Damariscotta. River Arts, mid-Coast’s premier member-supported arts organization, will host a special evening program which celebrates the creation and interpretation of works of local artists, into the language of poetry, as well as music and dance. The event will be held at the new River Arts gallery on Route 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. It is free and open to the community, although donations are welcomed.
Entitled “Ekphrasis,” the event will showcase 17 works of art within the current “Dreams, Reverie, Reflections” Exhibition at the gallery – pairing an individual piece of the artwork with a poet, a musician or a dancer, each of whom will create an artistic expression of what a particular piece says to him or her. “It is not just a reflection of what someone sees; rather it is an emotional creative response,” says poet George Van Deventer, a Bristol poet who organized this extraordinary evening.
EKPHRASIS is an emotional identity with a subject between the eye and ear – a discourse of influences between the senses. It is an ancient cultural collaboration, stemming from the Greek (ek “out” and phrasis – speak, or to speak out). Maine poets, as well as a musician and a dancer, will interpret the works selected by Van Deventer and River Arts executive director, Linda Morkeski.
As one example, Van Deventer has created a brief poem based on his emotional response to a photograph in the show called “Memories,” a dreamlike capturing of a decaying barn, by artist Anna Shaw of Newcastle. His words, which also evoke his own memories of having a dairy farm years ago, read in part:
the forest moved in on us.
The grass grew.
lifted their bodies
crawling the walls of the barn.
The poets reading original works during the evening are: Ted Bookey, Readfield; Marianna Tupper, Yarmouth; Sally Woolf-Wade, Pemaquid; Elizabeth Potter, Round Pond; Robin Merrill, Madison; David Moreau, Wayne; Ken Rosen, Portland; Judith Robbins, Whitefield; Bruce Spang, Falmouth; Claire Hersom, Winthrop; Bob MacLaughlin, Warren; Jay Frenzel, Wayne; Henry Braun, Weld; Anne Mullin, Pemaquid, as well as Van Deventer himself.
The dancer is Shanna Bloomstein of Belfast (originally from Freedom), and the musician is Stanley Keach of Rome.
Mr. Keach is an internationally-known Bluegrass songwriter, whose songs have been recorded by some of the biggest names in Bluegrass. He performs with the Sandy River Ramblers and Maranacook String Band. The video of his recently-written song “What the North Pond Hermit Knows” has had over 5,000 hits on YouTube in just 3 weeks; was featured on the Bill Green’s Maine (WCSH-6) show that explored the North Pond Hermit phenomenon; was the focus of articles in the Waterville Morning Sentinel, Kennebec Journal, Portland Press Herald, Lewiston Sun-Journal, and the Bangor Daily News; and the song will be featured in a documentary about the Hermit that will air during the Maine International Film Festival this summer.
Ms. Bloomstein began dancing professionally as a teenager and continued her studies at Hampshire College. She was with a dance group in NYC for 4 years, and has performed and collaborated throughout the country and abroad. She is now working as a physical therapy assistant, and teaches dance and yoga to children and adults. She also teaches at the Belfast Dance Studio, Unity College, and is guest artist at mid-Coast Maine Elementary schools and hospitals and also performs throughout New England.
For more information, visit www.riverartsme.org.
TAKE HEART POETRY CELEBRATION
An all-star lineup of Midcoast poets will gather at the Owl & Turtle on Friday June 14 at 6:30 pm to read from the anthology of Maine poets, Take Heart. This reading will feature Carol Bachoffner (poet laureate of Rockland), Linda Buckmaster (previous poet laureate of Belfast), Elizabeth Garber (previous poet laureate of Belfast), Kristen Lindquist (Camden), Robin Merrill (Madison), Bob MacLaughlin (Warren), Dave Morrison (Camden) and Elizabeth Tibbetts (Hope). All eight poets have poems published in Take Heart.
In this collection of verse, Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair has collected the work of Maine poets from his popular “Take Heart” column, featuring a poem each week in thirty newspapers across the state and reaching a quarter of a million readers. These are poems about longing and pleasure and death and love, poems that will inspire tears and laughter and help you to carry on — poems from the heart, all penned by the poets of Maine, whose astonishing vision this book celebrates.
McNair says “It is my mission as Maine Poet Laureate to find new ways of bringing poetry to the people, reminding them in the process that it is not only for special occasions, but for every day of our lives.”
“The Midcoast is known as a place with wonderful poetic energy,” says Morrison, “but this is really unprecedented, to have this many accomplished poets together in one room. It will be a night to remember.”
Admission is free and copies of Take Heart will be available for purchase and signing. For more information please contact the Owl & Turtle Bookshop (33 Bay View Street Camden) at (207) 230-7335.
I woke up this morning with a gratitude beyond words. It took my brain a few minutes to remember just why I was so happy. It didn’t help that I had two children jumping on my head. They did not care that mommy stayed out way past her bedtime last night slamming her heart out.
I am shocked, honored, and so very excited to share that last night, I made the 2013 Rhythmic Cypher National Slam Team. Along with four stellar Portland poets and hundreds of poets from around the nation, I will be competing at the 2013 National Poetry Slam in August. Unbelievable.
Thank you to the folks who created Rhythmic Cypher, to the other poets who made the competition so very tough last night, to the judges, and to the audience. And thank you most of all to God, whose steadfast love and unfailing grace made all of this possible.
I am excited, honored, and extremely grateful to share that after last night’s semi-final bout at Dobra Tea in Portland, I am officially a finalist for the Rhythmic Cypher slam team, who will travel to Boston this August to compete in the National Poetry Slam!
I placed second in the slam, and will slam in the finals on April 28th. The top five slammers in the final slam will be this year’s representatives at the Nationals. It just doesn’t get much better than that.
Thank you to the judges, the other poets, the audience, the facilitators, and of course, to the greater poetry community. See you soon!
After last night’s slam, I am qualified for the Rhythmic Cypher indy semi-finals! Whoot-whoot!
Thank you to the awesome, gracious judges at Dobra Tea! And thank you to my friends and poetry family who give me the courage to do this to myself!
I’m excited for the semi-finals. I would really love to have an excuse to go to Arkansas!
Love this picture that poet T Love took of me performing at the Local Sprouts Cafe in Portland Friday night. Despite the apt placement of the tip bowl, no one tipped me. What’s up with that?
Check out these Port Veritas slam standings! Sorry for the shameless celebration, but I am just so goofily excited! Thank you God, for miracles! (Let’s hope he keeps ‘em coming!)
Whoot-whoot! Thanks to the lovely, generous, gracious, amazing judges at last night’s poetry slam! I am so honored to have won that slam, which makes me a semi-finalist for the 2013 Rhythmic Cypher National Slam Team! I will be returning to the amazing Dobra Tea to slam in the semi-finals on Sunday April 14th. (And two days later I will be slamming in the Port Veritas semi-finals. How did I get to be such a lucky girl?)
Here’s a peek at last night’s fun: the poem I performed in Round 1!