Archive for the ‘Long Island’ Tag

Dire Literary Series, June 1st 2012   2 comments

I was delighted this past month to be invited to feature at the Dire Literary Series, hosted by Timothy Gager. It’s one of my favorite readings to attend on the east coast. For good reason, the features are always well chosen, and the open mic never fails to surprise and delight. Add to it Gager’s monologues, and you’ve got the best night out in Cambridge.

Writer Tim Gager speaking at teh Out of the Blue Gallery in Cambridge Mass.

Tim Gager, warming up the audience

Tim opened the night by sharing his thoughts on the recent incident in Miami involving a man eating another man’s face. He was able to make a very gruesome story humorous and entertaining. The highlight of the open mic portion was series regular Shannon O’Connor reading from her collection of vignettes on riding the T. Shannon’s stories and her deadpan presentations of them are always engaging.

Shannon O’Connor reading during the open mic portion.

The difficult thing for me that night was to find something new to read, while still promoting my new book, Melons and Memory. I’d read a good chuck of it already at Dire during open mics last year, so the material was already familiar to the majority of the audience. I chose to begin with two new poems, The Fear of Big Words and Migratory Patterns. Big Words is especially tricky, as it begins with a word that’s 15 syllables long, and I’d never attempted it live before.

Explaining to the audience that I’m about to pronounce a really big word, for the first time.

Overall it was a fantastic night. As with Long Island, I will probably not have a chance to get back up to Cambridge before the big move to Michigan. It was a great way to end my New England career, surrounded by friends and fellow writers whose work I admire.

So long Out of the Blue Gallery!

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A Reading at Wyld Chyld: Long Island Welcomes Me Back   Leave a comment

I’ve read in a lot of different places in my career. Bars, bookstores, bakeries, all have been subjected to my literary genius at one time or another. But until the lovely and amusing Peter Dugan invited me to come on down to Long Island and read at the Wyld Chyld, I’d never read in a tattoo parlor before.

Helen R. Peterson reads her poetry at Wyld Chyld

Reading to the crowd at Wyld Chyld

Wyld Chyld is part tattoo parlor, part café, divided down the middle so the whir of the needles doesn’t disturb. Located in Merrick NY, it offers a unique intimate setting for a reading. I was the first to read, something I don’t usually like to do, as I like to riff off of what others present when deciding what to perform. But, in the end, it almost seemed as if the open mic readers had read my mind, bringing poetry that had similar themes and influences as mine did.

The other feature was Lloyd Abrams, a local Long Island poet and former educator. His poetry was entertaining and thought-provoking. He and his wife were kind enough to invite me to spend the night at their place and not make the three-hour drive back to Connecticut, but I politely declined, as I had kids to get on the bus in the morning.

The Wyld Chyld crowd

Listening to Lloyd Abrams read while sipping my green tea.

I always enjoy traveling to Long Island, as the audiences are always welcoming and encouraging. That’s why I’ll be traveling down that way again this Friday, May 18th, to feature at George Wallace’s series at the Barn. This will probably be my last Long Island appearance before the big move to Michigan in late August, so if you’ve wanted to see me live, make a point to be there!