Poetry Central

Poetry Central

Poetry Central was a loose collection of performance poets and audiences in the area of Rochester N.Y. Performances and readings were presented publicly under its sponsorship, originally at the. First Unitarian Universalist Church on Clinton Avenue, from about 1972 to about 1986, although there were some long periods when the collective was unable to find a space for presentation of these readings.

Activities

The group was originally formed by nationally recognized poet and museum arts teacher James Lavilla-Havelin. The regular contributors to this collective included William Pruitt, Diane Baum; David Shevin, David Michael Nixon, Bobby Johnson, Wally Butts, and Joe M. Connelly. Poets reading at spaces provided by this collective included Anne Waldman; Michael McClure; Gregory Corso; Robert Creeley; Gary Snyder; Diane Wakoski; Robert Bly; and occasionally fiction writers would appear as well, such as award winning mystery writer Edward D. Hoch; as well as regionally known writers from the western N.Y. area, such as Buffalo playwright Emanuel Fried. The collective was also well known for providing the Rochester area with a stage for open readings, where writers of every kind could present their work in recital to the public. Activities also included sponsorship for readings and the teaching of writing poetry in public schools; support for publications by local authors; introduction of poetry readings in local bars and coffee-houses; the occasional public-access television broadcast of readings; placement of poetry on sign-cards in high-profile public places, such as bus-stops; attempts to network with similar collectives in other cities.

Context

The collective was heavily influenced by the poetics of the Beat generation, and by the poetics that developed out of that movement, spreading throughout the so-called 'cultural revolution' of the 1960s. However, money was always tight, and contributor personalities occasionally clashed; but the collective really began to fall apart during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, when the culture and general tenor of American life began to drift seriously right-ward. Since Poetry Central represented a democratic approach to poetics, community interest in the collective dwindled as Americans re-defined themselves as essentially selfish and profit-driven, and unconcerned with the content or outcome of cultural conflict. By the mid-1990s, American poetry as a viable mode of cultural change and exchange had been disempowered. Poetry itself continues; but regardless of the need for collectives such as Poetry Central, the will does not appear to be there, in many areas of America, including western N.Y.

Legacy

Although few of the original contributors to Poetry Central remain in the Rochester area, and their continuing poetic activity is largely unknown, Poetry Central does appear to have left a legacy of hope for writers in the Rochester area, as a moment when poets came together and defined themselves, without surrender to cultural definitions surrounding them.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Poetry analysis — is the process of investigating a poem s form, content, and history in an informed way, with the aim of heightening one s own and others understanding and appreciation of the work.The words poem and poetry derive from the Greek poiēma (to make)… …   Wikipedia

  • Central Asia — Area 4,003,400 km2 (1,545,721 sq mi)[1] Population 61,551,945 …   Wikipedia

  • POETRY — This article is arranged according to the following outline (for modern poetry, see hebrew literature , Modern; see also prosody ): biblical poetry introduction the search for identifiable indicators of biblical poetry the presence of poetry in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • poetry —    It is a commonly acknowledged truism that reading and writing poetry are both valued and difficult exercises. Poetry has an important cultural position because it is often manifestly difficult, made so by the apparent obscurity of its… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • Poetry — This article is about the art form. For other uses, see Poetry (disambiguation). Literature Major forms Novel · Poem · Drama Short story · Novella …   Wikipedia

  • Central Asian literatures — Introduction       the poetry and prose writings produced in a variety of languages in Central Asia, roughly defined as the region bounded to the east by the Tarim Basin in China, to the west by the Caspian Sea, and to the south by the Amu Darya… …   Universalium

  • Poetry of Catullus — The poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus was written towards the end of the Roman Republic. It describes the Epicurean lifestyle of the poet and his friends, as well as, most famously, his love for the woman he calls Lesbia.ources and… …   Wikipedia

  • Central Java — Infobox Provinces of Indonesia name= Provinsi Jawa Tengah Province of Central Java motto = Prasetya Ulah Sakti Bhakti Praja (Javanese, A vow of devotion with all might to the country ) coordinate = Latitude Longitude 6°S to 7°30 S 108°30 E to… …   Wikipedia

  • Central Asian arts — Literary, performing, and visual arts of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Tibet, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and parts of China and Russia. The term usually denotes only those traditions not influenced by the… …   Universalium

  • Central News Agency Literary Award — The Central News Agency Literary Award (CNA Literary Award, CNA Prize) is a major annual literary award in South Africa. [ Described as the then principal literary award , in 1977, by nobelprize.org. [http://nobelprize.org/nobel… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”