Friday, December 14, 2012

12/15 Brockton Poetry Series: Gibson and Pawlak

Saturday, December 15, 2012
The Brockton Poetry Series at the Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA (For directions see

About the readers:

Reggie O’Hare Gibson is a poet, writer, performer, musician, lecturer and educator. In 1998 Gibson won the National Slam Competition. It only takes a few moments of listening to him perform to understand exactly why he has garnered awards and accolades for his work. His performances are mesmerizing. He has worked with numerous well-known individuals including Kurt Vonnegut. In 1999, Gibson performed at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, adapting the work of Vonnegut for performance. Mr. Vonnegut, who was in the audience for the performance, had this to say about Reggie O’Hare Gibson’s performance: “When you perform you are supersonic and in the stratosphere where you can see the Earth really as a ball, moist, blue-green. You sing and chant for all of us. Nobody gets left out.”

In 2001 Gibson released his first full-length book of poetry, Storms Beneath the Skin, which received the Golden Pen Award. He describes the poems as chants and canticles for they are both rhythmic and songlike. Reviews of Storms Beneath the Skin are, not-surprisingly, five-star. The book opens with a poem entitled “Alchemy,” where Gibson takes on reductionist academicians who view language simply as grammar, ignoring the way language can awaken us through utilizing new combinations. For the last several years, O’Hare Gibson has turned to the visual arts for inspiration. He feels that visual arts have given him a new way to enter a poem and allows him to see things from different perspectives.

Gibson has recently completed a stint as Artist-in-Residence at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He received his MFA from New England College and has performed widely in the U.S., Cuba, and Europe. In 2008 he represented the U.S., competed for and won the Absolute Poetry Award in Monfalcone, Italy. In addition to his live on-stage performances, he has been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and on various NPR programs. He is a recipient of the Walker scholarship for poetry from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and a YMCA Writer’s fellowship. In 2010 Gibson received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award for Poetry and the 2010-11 Lexington Education Foundation Program grant. In addition to his poetic performances, he is on-stage regularly with Atlas Soul, a world music ensemble that combines North African grooves with American Jazz, Rock and Funk.

Mark Pawlak is the author of seven poetry collections and the editor of six anthologies. His latest books are Go to the Pine: Quoddy Journals 2005-2010 (Plein Air Editions/Bootstrap Press, 2012) and Jefferson’s New Image Salon :Mashups and Matchups (Cervena Barva Press, 2010). His work has been translated into German, Polish, and Spanish, and has appeared widely in English in anthologies such as The Best American Poetry, Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust, For the Time Being: The Bootstrap Anthology of Poetic Journals and in the literary magazines New American Writing, Mother Jones, Poetry South, The Saint Ann’s Review, and The World, among many others. For more than 30 years Pawlak has been an editor of the Brooklyn-based Hanging Loose, one of the oldest independent literary journals and presses in the country. He supports his poetry habit by teaching mathematics at U Mass Boston, where he is Director of Academic Support Programs. He lives in Cambridge.

We meet downstairs in the Fuller Café.

12:00 - 2:00 Poetry Workshop (offered at no charge to the public)
1:30 - 2:00 Sign up for Open-Mic Reading
2:15 - 3:15 Open-Mic Reading
3:30 - 4:30 Feature Poets

Poetry Features for Saturday January 19 are Lloyd Schwartz and Renee Summers.

See our new website: and click on “Brockton Poetry” to see our current poets of the month and upcoming features.

12/18: Aguero, Blake, and Hoffman at the Armory

Hosted by Harris Gardner and Gloria Mindock

7:00 PM/ADMISSION: $4.00

About the readers:

Kathleen Aguero's poetry collections include Investigations: The Mystery of the Girl Sleuth, Daughter Of, The Real Weather and Thirsty Day. She has also co-edited three volumes of multi-cultural literature for the University of Georgia Press and is a poetry editor of Solstice Literary Magazine. She teaches at Pine Manor College in both the undergraduate and low-residency M.F.A. programs.

Michelle Blake has published poetry and essays in Ploughshares, Southern Review, Seneca Review, More, The New York Times and a number of other publications. She is also the author of three novels-The Tentmaker, Earth Has No Sorrow and The Book of Light. Blake has taught writing at Tufts University, Stanford University, Warren Wilson College and Goddard College. She received a MTS from Harvard Divinity School and a MFA from Goddard.

Richard Hoffman is author of the poetry collections, Without Paradise, Gold Star Road, winner of the 2006 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the 2008 Sheila Motton Award from the New England Poetry Club, and Emblem. He is also author of the memoir Half the House, and the short story collection, Interference and Other Stories.

An open mic will follow the reading.

The Center for the Arts is located between Davis Square and Union Square at 191 Highland Avenue. Parking is located behind the armory at the rear of the building. Arts at the Armory is approximately a 15 minute walk from Davis Square which is on the MTBA Red Line. You can also find us by using either the MBTA RT 88 and RT 90 bus that can be caught either at Lechmere (Green Line) or Davis Square (Red Line). Get off at the Highland Avenue and Lowell Street stop. You can also get to us from Sullivan Square (Orange Line) by using the MBTA RT 90 bus. Get off at the Highland Avenue and Benton Road stop.