Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fred McBagonluri at DeBaun

Here's this week's press release from the Spoken Word Series. Beats me why it never occurred to me to post there here before.
Fred McBagonluri
October’s Spoken Word Artist
For Immediate Release

Performance Date: October 4, 2009, at 3 p.m., with open microphone following
Location: Symposia Bookstore, 510 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ (Accessible by PATH & Light Rail),
Admission: FREE, with $3 suggested donation
Information: or 201-216-8933

Hoboken, NJ: For the second installment of the 2009–2010 Spoken Word Series, DeBaun Center for Performing Arts and curator David Vincenti have chosen a wonderful artist to be featured on Sunday, October 4, 2009, at 3 p.m.—Fred McBagonluri. The Spoken Word Series, co-hosted by Siobhan Barry-Bratcher and David Vincenti, is presented monthly at Symposia Bookstore, 510 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ.

Fred McBagonluri is a Director of R&D at BD Medical. Fred graduated from Central State University, Wilberforce, OH with a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (summa cum laude) in 1996. He holds MS and PhD from Virginia Tech (1998) and University of Dayton (2005), respectively. He has published extensively in technical journals, conference proceedings and book chapters and has over 26 US and European patent applications in the areas of advanced imaging technologies and hearing instruments design. Fred is the 2008 recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year: Most Promising Scientist, 2008 NJBiz Healthcare Innovator Hero Awards and 2009 Astronaut Candidate Finalist. He is the author of three novels: (A) Woman to Marry, Dusk Recitals and When Tears Stand Still. He is married to Diana McBagonluri, also an author and they have two daughters, Putiaha and Puyen.

Fred will read from his works and then the microphone will be open to the public to share their work. Although it is not necessary to pre-register to attend the event, those interested in sharing their work during the open mic are asked to sign up at 2:45 p.m. Open mic participants are asked to limit their work to five minutes per person.

The Spoken Word Series takes place at Symposia Bookstore, 510 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ. Symposia is the only used bookstore in Hoboken and has great prices for used books, wireless Internet access and many events every week. This is the sixth year DeBaun Center for the Performing Arts and Symposia Bookstore have teamed up to co-produce the Series. With each reading, more and more people are introduced to this wonderful bookshop and the work of many superb artists.

For more information, please visit, email or call 201-216-8933.

The next Spoken Word event will be on November 1, 2009, at 3 p.m. with Jessica de Koninck.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One Poem, My Beamish Boy!

The Poetry Out Loud blog posts the following question: If you could choose only ONE poem to teach to your students, what would it be, and why? POL is about high school, which is a venue I've only dipped a toe into, but I can answer without hesitation for the age groups I've worked with (3rd-8th).


Think about it. It's a classic but it's fun. It permits the teaching of rhyme and meter. It permits both performance and interperations. It many elements of sound and how it affects tone (hard sounds are darker...), etc.

And here's one more huge thing for me: it teaches not to be hung up on the words as individuals when the idea is to experience the poem. There will be time to worry about the words and their placement, and all that; a first experience with poetry is not that time).

One of the biggest hurdles I find in getting kids to write poems is to permit their imagination to come with them into a poem. To let their natural desire to tell great stories, unencumbered by truth, control the pen. What better vehicle to get past that than a great action story in which you provide the meaning for every single noun.

And as kids get older, you can add to the lesson that the poem is capable of taking on a life of its own irrespective of what was in the poet's head when he or she wrote it - another reason to trade meaning for momentum in the poem. Almost always the right thing to do.

What poems were meaningful to you as kids? What was it about them that stayed with you:?

What is this man trying to say?

Actually, I'm teaching some project managers some simple tools to better understand scope management. Wasn't that obvious?

Notes: Photo was borrowed from here. Visit the Symposium Page for more on my talk.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Poetry Weekends in New Jersey!

Oh, to be in New Jersey, now that verse is here....


If you weren't in Hoboken last weekend, you missed Deborah Ager's visit, and hearing her read from Midnight Voices. Deborah and her family braved both sides of the Hudson and got to spend some quality time at the Hoboken Italian Festival (zeppoles in lieu of payment? I'll bite).

Thanks, Deborah for the visit! I hope the southbound traffic treated you well on the way home (but I know it probably didn't...)


My oh my, if you have already made plans for this Sunday, you need to cancel them now and get your DVR ready to save the end of the Jets' 23-13 victory for you. That's right. I said it.

Here are three events that should ought to give the NFL a run for its TV money. Unfortunately, they're all happening at the same time!

First, in Red Bank, you have Peter Murphy and Chris McIntyre reading at Dublin House.

If that's too far south for you, stop in to see Nancy Scott and BJ Ward at Poets in the Garden in Morristown.

And finally, if you have an aversion to BOTH the Parkway and 287, join Diane Lockward for a Poetry Party on the theme "When Arts Collide" at the Huddle Inn.


And NEXT weekend, we have the Warren County Poetry Festival! More on that as it approaches. I need to focus on Sunday!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another few reasons you should come to Hoboken tomorrow...

From my perch, I regard your room
as insipid. I receive your whispers
daily. You, in return, push all
my buttons.

from "Lament of the Telephone", by Deborah Ager, from Midnight Voices.

It promises to be a mostly sunny day in The Boken, and you may even be able to grab a few zeppoles on the way in or out of the reading. The Jets are starting a rookie and won't be watchable until week 5, the Giants don't kick off until 4:15. There are no excuses not to be in your seat at Symposia Bookstore (510 Washington Street) by 3PM.



See you there.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remember. Read. Renew.

Home By Now
Meg Kearney

New Hampshire air curls my hair like a child's
hand curls around a finger. "Children?" No,
we tell the realtor, but maybe a dog or two.
They'll bark at the mail car (Margaret's
Chevy Supreme) and chase the occasional
moose here in this place where doors are left
unlocked and it's Code Green from sun-up,
meaning go ahead and feel relieved—
the terrorists are back where you left them
on East 20th Street and Avenue C. In New York
we stocked our emergency packs with whistles
and duct tape. In New England, precautions take
a milder hue: don't say "pig" on a lobster boat
or paint the hull blue. Your friends in the city
say they'll miss you but don't blame you—they
still cringe each time a plane's overhead,
one ear cocked for the other shoe.


Meg read for DeBaun Series in January, 2002. Although we'd "started" the series a few months earlier, I consider Meg's reading our first real event for a number of reasons, but mostly because the cumulative audience for the preceding 4 "events" was "zero". When she read for DeBaun, she started by reciting the poem of a teenage boy, which I unfortunately don't remember, which basically said if the two sides in a war could see each other clearly, as if through a window, they'd just stop fighting. I think Meg recited that poem to open all her readings in 2002, as a small gesture toward restored sanity in the world.


Well, we've been trying to live up to the spirit Meg's reading baptized us with, and you'll see that spirit in action this weekend if you can stop by Symposia Bookstore at 3PM Sunday, when poet and editor Deborah Ager will join us. Read her poems, then make your plans to join us. You TiVo the games.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Deborah Ager at DeBaun

Even now I dream of this -- ice-glossed asphalt,
the car in circiles, then at rest in the median.

For miles, nothing but snow coating Osceola,
Iowa like a curse, winter crimping the final berries.

(from "Black Ice", Midnight Voices, Cherry Grove Collections)

Deborah Ager will be the featured reader at the initial event of the Spoken Word Series this coming Sunday; all the usual details apply.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 06, 2009


You could get whiplash entering the New Jersey Poetry Scene in September, I'm thinking. Our season starts up in 7 days (more on that tomorrow), but here's an event you might want to be making time that might not show up on your usual poetry calendars:

Premiere Stages mounts a production of "Any Other Name", George Brant's play inspired by the experiences of poet John Clare, through September 20. Read more about it, and if you're ordering tickets, use the discount code "ROSE" when you call the box office (908-737-SHOW) to announce your love of poetry and save 5 bucks in the process.