On the way out of the Before Your Quiet Eyes bookstore that held JP’s (Just Poets) “Open Mic Night,” last night (7/12/2017), a first-time attendee (Mike) turned and said,” I am impressed; I just heard a lot of good poetry….” Normally JP hosts a featured reader each month, but last night most of the poems came from JP’s 2017 anthology Le Mot Juste.
Kitty Jospé, this year’s LMJ editor, led the read around by many of the JP members in attendance. The annual publication contains the work of more than 60 poets, all ages, all thoughts – all good. It makes one think about the importance of poetry, and also makes one stop to thank the founders who started the Just Poets group: Donna Marbach, Claudia Stanek, Lorrie Divers and Harold Dill. There was an easy and solid sense of unity last night because these and other poets, who more than a decade ago, took the time and effort to put this idea into reality. The result has been a growing and welcoming poetry group that now reaches near 90 in members and reaches into the Greater Rochester community bringing the power of words where it does and will do its magic.
After the LMJ read around, the Open Mic brought some new work to the audience: Maril Nowak read her poem, The Success of Age; Gene Stelzig read his poem, All Our Ships Have Sailed; David Purdy read a written-that-morning piece on overlooking the Erie Canal, and another generated from his and poet Monica Beck’s June trip to Ireland entitled The Green That Grows Upon the Orange. Monica read a Yeats classic When You Are Old. Jere Fletcher read his poem, Morning Glory; Jen Hu read an as-of-last-night untitled poem; Charles Banks read his poem, The Skeptic, Kitty Jospé’ her poem, Hamlet’s Reply to Recipes Based on Jell-O. Several attendees read additional LMJ poems for poets who did not attend.
Next Month’s Open Mic (August 9) features Jennifer Maloney.