Last year my friend Hayden Saunier, a poet and actor, came up with an idea to change up what a traditional poetry reading is like. She invited a handful of people to a meeting at her house, and there No River Twice was born.
No River Twice is a poetry improvisational group. Our group poetry readings don’t have planned reading lists, reader orders or themes–they’re completely spontaneous and responsive to audience input. At a NRT reading, the poets take cues and suggestions from the audience and each other, so each performance is unique, the poems interconnect, weave and flow in a unique way that connects the readers to the listeners. We’re not inventing new poems on the spot, but we’re inventing new synergies, which makes each performance collaborative and new.
We held our first public performance in January at Fergie’s in Philadelphia, and have had a few since. Our next one will kick off the new Caesura poetry conference in Phoenixville, PA, August 17.
It’s hard to explain exactly what NRT is, so you should just come to one of our events–it’ll change the way you think about poetry readings.
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While this is a prank, I think we’ve all be in real situations that were pretty close to this.
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I’ll be reading at Fergie’s Pub (1214 Sansom St) in Philadelphia next week with Sean Webb and Michelle Castleberry. All the details in the picture below and here. It’s a fun spot so I hope to see lots of people.
Here’s me reading three newer poems (they’re not actually from the book, as I state in the intro, but hopefully from the next book). The poems are Naming the Hurricanes, Ode to Scrapple and Ode to a Jackalope (which will appear in an issue of Gargoyle later this year).
Clauser at the Rosemont Writer’s Retreat 2014</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/pjfrechie”>Jill
Frechie</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>
Recorded by Jill Frechie at Rosemont College.
Sunday May 4th 2014, 2PM. Writers with Broadkill River Press (and that includes me) will be at The Writer’s Center in Bethesday MD.
Grant Clauser (that’s me)
Reading their poetry (brief open to follow)
Sunday March 16, 2014
6 PM to 7:30 PM
Good Karma Café
928 Pine St. Philadelphia PA
On February 1 at Musehouse in Philadelphia Hayden Saunier and I will be reading from our new books. You should go. There will be snacks and wine. And poems too. And books for sale. And people to talk to.
Recorded in November or December 2012
More about Yolanda Wisher here.
Today the Washington Post published an article by Alexandra Petri that asked, Is Poetry Dead? The article was a response to Richard Blanco’s poem at President Obama’s 2nd inauguration. I get that Petri didn’t like the poem. So what? But what bothers me more is she somehow decided that she’d been granted the power to decide what poetry is supposed to be, supposed to do, for everyone else.
It’s a stupid and ill-argued article, but it’s also a reflection of what so many narrow-minded people probably believe about poetry. The article makes ridiculous and incorrect assumptions, but my guess is it’s not that far off from what a lot of people were thinking while Blanco recited his poem. Why is that? Why does Petri insist that poetry needs to change something? Does Petri even read any contemporary poetry (I doubt it)? Does Petri understand the enormous variety of poetry flourishing in the US right now?
Possibly even more important–how has an attitude like that spread? Has poetry moved away from popular society or has society moved away from poetry? Was poetry dumped by its girlfriend or the other way around?
But wait, there’s more. John Deming wrote an open letter response on Coldfront. You have to read it.
These two videos were recorded at a Mad Poets’ Society event in Media PA in 2012.
More about Harry Humes here.