Rudyard Kipling, in a speech to the Royal Academy of Surgeons in 1923, told his audience, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” And it just might be in poetry that the potency of words reaches its pinnacle. Upcoming events from Poets’ Hall, Erie’s most focused and successful poetry institution, aim to ensure the continued vibrancy of the spoken word in our community.
On Jan. 22, it’s presenting Poetry Scene at the Avalon Hotel at 6:30 p.m., followed by its regular Friday Night Writes at 8:30 p.m. Poetry Scene is co-hosted by Kim Noyes and Chuck Joy, and will feature local poet Jack Wonner, a longtime fixture in the poetry community. Friday Night Writes will feature TeamPulse, a poetry slam team from Jamestown, N.Y. This five-member group includes Elise Etc., Autumn Christine Louise, Rycheigh Allan, Sierra Tango, and Autumn Echo. Both events will offer an open mic for those wishing to participate.
According to Joy, the earlier event is an attempt to provide an opportunity for people who need an earlier time slot. “Lots of different people, like people with families, need something earlier in the evening. We want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy or participate,” says Joy.
And Joy himself will take the spotlight on Jan. 29. Called a “pillar of the poetry community,” by Erie’s current poet laureate, Cee Williams, Joy will be presenting pieces from his collection Every Tiger Wants to Sing, and his newest publication, Said the Growling Dog. There will also be an open mic for anyone who wants to present.
For six years now, Poet’s Hall has been at the forefront of supporting poets and spoken word artists in the community, as well as conducting youth outreach programs and, of course, crafting works that move and enchant those listening. It might be time for some word therapy. – Mary Birdsong
Jan. 22, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Jan. 29, 8 p.m. // Room 210, Avalon Hotel, 16 W. 10 St. // A $3 donation is suggested for both nights (the $3 covers both events on Jan. 22). facebook.com/PoetsHall // email@example.com