, Court Green, Fence, and other journals. Suzanne Heyd is the author of Fascicles (Finishing Line, 2009) and Crawl Space (Phylum 2007). Recent poems appear in Ploughshares, Interim, Agni, and elsewhere. She received a 2009 Artist’s Fellowship from State of Connecticut. Jack Lynch received a BFA in Music Theater from the New School and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College. His work has appeared in Ology, POZ Magazine, The Paterson Literary Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and Diva Complex: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them.

On Tuesday, January 12th at 6:00pm we have the New York Storytelling Exchange, hosted by Barbara Aliprantis. Ring in the New Year with a gathering of gifted tellers who will prove once again that “serendipity reigns.” Format is 5-6 minute open mic followed by our featured tellers: JUDITH HEINEMAN, founder/producer of the annual Mohegan Colony Storytelling and Music Festival in Westchester County, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday August 14th. JOY KELLY, actress, director, musician and storyteller, performs throughout the country in theatres, cabarets, museums and libraries. STEPHANIE PARELLO, a born storyteller, weaves an eclectic tapestry of stories and anecdotes from here and there and everywhere! Cover’s $7 and includes one house drink.

On Wednesday, January 13th at 6:00pm, more POETS, once again hosted by Angelo, featuring Estha Weiner (Transfiguration Begins at Home), Martin Walls (The Solvay Process), and Karen Swenson (A Pilgrim into Silence). Three diverse and powerful poets, the first offerings from one of the newest publishing houses on the literary scene.

Then on Thursday, January 14th at 6:00pm it’s EMOTIONAL RESCUE hosted by Jane Ormerod. Lust! Anger! Confusion! Four poets and performance artists face their audience in this interactive reading. The audience names an emotion, the performers react. Bliss, obsession or melancholy? You decide! With Jai Chakrabarti, Kat Georges, Jennifer L. Knox, and Richard Loranger

Donc Saturday, January 15th we are graced by the Dean Kostos and the GREEK-AMERICAN WRITERS ASSOCIATION, which celebrates its 20th anniversary! Readers appearing: Lili Bita, Dean Kostos, Stephanos Papadopoulos, Hilary Sideris, Marina Stenos & Robert Zaller. Cover of $7 includes one house drink.

A plus!

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