Monday, January 30, 2017

Poetry at Barbaric Yawp

For the second time, I've joined Barbaric Yawp Open Mic, which runs the fourth Sunday of every month (except when specified otherwise.)  Over the last few years, I've been exposed to a great deal more poetry, modern and classical both and I've come to appreciate that the Twin Cities really are leaders in the arts, as I've been to multiple open mics in the area.

I read an excerpt from the end of Blue Bells, based on the descriptions left to us of that day, including Bruce's actual words.


The first sight of the English would inspire dread in the bravest troops in Christendom, it was later said. They covered the land like locusts, tens of thousands. Sunlight glinted off helmets, armors, spears. White banners, too many to count, snapped over them. Carnival-colored silken pennants flapped in the summer breeze. The earth shook under their heavy warhorses. Their columns stretched for twenty miles. 
The Scots gathered, five thousand, for Mass, on the morning of the battle. They formed their lines with the trees and Stirling Castle behind them, facing the narrow stretch of the Bannock Burn over which the English must flow. The Bruce walked among them, marked as separate only by the thin band of gold circling his auburn hair and the suffering of leadership stamped on his face. 
"We are hopelessly outnumbered!" His voice rang like a clarion. "Any man who wishes to turn now and go to the aid and protection of his family may do so without consequence! 'Twill be held against no man, should he choose to walk away now!" 
His voice carried clear and far. 
The men heard. 
The men held their ground


Barbaric Yawp, poetry readings, open mic, WH Auden, St. Paul arts scene
I also read two poems written in the ancient Celtic ae freshlighe form, both poems about major figures in Scottish history--True Thomas and James Douglas.  I'll write elsewhere the particular incident from the life of James Douglas, told by the poem.  It's a great story!

Last night, we had about 16 readers.  Some standouts to me were Jim Fisher, who read a short story called Waiting for My Socks to Dry, that talked about forgiveness and reconciliation with his son, Austin Ryan's story about Horatio, who is not OCD, but ends up subsumed in cleaning the keys on his laptop keyboard, Eric Tu's excellent reading of two poems from his new book, and a reading of W.H. Auden's Master and Boatswain.  (My apologies to the poet who read it if I give the wrong name, as I don't know everyone there well, but I'm pretty sure it was Alan Sinclair.)

Poetry styles go through 'fashions' like anything else, and I appreciated this piece written in a style very different from what is popular today.  Although Dylan Thomas's version of it is best known, I liked this version, as the narrator is very clear and easy to understand, in addition to the poem being on the screen.  Enjoy!



COMING UP:
  • February 10, 2017: I'll be reading and signing books at Magers and Quinn with Genny Kieley.  Complimentary wine and a medieval dessert!
  • February 5, 12, and 19, I'll be reading on the Vehicle of Expression, part of the Art Shanty Project
  • February 25, 2017: I will co-host Food Freedom on AM 950 with Laura Hedlund and Karen Olson Johnson.  Guests: Michael Agnew, craft beer expert and Ross Fischman on Russian literature.  We'll taste Russian beer: listen to the whole program from last month.

To learn more about my books, click on the images below.

If you would like to follow this blog, sign up HERE
If you like an author's posts, please click like and share
It helps us continue to do what we do

If you liked this article, you might also like
Medieval Poetry: When the Nightingale Sings
Poetry and Beer
other posts under the POETRY label

 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Books and Brews: Poetry and Beer

Four beers before 9 am!  Not the normal start to my day, that's for sure!  Four beers while listening to poetry, no less!  This was the first edition of Books and Brews, with Michael Agnew, Cicerone, and Mike Dean, poet, as my guests, and co-hosted by Laura Hedlund and Karen Olson Johnson on their regular Saturday morning Food Fredom program.

While talking about poetry--and the deeper complexities of literature, poetry, and beer--we sampled four coffee-based beers, which Michael talked about, in addition to explaining some of his background and work as a beer cicerone.  Among the four--Coffee Bender from Surly, Cold Press Black from Bent Paddle, First Call from Modist Brewing, and 5 Beans by Sixpoint.  I think we were all in agreement on liking 5 Beans the best, with its combination of vanilla, coffee, cacao, and cardamom.

Mike Dean read poetry from his own book, Sea Shells, and from the newly-released Martin Lake Poetry Anthology, along with poems about beer by Robert Burns and...Edgar Allan Poe!

Edgar Allan Poe?

Yes, Edgar Allan Poe took a break from ravens and beating hearts and poor dead Annabel Lee to write Lines on Ale:

Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain--
Quaintest thoughts--queerist fancies
Come to life and fade away
What care I how time advances
I am drinking ale today

Join us to listen to the whole program.

Next month, we'll be talking about Russian literature and tasting Russian beer.

COMING UP:
  • February 10, 2017: I'll be reading and signing books at Magers and Quinn with Genny Kieley
  • February 25, 2017: I will co-host Food Freedom on AM 950 with Laura Hedlund and Karen Olson Johnson.  Guests: Michael Agnew, craft beer expert and Ross Fischman on Russian literature.  We'll taste Russian beer.
CURRENTLY:

To learn more about my books, click on the images below.

If you would like to follow this blog, sign up HERE
If you like an author's posts, please click like and share
It helps us continue to do what we do

If you liked this article, you might also like
other posts under the AUTHOR INTERVIEWS or BOOKS AND BREWS labels

 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Meet the Brewer: Michael Agnew

In a new endeavor, which has grown from my writing, I will begin a monthly radio program, Books and Brews, co-hosted with Laura Hedlund and Karen Olson Johnson, on January 28--8 a.m.  Rise and shine and tune into AM950 here in the frozen tundra that is often called the Twin Cities, Minnesota.

craft beer, beer tasting, Michael Agnew, beer Minneapolis, coffee beer, coffee based beer
Come to think of it, what better time for the Brews part of the program, which, this month, will feature coffee-based craft beers.  I wrote previously about Michael Dean, poet, who will be the Books part of the program, and today, I'd like to introduce Michael Agnew, Cicerone.

Presumably the first question for most people is--what is a Cicerone?  Think sommelier for beer.  (Good thing we'll also be talking about poetry that morning!)  A Cicerone is a beer expert, one who has passed a four-hour exam verifying solid, well-rounded knowledge of beer, as well as competence in assessing, and identifying beers by taste.  The exam includes written, tasting, and demonstration sections.

Michael Agnew keeps busy in the world of beer, with his site A Perfect Pint, teaching classes, hosting events, judging, and writing columns for several publications, including a regular column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  A recent article is on exactly what we'll be talking about on January 28--beer with coffee overtones--or is that coffee with beer overtones?  

In addition to his work in the world of beer, Michael has a career as an actor, producer, and director and has written two books: Craft Beer for the Home Brewer: Recipes from America's Top Brewers, and A Perfect Pint's Beer Guide to the Heartland.

Join us to learn more about craft brewing--and poetry--and to learn who will be on the program next month, from around the world.

  • January 28: I will co-host Food Freedom on AM 950 with Laura Hedlund and Karen Olson Johnson.  Guests: Michael Agnew, craft beer expert, Michael G. Dean, poet.
  • I'll be reading and signing books February 10, 2017 at Magers and Quinn with Genny Kieley
CURRENTLY:

  • There is currently a giveaway going on at my facebook page for a 252 piece puzzle of misty Glenmirril (aka Grant Tower at Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness.)
To learn more about my books, click on the images below.

If you would like to follow this blog, sign up HERE
If you like an author's posts, please click like and share
It helps us continue to do what we do

If you liked this article, you might also like
Kingdom without Castles by JR Tomlin, Braveheart: William Wallace by Eliza Knight or
other posts under the AUTHOR INTERVIEWS label

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Meet the Poet: Michael Dean

Coming January 28, I'll be starting my monthly co-hosting with Laura Hedlund and Karen Olson Johnson at AM 950.  The program is Books, Brews, and News.  8 a.m. can't possibly be too early to tune in!  I hope you'll join me.  Each program will feature a guest author (or musician), and a guest from the world of craft brewing.  

I'm already lining up some interesting people I know from the worlds of writing and music.  The first program--did I mention it's on January 28 at 8 a.m. on 950 AM--will feature Michael Agnew, Minnesota's first Cicerone (that's a beer expert) and Michael Dean, poet.

The observant reader will note it's going to be a room full of Michaels and Lauras!  This should be fun!

There's an old joke in the world of writers that a publisher would rather see a burglar in his office than a poet.  It seems that for decades, it's been a bit of a dying form.  Very few people can claim Poet as a full-time job, and very few have had any great success as published poets.  However, in recent years, I personally have met a number of poets, in my writers' group, Night Writers, online (All Poetry is a great place for sharing and meeting other poets, and The Poet's Garret is a good resource), and with some forays to a poetry group and out to open mics at Southern Theater (Ball's Cabaret) and the Underground Music Cafe, which features Barbaric Yawp the fourth Sunday of every month.

Michael Dean, poet, published poet, new poetry, short poems, craft beer, Michael Agnew, microbrewery
Somewhere along the line, I met Michael Dean, poet.  Michael currently lives pretty much as one imagines a poet should--out in the woods near Martin Lake with his dog Finn.  Sort of a colder and snowier Walden Pond.

Mike has a fascinating background, having spent much of his childhood and youth on Okinawa, where his father was an airplane mechanic for Air America--the CIA planes.  On returning to the United States, he graduated from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN and went on to hold a number of interesting jobs.  

Several years ago, he began writing poetry more seriously.  However, life can never be too serious, so in our recent pre-program discussion, we talked about the question of how beer and poetry relate.  It prompted us to look up poems about beer--and yes, there are plenty of them!  Mike will be reading at least one of them.  Believe me, there will never be a better chance than 8 a.m. January 28, 2017 on 950 AM radio, to hear a poem about beer read by a real poet!  I left him with the job of choosing, so I look forward not only to hearing what he chose--I knew of a few already from my research for Food and Feast--but also to hearing it rendered rather than merely read.  I'm sure it will be fun!

Mike writes what he calls index finger poetry which are typically rather short poems.  Tune in on January 28 to hear more of his journey from house paint and city planner to published poet, with his first book, Seashells, being released just this past summer.



poetry, published poets, Michael G. Dean, new poetry
Night is not shadow Day not between two suns 
They are shift workers 

One works for other 
Each saying hello good night 
Lips never touching


~ by Michael G. Dean

  


  • January 28: I will co-host Food Freedom on AM 950 with Laura Hedlund and Karen Olson Johnson.  Guests: Michael Agnew, craft beer expert, Michael G. Dean, poet.
  • I'll be reading and signing books February 10, 2017 at Magers and Quinn with Genny Kieley
CURRENTLY:
  • There is currently a giveaway going on at my facebook page for a 252 piece puzzle of misty Glenmirril (aka Grant Tower at Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness.)
To learn more about my books, click on the images below.

If you would like to follow this blog, sign up HERE
If you like an author's posts, please click like and share
It helps us continue to do what we do

If you liked this article, you might also like
Kingdom without Castles by JR Tomlin, Braveheart: William Wallace by Eliza Knight or
other posts under the AUTHOR INTERVIEWS label