2010 Features

Our thanks to all of our feature poets who each share their poetry and personal experiences with our audience.  We encourage all attendees to support the work of these poets in appreciation of their support of our series.

January 21, 2010: Elizabeth Marie Young

Our monthly reading series kicks off January 21st featuring Liz Young.  This past spring, Fence Books released Aim Straight at the Fountain and Press Vaporize, the winner of our Motherwell Prize and the first book from Elizabeth Marie Young.  She joins us all the way from Wellesley in Massachusetts FINALLY after months of trying to get her to feature at our venue.  You won’t want to miss it!

February 18th: Leslie McGrath

Leslie is the managing editor of Drunken Boat an online journal of the arts. Her poems have appeared in Agni online, Alimentum, Beloit Poetry Journal, DIAGRAM, Poetry Ireland, and elsewhere. Her literary interviews have appeared in the Writer’s Chronicle and on public radio. Winner of the 2004 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, her first collection of poetry, Opulent Hunger, Opulent Rage, was published by Main Street Rag Press (2009.)  She is also the editor, along with Ravi Shankar, of Radha Says, the posthumous poetry collection of Reetika Vazirani, published by Drunken Boat Press.

March 18th, 2010: Gardner McFall

Gardner McFall is the author of The Pilot’s Daughter (Time Being Books). She is also the editor of Made with Words, a prose miscellany, by May Swenson (University of Michigan Press), the author of two children’s books, Jonathan’s Cloud (Harper & Row) and Naming the Animals (Viking), and the librettist for Amelia, an opera commissioned by Seattle Opera, with music by Daron Hagen.  Ms. McFall, who has received a “Discovery”/The Nation award and the Missouri Review’s Thomas McAfee Prize for Poetry, earned her master’s degree from the Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University and her doctorate, in English, from New York University. She lives in New York City and teaches at Hunter College.

April 15, 2010: Reggie Marra

An educator since 1975 he worked as a high school teacher and basketball coach and a college administrator in New York before founding Integral Journeys in 1996. Currently in his final year of training with Integral Coaching Canada,  Reggie offers workshops that integrate poetry writing and integral theory and has presented at the annual conference of the National Association for Poetry Therapy and at Goddard College’s Power Of Words conference. He is married to the poet Marianela Medrano.

May 20, 2010: John Surowiecki

John Surowiecki is author of two collections of poetry, The Hat City after Men Stopped Wearing Hats and Watching Cartoons before Attending a Funeral, as well as five chapbooks.  His third collection, Barney and Gienka—poems about his parents, family and neighbors that take place during a week in June, 1965 —has just been released by CW Books. Surowiecki’s work has been published in numerous journals.  His awards include UCONN’s annual Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize, the Pablo Neruda Prize (sponsored by Nimrod International Journal), and silver in the last Sunken Garden Poetry Festival National Competition. He’s also been awarded a Poetry Fellowship,Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Office of the Arts.

A recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s first Pegasus Award for verse drama, his play, My Nose and Me (A TragedyLite or TragiDelight in 33 Scenes), was performed at the 2008 AWP convention in New York, as part of the Creative Sustenance Program at the University of Connecticut, and at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater as part of the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry on Stage series.

June 17, 2010: Our Annual Favorite Poem Project Reading Features Sharon Olson, Monica Reed and Bob Berner

Our annual celebration of  poetry in New Haven with a Favorite Poem Project Reading following our usual Open Mike format. This year’s feature panel sharing some of their favorite poems includes: Sharon Olson, Monica Reed, Bob Berner talking with host Mark McGuire-Schwartz about their selections and why these poems mean so much to them.

July 15, 2010: Alice-Anne Harwood (Annual Host’s Choice Reading)

This year’s annual Host’s Choice features our own vivacious Alice-Anne Harwood!   She is poet, singer/songwriter, and playwright and in all of her work she aims to capture fragments of life that might otherwise be overlooked. Trained in performance and dramaturgy, Alice-Anne fronts the New Haven-based folk-rock group Document 183.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals and collections including  various collections by Shijin, an all female poetry troupe of which she is a member.  By day she is the Director of CT Folk, the organization that produces the Connecticut Folk Festival and Green Expo; and she serves as the director of development at Leeway, Connecticut’s only skilled nursing facility dedicated to the care of individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

August 19, 2010: Marianela Medrano

Marianela Medrano-Marra was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, and has lived in Connecticut since 1990. A poet and a writer of non-fiction and fiction, she holds a PhD in psychology, a professional counselor’s license and certification as a poetry therapist. Rich with imagery and metaphor, her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines in Latin America, Europe and the United States. In her workshops, she combines literature, psychology and spirituality to help others find new ways of knowing the wholeness of human beings.

September 16, 2010: Sandra Bishop Ebner

Sandra Bishop Ebner teaches poetry to 7th graders under a grant funded program. Her poems have appeared in various literary journals.  Her first book, The Space Between, was published in 2000, by Hanover Press.   Her work has recently appeared in “The Poetry of Nursing, Poems and Commentaries of Leading Nurse-Poets, published by Kent State University Press.  Sandra works as a Psychiatric Case Manager,  for a Visiting Nurse Service.

October 21, 2010: Ralph Nazareth

Ralph Nazareth was born and educated in India. He crossed over to the West when young Americans were flying east on their tragic mission in Vietnam. His poetry explores his movement between worlds. He is a professor of English at Nassau Community College, New York, where he leads PeaceWork, a group committed to peace and justice issues. He is also a volunteer teacher of writing in the CMHS program at Green Haven, a maximum security prison in New York. As Managing Editor of Yuganta Press in Stamford, CT, he has overseen the publication of over twenty books of poetry by writers from all over the world.

November 18, 2010: Bessy Reyna

Bessy Reyna is the author of two bilingual books of poetry, The Battlefield of Your Body and Memoirs of the Unfaithful Lover/ Memorias de la amante infiel. Her poetry can be found in numerous anthologies, including El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry, In Other Words: Literature by Latinas of the United States, The Arc of Love: Lesbian Poems and The Wild Good.  Born in Cuba and raised in Panama, Bessy is a graduate of Mt Holyoke College and earned her Masters and Law degrees from the University of Connecticut. For nine years she was a monthly opinion columnist for The Hartford Courant and was a frequent contributor to Northeast, the Sunday magazine of the Hartford Courant.  She is the recipient of the Connecticut Center for the Book Lifetime Achievement in Service to the Literary Community Award (2009) and numerous other awards.

December 16, 2010: Charles Douthat

Born in California, Charles Douthat graduated from Stanford University, raised a son and daughter in New Haven, Connecticut where he practices law. Charles began to read and write poetry during a long mid-life illness and today writes about the usual predicaments: family, love, time and memory.  Since then, his poems have been published in many journals and magazines.  A few have won prizes.  His first collection, “Blue for Oceans” is forthcoming from The New Haven Review Press.