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Open Mic: Featured Poet Bill Pruitt

  • Before Your Quiet Eyes 439 Monroe Avenue Rochester, NY, 14607 United States (map)

Bill Pruitt has been a construction laborer, a librarian, a physical therapy courier, a loading dock receiver, a manager in a natural foods collective, teacher of English to non-native speakers and an assistant editor for a literary journal. He started writing poetry as soon as he graduated from college and continues to do that. He began storytelling when his daughter was five, began teaching after his son was born and began writing fiction in earnest after retiring from teaching.

His poems have been published in many places, such as Ploughshares, Country Journal, Blueline, Cottonwood and Poetry Now, two chapbooks from White Pine and FootHills Press and the self-published Walking Home from the Eastman House. He has taught storytelling and performed traditional and original tales at hundreds of libraries, schools and other institutions such as the Memorial Art Gallery, the Rochester Museum of Science and the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls. Most recently he has performed his original and completely documented story about the intertwining lives of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, “Two Kinds of Fear” at such places as Rundel Library as part of its Rich History series, Brighton Library, Greece Historical Society, the YWCA on Bittner Street and the Charlotte Perkins mansion. Since retiring from teaching he has published short stories in Hypertext, Crack the Spine, Indiana Voice Journal, Midway Journal, Adelaide Literary Magazine and Oyster River Pages. He and wife Pam have a daughter, Cedar and a son, Elliott and two grandchildren.

Poets Bill admires: Homer, Blake, Whitman, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Bruce Springsteen

Don't forget to bring some poems of your own to share during the open mic portion of the event. Usually readers are allowed 1-3 poems, for a total of three minutes.