On November 4th, I attended the 4th annual brevitas Festival of the Short Poem at the Bowery Poetry Club. The gathering of about 40 published poets, including former poet laureate Billy Collins, drew a large crowd.
City Lore is an npo that produces various programs and publications intended to inform the public of the artistic life and cultural heritage of New York City. Check out the website (linked above) for a listing of City Lore activities.
Here are some images from events that City Lore has been part of in the last few years (click on the links under the thumbnails for full-size image galleries):
Missing: Streetscapes of a City if Mourning (post 9-11)
As a practicing poet, Steve Zeitlin is concerned with the poetic life of the City, and with making City Lore an advocate for poetry in mainstream American culture. Before I met him, or indeed had any idea who he was, I was captivated by his reading at the brevitas show on the Bowery. Maybe only because his was the last reading (though I suspect otherwise), his words, recitation, and general demeanor, had a profound impact on me.
I got me a sort of a one-man religion – but it takes in everybody. My religion is so big, no matter who you are, you’re in it, and no matter what you do, you can’t get out of it.
– Woody Guthrie
Steve read that quote and then went into his own poetry. I’d advise anyone to pick up a copy of his work, but I will only reproduce here the last short poem he read.
Are we on a quest to understand the universe
Or are we some figment of Creation’s quest
To understand itself?
Frail and human creatures of the cosmos
Can we sense the presence
of our own Creator
In this animated stardust?
This dust that renders visible
A stream of light –
Particles dancing in a beam of light!