On Tuesday 10 February I was privileged and pleased to attend the Collingwood reading series in Toledo, Ohio, for my first time ever.  The evening’s featured readers were C. Allen Rearick (from Cleveland) and Dan Provost (all the way from Worcester, Massachusetts).  Our hosts were Michael Grover and John Dorsey.  There were a lot of other good poet on hand as well – some I already knew and some who were totally new to me. 

C. Allen Rearick and Dan Provost  [photo by JC]

This was my very first night taking photos with my new still camera.  But silly me… I didn’t realize that the flash on my new camera was positioned differently than on my old one, which meant holding my new camera in the way I was accustomed to holding my old one left the tip of my index finger partly blocking the flash.  So a high percentage of my photos that night were too dark for my liking.

Fortunately, I also took my video camera.  And the poets there were gracious enough to let me film at will.  Here’s Dan Provost’s featured reading.  Be sure to watch through the very end – because when you think it’s over, John Dorsey will read a poem about Dan.

Here’s C. Allen Rearick’s featured reading:

I would have liked to have filmed the entire open mic session that followed the features, but the reading didn’t finish until 1 a.m., and there was no way my camera battery was going to last that long (next time I’ll be better prepared!).  I filmed bits and pieces here and there during the open mic, trying to get a good sampling of the poetry that night.  Unfortunately, I missed getting some very good poets and moments on film (including my own rather tired reading – I’d been up since 4:30 a.m. and my brain wasn’t totally functional).  On the other hand, there was a lot of good open mic poetry I did get on film – and here’s a pieced-together sampling of it.  Poets who appear in this video include Steve North, Nick Muska, Joseph Angelo, Alex Nielsen, Christina Brooks, Caitlin Desmond, and Big Jim the Tea Master.  Next month, I intend to get everyone.

Grover and Dorsey host poetry readings every Tuesday from 9 p.m. to midnight (with features on every 2nd Tuesday) at the Collingwood Arts Center, at 2413 Collingwood Blvd. in Toledo, Ohio.  Next month (March 10th, to be exact), Dianne Borsenik and I have the privilege of being their featured poets.  Toledo has a poetic community that is diverse, committed and rich in talent.  Check ’em out – especially on March 10th!

For more C. Allen Rearick, visit his blog at www.callenrearick.blogspot.com.  Check out his As We Speak Poetry event at Bela Dubby’s in Lakewood, Ohio (13321 Madison Ave.) on 14 March 2009 (featured poets will include Rearick, Dianne Borsenik, John Dorsey, Zachary Moll, Robert Fraser, and Lester Allen).  I also highly recommend C. Allen Rearick’s collection Through These Eyes, available through Tainted Coffee Press.

For more Dan Provost, I recommend his collections Fallen Empathy (available through Covert Press) and Weathered Woman (available through Inkstained Dagger Press).  You can also find his work in The Beards (an excellent anthology available through Tainted Coffee Press that also features John Dorsey, Michael Grover and others).  Visit Dan Provost at www.myspace.com/provost75.