2011's been a bountiful year for the "Moveable Feast" which is NY poetry. New flourishing venues like David Lawton's Jujomukti Lounge, Brant Lyon's Hydrogen Jukebox, Ronny Norpel's Tract 187 Culture Clash, and my own quarterly Poetry Jam with Pete Chelnik and his Go Cat Go jazz trio at Greenwich Village Bistro. We've lost friends near and far -- Ira Cohen, Zoe Artemis, Scott Wannberg, Gil Scott Heron, George Whitman and good Sam Menashe among them. And Janine Pommy Vega, who died a year ago today (Dec 23 2011).
There are challenges a'plenty, a big one being how to show our support for Steve Cannon, who continues to fight the good fight to keep Gathering of the Tribes alive.
But our tried and true NYC performance poets are going strong. Alternative impresarios and small press publishers like Three Rooms Press and Uphook Press are bringing increased attention to the scene's top performers, "assertives, paint pushers, protesters, off-the-wallers, examiners of ants and skylights, sound lovers, rhythm beaters, life beaters and joke makers." New young poets keep making an impression on the scene, including a healthy infusion of talent from 'the islands' -- Staten Island and Long Island. And the rise of OWS in Manhattan has yielded a rich new vein of discourse between performing poets and those politically active folks 'on the street.'
My aim in this blog, today, is to heed the words of Walt Whitman, to 'make much of a miracle' -- NYC poetry. Why? Because, like Walt, I know of nothing else but miracles.