NYC Governor’s Island Poetry Festival!!

Celebrate Poetry, Sun, and Imaginations gone WILD at the annual NYC Governor’s Island Poetry Festival.

I will be there with great weather for MEDIA and hosting Queer Art Organics on Saturday July 29th, featuring Trae Durica, Sarah Sala, and Aldrin Valdez at 2pm on the Algonquin Stage.

 

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TODAY! Governor’s Island Poetry Festival

Let the sky rain poems all over your perspiring flesh! All day, POEMS and IMAGINATIONS torn open and amplified. I’m excited to be featured alongside other great writers for Big Words, Etc. reading series. We go on at 4pm on the Algonquin stage.

Catch the 3pm ferry…..or come much earlier and take in all the magnificence of this magical land.

I’ll be reading some new poems, two inspired by the great Nan Goldin, whose exhibit I just caught at the Museum of Modern Art. She always always blows me away.

how to say thank you.

On a hot, Saturday afternoon on an island off Manhattan called Governor’s, I found myself digesting the echoes of poets swirled in the air like tornadoes of deep thinking. Every year this happens right here, called the Poetry Festival and as I sat at a table with other writers called Poetry Teachers NYCI suddenly noticed a poet who looked quite similarly to one I have admired for awhile now.

His name is Kazim Ali and a previous lover graciously gave me his book, Fasting for Ramadan, several summers ago when she was observing this holiday. I knew very little about this observance of fasting and reflecting, but each night, when I helped her break her fast, she shared her stories and finally gave me his. I carried this book around each day, slowly slipping my eyes into each word, feeling its deep pocket of knowledge. This book is composed of Kazim’s journal entries during fasting, but to me, they were poems. Reminders of how to exist in a body that yearns. In a body that needs even when something is taken away. He wrote about the discomfort in an honest, exploratory way.

Growing up with Jewish parents, I knew a little about fasting. We had to engage in this once a year during the holiday of Yom Kipper and I found it deeply deeply hard. I’ve recently been called a “labrador” (like the dog) for my constant hunger and desire to eat. I like to celebrate my appetite and have always found it difficult to go without.

But I understand the meaning behind fasting. We remove/take away in order to understand why we desire it.

Kazim taught me this.

And on this hot Saturday on Governor’s Island, I saw him. This poet who breathed pain and discovery into pages I kept at my side for a summer. And still open every so often to remind me.

What to say to someone who has had such an impact on you.

So, I told him how much I admired his writing. I thanked him for sharing these words which came from hunger’d body, observant body, spiritual body. I gave him some of my poems as an offering.

When we read, we don’t often get to tell these writers: Thank you. Or You impacted me in ways I am still articulating. 

And we must. Because they need to know. Words are bridges, leading us all to each other. To a deeper understanding. Encouraging us to travel through feet and with mind(fullness).

Governor’s Island Poetry Festival JULY 25th and 26th!!!

I was recently talking with a writer from Seattle named Anastacia Tolbert who blew my mind with her explosively thought-provoking poetics.

Before the reading, she asked me about places to see during her brief visit. I gave her a list and then she asked me, “how do you feel about living in New York?”

I said, “I love it and it frustrates me simultaneously.”

“What frustrates you?” she asked.

“That,” I say, pointing to a ginormous heap of garbage bags on the curb.

“But what I love,” I said, “is finding graffiti on buildings and the endless amount of museums. I love being queer in a city that so often celebrates it. I love the art and music. I love the pockets of magic (not so secretly) hidden in so many corners.”

***

And I LOVE Governor’s Island……this magical spot that can only be reached via ferry. With art and bike paths and food trucks and……POETRY.

Every summer, Governor’s Island houses an impressive poetry festival featuring reading series and the poets who frequent them. It is FREE and open. A place to listen, write, share, connect.

Find the The New York City Poetry Festival in the Colonel’s Row area of the island – it will be well-signposted from the ferry ($2 round trip, morning ferries free, takes 10 mins.)

Info and directions (Easy and fun!) http://newyorkcitypoetryfestival.com/general-info/info-faq/

This free two-day festival celebrates New York City’s vibrant poetry community. The event includes over 65 poetry organizations and 250 poets on its three main stages; a Vendor’s Village where local booksellers, artists and craft makers sell their wares; healthy and delicious food options; a beer garden sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery; poetry-inspired installation art throughout; the Ring of Daisies open mic; and, of course, the Children’s Festival at NYCPF!

It is Saturday and Sunday, July 25th and 26th from 11-5pm. I’ll be reading with Poetry Teachers NYC, great weather for MEDIA and the great reading series, Big Words!

I am excited to be reading BOTH days. Find me here:

Saturday: 

1pm @ Chumley’s Stage reading for Big Words!

4pm @ The White Horse Stage reading for great weather for MEDIA with Jon Sands and Corrina Bain

 

Sunday:

2:30pm @ The Chumley’s Stage reading for Poetry Teachers NYC w/ Megan DiBello, Dan Dissinger and Colin Clough