the state

– of dead poets. by vastate
Wednesday, 4 March 2009, 14:26
Filed under: -of art, -of harrisonburg, -of jhumphrey, -of reads, -of sound, -of townie-to-townie

i heard murmurings about local poetry readings, and i traced this rumor to za-mont miguel anderson.

za-mont landed in harrisonburg last june after a 12-year stint in the navy. (randomly, the third recently post-navy person i’ve met in a week).  he came from richmond, looking for

wow…just a change.  from what i’m used to.

he’s pretty happy with his move, and with harrisonburg as his new home.  he says that

harrisonburg lacks nothing that much except more jamaican restaurants (just joking). It really dose not need any thing yet.

za-mont is a poet.  he likes poetry.  and he wants to hear other people’s poetry.  out loud.  at readings.   a dead poet’s society.

i have to admit that i was skeptical of a robin william’s-style dead poet’s society, and so i was happy that za-mont laughed at me (through email) when i tentatively asked if his inspiration looked something like this:


instead, thankfully, this is how za-mont describes his idea:

the group is model after my favorite group from the 50-70s eras they were the original freestyle poets. The idea came 2 me when I was talking 2 my friend (the vice president Patrick Varney) he was telling me about poetry readings he use 2 do around town where he use 2 live .They were called the dead poets who spoke on every thing that was wrong with society. I am hoping that people will not b afraid 2 read or share there work. I am also hoping 2 give a voice 2 those who would not have a voice. Because there r some many poetry groups around that only wants 1 type of poet and that was not cool with me because I write all types and they should except all types.

(i’m hoping to get an interview with patrick varney, so stand by…)

now, this gets me excited.

makes me think of one of my favority poets, saul williams.

i was with him, in 2004, when bush won the election the second time.  he ended the show early and i was scared.  to see saul williams in unexpected, unstaged, unplanned tears was scary.  but terrifying in an inspirational way.  his face and voice that night is burned into my memory.

so, there is a delicate balance necessary for poetry readings.  very delicate.

it can be done so terribly.  cringeworthy poetry is unfortunately not so rare.

but my theory is if the poets are angry.  if the poets are inspired.  if the poets are trying to make a statement.  trying to say what is wrong in another way.  trying to offer motivation for change.  they can’t go wrong.

so, i’m excited, za-mont.  keep us posted on times and days.

this is what we know for sure:

Well right now we will only b meeting at poetry readings around town. I am trying 2 do it biweekly 2 monthly. Every 1 should come. There work and a open mind and heart 2 all types of poetry.

i asked za-mont for an original poem to post.  we’ll see.  i think he prefers his poetry live.  and alive.


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