JR Came Through

The reading Jerome Rothenberg gave here in Albany on wednesday night was a great success (chairs had to be schlepped in from Tess’ Tavern 3 blocks up the street). JR read from the China Notes and The Treasures of Dunhuang (Ahadada Books, Toronto and Tokyo). and from the forthcoming New Directions compilation of his Poland 1931 / Khurbn / “Burning Babe” sequences. Besides the pleasure of the poems, a major aspect of the success of the reading was the audience: a rare — for Albany, but for many other towns & cities as well, as I know from experience — mix of the town & the gown that included many of the members of the local open mic scene(s), plain citizens of Albany and environs, SUNY students, both graduate and undergraduate, plus a bevy of more or less well-known poetas — with a novelist or two thrown in — from the Hudson Valley region to the Berkshires. An excellent mix that made for a large table afterwards with talk flowing in harmony with the libations.

Jerry & Diane got back on the road this morning for a gig at Yale’s Working Group in Contemporary Poetics later tonight. But not before I scanned a page from Jerry’s road notebook, where the poems get cooked up. Here it is:

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