Poems by Siegell, Saunier and Roarty from Rodger’s Place

Yesterday we had one of the most perfect weather days for the month of October–cool enough to feel like fall, but warm enough to feel comfortable spending the day outside. And how did I spend that day? By participating in one of Rodger Lowenthal’s poetry and music parties. These parties, held in Rodger’s Wyncote, PA backyard, aim to bring poets and musicians together for an afternoon of performances. The atmosphere was unpretentious and engaging for all. At this most recent one I joined poets Paul Siegell, Hayden Saunier and Joe Roarty along with several jazz and rock musicians to entertain a very welcoming crowd seated in lawn chairs.

Rodger’s backyard is framed by a tight barrier of tall trees (they would occasionally release a display of yellow and orange leaves on our heads), which helped amplify the sound resulting in pretty impressive acoustics (particularly for Joe Roarty’s barbaric yawp).

First, I want to thank Rodger for the invitation and for welcoming all of us to his home. He’s planning another one in May, so plan to be there.

Here are some videos I recorded at the party. All are wonderful poets, so I encourage you to look for more of their work.

Poetry House Concert This Weekend

Poetry and Music in Wyncote: October 21st, 1:30 pm

Rodger Lowenthal is Having a House Party!

Poets HAYDEN SAUNIER, GRANT CLAUSER, PAUL SIEGELL and JOE ROARTY… with special, musical guests playing blues, Irish, rockabilly, bluegrass.

Small desserts appreciated. $15 donation (all proceeds to poets + musicians)
HAYDEN SAUNIER is the author of the poetry collection Tips for Domestic Travel, published in 2009 by Black Lawrence Press. Her work has appeared widely and her most recent awards include the 2011 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry from Nimrod International Journal and the 2011 Rattle Poetry Prize. Her acting credits include The Sixth Sense, Philadelphia Diary, Hack, the voice of a broken-down stove for Ikea, and dozens of roles in the theatre. Raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, she now lives outside Philadelphia. (http://howapoemhappens.blogspot.com/2012/08/hayden-saunier.html)

GRANT CLAUSER is the author of the book, The Trouble with Rivers ( Foothills Publishing, 2012). He earned an MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University where he was a Richard Devine Fellow. In 2010 he was selected as the Montgomery County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate by Robert Bly. He started the Montco Wordshop in Lansdale and he has conducted workshops for the Musehouse Writing Center and Philadelphia Writers Conference. His favorite dry fly is the Parachute Adams. (http://www.uniambic.com/)

JOE ROARTY has been shiprekkd on the shores of the susquehanna and has made his way 2 Philly. He is a performance artist who has performed his work across the United States.(http://www.foxchasereview.org/10SU/JoeRoarty.html)

PAUL SIEGELL is the author of three books of poetry: wild life rifle fire (Otoliths Books, 2010), jambandbootleg (A-Head Publishing, 2009) and Poemergency Room (Otoliths Books, 2008). Paul is a senior editor at Painted Bride Quarterly. Kindly find more of Paul’s work – and concrete poetry t-shirts – at “ReVeLeR @ eYeLeVeL” (http://paulsiegell.blogspot.com/).


DONATION $15.00. (All proceeds to poets & musicians)

Small desserts appreciated.


rodlow31@yahoo.com – 215-885- 5557

Daniel Hoffman Reading At Mad Poets Festival

Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining a fantastic group of poets reading at the 25th annual (wow–25 years) Mad Poets Festival in Media PA. An impressive crowd of poets attended and read, including Joseph Farley, Leonard Gontarek (and his teenage son Max), David Kozinski, Allison Hicks,  Peter Krock (editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal) and many more.

A highlight for me was seeing Daniel Hoffman, the nation’s first Poet Laureate (before the title had that name) and winner of the National Book Award. He’s 89 years old,turning 90 very soon, and read a poem about that at the festival (see video below). I mentioned to him before the reading that I’d recently been reading his book The Center of Attention and was actively stealing ideas from it. His 14th book of poems is soon to be released.

12 Journals and Editors, 24 Poets, 1 Afternoon

Photo by Diane Lockward

Poetry Festival:

A Celebration of Literary Journals

Sunday, May 20, 2012

1:00 to 5:00 PM

West Caldwell Public Library

30 Clinton Road

West Caldwell, NJ 07006


12 Journals and Editors

Adanna, Edison Literary Review, Exit 13, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Lips,

Painted Bride Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, Raintown Review,

Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Stillwater Review, Tiferet, U.S. 1 Worksheets

Journals available for sale and perusal / Subscription Information / Submission Guidelines /

Editors available to answer questions

Readings in the Community Room throughout the afternoon

24 poets will read their work

Susan Lembo Balik, Robert Carnevale, Grant Clauser, David Crews, Linda Cronin,

Jessica deKoninck, Jim Gwyn, Rachel Hadas, Miriam Haier, Mark Hillringhouse,

Tina Kelley, Adele Kenny, Deborah LaVeglia, Charlotte Mandel,

Francesca Maxime, John McDermott, Lynne McEniry, Rick Mullin, Sharon Olson,

Linda Radice, Susanna Rich, Madeline Tiger, David Vincenti, Sean Webb

Book Sales

Books will be available for purchase and signing

Freebie Table

Full schedule and Directions available at:


Words and Video: Miranda Field and Jack Gilbert

A Facebook acquaintance, Rebecca Kinzie Bastian, posted this link to a video of a reading by Miranda Field and Jack Gilbert at the Library of Congress website.

A couple things to know first:

  • It uses Realplayer, so you may have to download the plugin to view it. If you click the image, you’ll be taken to the Library of Congress page with the video.
  • Jack Gilbert is quite old in this video. It may be the last public reading he’s done (this was 2006, so someone correct me if I’m wrong). He faulters, stutters and almost gives up several times. It can be painful to watch because the process was obviously a chore for him, but his delivery is still beautiful and chilling.
  • Miranda Field–I hadn’t heard of her before, but immediately ordered her book Swallow. Her reading was amazing, especially the poems “Housefire,” which can also be found here and “Soloist.” Below is an excerpt from “Soloist”

I love the idea of a voice crawling like a vine, spilling like milk–beautiful. I’ve used a spilt-milk image myself (to describe moonlight), but this is much better.

If you’re as taken with that as I am, you can find her book here.