NEW! THE SECOND VOLUME OF NEW YORK CITY MEMOIRS: INTO THE FIRE
I’ve just published this book about my experiences running the poetry program at a midtown church. This takes place before the time period in Community: Journal of Power Politics and Democracy in Hell’s Kitchen.
A young, aspiring writer came to St. Clement’s Church on West 46th Street in New York City looking for a job in the theater. Soon she was helping run the church’s poetry program. The New York Poetry Festival at St. Clement’s featured many well-known poets of the 1970s and 80s as well as up-and-coming and marginalized poets. The poetry scene, occurring alongside Punk rock and the waning days of experimental dance and theater, was part of the last widespread grassroots artistic era in the United States.
Into The Fire: A Poet’s Journey takes place in the rough-and-tumble Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side. This story is set in a neighborhood that reflects the passion of the times. By 1980, both the arts scene and New York neighborhoods are on the verge of change. The author’s life in the arts weaves in and out of the neighborhood’s narratives. She must make a choice between two possible lives.
St. Clement’s Church has a storied history in the arts, beginning with the American Place Theater in the 1960s to the present day. Cameo appearances in this memoir are made by Robert Altman, Amiri Baraka, Daniel Berrigan, Karen Black, Raymond Carver, Cher, Abbie Hoffman, Spalding Gray, Al Pacino, and Paul Simon. Erick Hawkins, June Anderson, and Daniel Nagrin dance through.
Poets and writers include Carol Bergé, Ted Berrigan, Enid Dame, Cornelius Eady, Allen Ginsberg, Daniella Gioseffi, Barbara Holland, Bob Holman, Richard Howard, Maurice Kenny, Tuli Kupferberg, Eve Merriam, Robin Morgan, Sharon Olds, Alicia Ostriker, Alice Notley, William Packard, Robert Peters, Rochelle Ratner, Grace Shulman, and Kurt Vonnegut, with mentions or discussions of Joseph Bruchac, Gregory Corso, Emily Dickinson, David Ignatow, Joy Harjo, Rashid Hussein, Kim Chi Ha, Denise Levertov, Audre Lorde, Anais Nin, Ron Padgett, Pedro Pietro, Muriel Rukeyser, and Anne Sexton, among others. Along the way, I recommend poems that can be found online by a few of these writers.
The first five people who request a Kindle (you must live in the United States per Amazon’s rules) will receive the ebook as a gift from me. To request, please email me at (your email will only be used to deliver the Kindle): email@example.com