After an initial month of art-showcasing events in October, the Shout Out Saugerties Committee began spitballing ideas to celebrate national poetry month in April. Their arsenal of undertakings this month include a combination poetry walk and window shopping event with a correspondence contest, a series of poetry readings over the course of the month and an hour-long reading of a new translation of the Odyssey written by Emily Wilson, the first penned by a woman in the over 60 translations of Homer’s text into English.
Emerge Gallery and Shout Out decided to collaborate on national poetry month, said organizer Suzanne Bennett. “We said, sure, that seems to fit right into our mission.” She and Robert Langdon and I have been working together planning these events.
Storefronts on Main Street, Partition Street and Livingston Street have been paired with poems that relate to the shop’s wares. Posted in the window of Artistic Hallucinations and Comic Culture on Main Street is a poem entitled “Superheroes as 2004 Volkswagen Passat: A Double Sonnet” by Bruce Covey. “She Saw a Man on Television” by Sophia White is displayed at Pop Vintage Antiques. A comprehensive map of the poem placements is available on the Shout Out Saugerties facebook page and website.
“I think the hardest part was choosing the poems that went in the windows of the stores — I read a lot of poetry for a number of weeks,” said Bennett.
Passers-by are invited to write poems riffing off the titles of those displayed, responding to or satirizing the content or addressing the author. Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Winners will be awarded poetry books from Inquiring Minds Bookstore and original bookmarks designed by local artist Loel Barr. They will be read aloud at the last event of the month, called “Art and Words,” at the Emerge Gallery on April 28 at 4 p.m. For further poetry, attendees can walk across the street to Inquiring Minds Bookstore for the monthly open-mic event, which starts at 6:30.
Also at 4 p.m. on April 22nd, the Odyssey reading will take place at Cross Contemporary Art on 99 Partition Street, featuring a slew of local poets and artists contributing to the hour-long reading. Already passed is the poetry reading at Love Bites that took place on April 15, however, a live stream is available on the Shout Out Saugerties Facebook page.