On Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 8pm, I am delighted to host the seventh annual evening of young poets at the National Arts Club. This year's event features Brooklyn-based writers Mika Gellman, Andrew Hurst, Jennifer L. Knox, and Jason Koo. The reading is free and open to the public and takes place in one of New York's coolest clubs. I hope you will join us for this special evening.
Poetry is everywhere you look in Bushwick. One day this winter, after February's big snow storm, I was walking around near Flushing Avenue on my way to Storefront Bushwick. I passed streets and streets of industrial buildings. It was Sunday-quiet: snow melting off rooftops, water gleaming in afternoon sunlight. Suddenly around the corner strides a tall guy with a beard carrying a white hula hoop festooned with black ribbons. I thought, That is so Bushwick. Sure, you can see things that pop out at you in any corner of the city. But one thing that's neat about Bushwick is that the guy with the hula hoop seems to come out of nowhere. The surprise delights.
The best poetry also seems to pop out of nothing: that is, seeing the beauty and interest in the everyday. These Brooklyn poets do that in spades.
Jason Andrew's celebration of John Cage last fall at Bushwick's English Kills gallery inspired me to connect this seventh annual Young Poets event to Brooklyn. On the John Cage evening, Jason gathered poets, dancers, performance artists, and musicians to contribute their work simultaneously for 45 minutes. The result was noisy and exhilarating. During that evening some of tonight's readers blew me away with their work.
Mika Gellman is a recent graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School, where she studied Postmodern and Contemporary Poetics. Her work has been published in Jellyroll magazine and her first chapbook "jack." is forthcoming from Norte Maar.
Andrew Hurst works in a variety of media. His collage and assemblage work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn galleries Storefront and English Kills. Hurst has self-published two chapbooks of poetry, Poltergeist Directory in 2004 and Moonlight Predictions in 2010.
Jennifer L. Knox is the author of three books of poems, The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway, Drunk by Noon, and A Gringo Like Me, all available from Bloof Books. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review and four times in the Best American Poetry series. She is at work on her first novel.
Jason Koo is the author of America’s Favorite Poem (forthcoming 2013) and Man on Extremely Small Island (2009), both from C&R Press. His first book won the De Novo Poetry Prize and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Members’ Choice Award for the best Asian American book of 2009. His recent work has appeared in The Yale Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Octopus and elsewhere. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Quinnipiac University and Founder and Executive Director of Brooklyn Poets.