2008 Feature Poets

Feature Poets March through December 2008

December 18, 2008: Michael Brown

Michael R. Brown has published poetry, fiction, travel articles and columns in wide-ranging periodicals all over the world. His fourth book of poetry, The Confidence Man, was published in 2006; Falling Wallendas is in its second printing of a thousand; The Man Who Makes Amusement Rides, won the 2004 Cambridge Poetry Award for best book; and Susquehanna, which consists mostly of persona poems of the people of the small towns of Marietta and Columbia, Lancaster County, PA, where Brown grew up, was runner-up in the Cambridge Awards and is soon to be sold out. Since 1989 Brown has been active in poetry slams, performing in Europe as well as North America. For 13 years he hosted the Boston slam at the Cantab Lounge, Cambridge, and he appears in the film SlamNation. He produced and directs Dr. Brown’s Traveling Poetry Show, a poetry ensemble performing their poetry in theaters. After moving to Down East Maine in 2007, Brown and his partner Valerie Lawson have begun a monthly reading series and taken over the poetry journal Off the Coast.

November 2008: Eric Ting

Eric Ting is Associate Artistic Director at Long Wharf Theatre. Recent directing credits include Let Me Down Easy, The Bluest Eye, Underneath the Lintel 05/06 Connecticut Critics Circle awards for Best Director and Best Production of a Play) and The Little Prince. Co-founder of Company Ajar—a provocative physical theatre mingling puppetry, mask, and music with original and found text—Ting’s work has been presented internationally, including France, Canada, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Bali. He recently designed puppets for Ugo’s Last Dance and Opera Boston’s production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. His original plays include Rwanda: A Vaudeville, Comfort Women, and Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus. His awards and grants include a 2004-2006 TCG New Generations Future Leaders fellowship and the 06/07 Jerome & Roslyn Milstein Meyer Career Development Prize.

October 16, 2008: Faith Vicinanza

Faith Vicinanza is a widely published poet, a teaching artist, a nature photographer, poet laureate nominee, recipient ofthe CT Commission on the Arts Advocates for the Arts award, author of three books of poetry and currently working on her fourth collection and a memoir.

September 18, 2008: John Surowiecki

John Surowiecki is the author of two books of poetry, The Hat City after Men Stopped Wearing Hats and Watching Cartoons before Attending a Funeral, as well as five chapbooks. He has won a number of prizes, including the Nimrod Pablo Neruda Prize and the silver medal in the last Sunken Garden Poetry Festival National Competition. A newcollection, Barney and Gienka, will appear next year, and his Tapeworm Comics, a poem in comic book form, will be published by Ugly Duckling Presse in the fall. His verse drama, My Nose and Me: A TragedyLite or TragiDelight in 33 Scenes, won a Poetry Foundation Pegasus Award. The play will be produced in Chicago next spring and at the University of Connecticut on November 13.  He is widely published, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Nimrod, and Poetry, among others.

August 21, 2008: Lori Allen

L. N. Allen published literary and science fiction under the name Lori Negridge Allen for many years, in such magazines as The Twilight Zone, but the stories gradually shrunk to short shorts, then to prose poems, then to lined free verse and formal poetry. Past work can be found in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, the national SF anthology Final Shadows, and The Mississippi Review. Recent poems can be found in The Southern Review, Tundra, and The NewHampshire Review, among others.

July 17, 2008: Davyne Versandg

Davyne Verstandig is a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the UConn Torrington Campus.  She is also director ofthe Litchfield County Writers Project.  She has published two books of poetry, Pieces of the Whole and Provisions and has performed improvisational work “composing on the tongue” while painting simultaneously.  She recently served on the board of Touchstone, a residential treatment facility for female juvenile offenders in Litchfield, Connecticut.

June 19, 2008: Edwina Trentham

Edwina Trentham is an outstanding poet and a renowned teacher of poetry. She also is the founder and editor of Freshwater, and an organizer of poetry festivals and special events. Stumbling into the Light, her first book of poetry, published by Antrim House in 2004. She has published her work in a number of magazines, journals, and anthologies, and won honorable mention in the 2004 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival National Competition. She was also a featured reader at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival in June 2005.

May 16, 2008: Elizabeth Thomas

Elizabeth Thomas designs & teaches writing programs and workshops for schools and organizations throughout the U.S.. She is the founder of UpWords Poetry, an organization dedicated to creative arts programming, particularly for young writers. As a poet and performer, her work continues to be featured throughout the country. Her first book of poetry, Full Circle was published in 2000 by Hanover Press. She is currently working on her second collection of poems (From the Front of the Classroom) and recently finished a book on creative writing for children and teachers entitled, If Only Red Could Talk. See www.upwordspoetry.com.

April 18, 2008:  Jack McCarthy

Jack McCarthy calls himself a “standup poetry guy.” Others have called him “legend.” He’s been in jail, but he can explain. He’s an engaging minor character in the film “Slamnation.” High school students nationally perform his work competitively.  ”In the poetry world, he’s a rock star,” says The Boston Globe, and The Boston Phoenix called him ”Best Standup Poet.”

March 2008: Shijin, Performance Poetry Troupe

Shijin, is a performance poetry troupe.  Six Women, Six Lives, One Performance.  Each poet’s work weaves seamlessly into the next, amplifying images and emotions, playing off each other.  Faith Vicinanza, Robin Sampson, Mar Walker, Dasha Walters, along with series hosts, Alice-Anne Harwood, Elizabeth Cleary offer this unique reading to kick off the new phase in the series.