Woodstock Poetry Society
Featured Reading and Open Mike
Saturday, October 14th, 2017 at 2pm
Golden Notebook (Upstairs)

John Amen
Ken Holland

Poets John Amen and Ken Holland will be the featured readers, along with an open mike when the Woodstock Poetry Society & Festival meets at Golden Notebook (Upstairs), 29 Tinker Street on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 at 2pm.

Note: WPS&F meetings are held the 2nd Saturday (2pm) of every month at Golden Notebook (Upstairs).

Golden Notebook (Upstairs)
29 Tinker Street
Woodstock, NY 12498

The reading will be hosted by poet Phillip X Levine. All meetings are free, open to the public, and include an open mike.


John Amen - John Amen is the author of five collections of poetry, including strange theater (New York Quarterly Books), a finalist for the 2016 Brockman-Campbell Award. His poetry, fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in journals nationally and internationally, and his poetry has been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, Korean, and Hebrew. In addition, he has released two folk rock CDs: All I’ll Never Need and Ridiculous Empire. He founded and continues to edit The Pedestal Magazine (www.thepedestalmagazine.com).

for Stefan

In the beginning, a little blind spot,
o little big bang, little blind spot
becomes the universe, gives gravity a job,
keeps you clutching your hand grenade,
finger twitching on the trigger—
ok to aim but not to fire ok to aim but not to fire
Remind yourself: it’s 2016, don’t let 1971
detonate in your lap, take out the living room,
the house, the dream it’s taken decades to find,
years lost in the swamp & fire.

I’m not the first to experience
effort as little more than a bunker
to hide in while inconsequence,
with its platoon of dead-ends & sabotages,
marches its way, a monsoon
rearranges the furniture, indifference
cranks up the volume on the radio.

I don’t like writing my own obituary
while across town another part of me is christened;
still, I wear brother you better believe
none of this is going to work out

like a suit of armor, like a drip IV.
Like bulletproof wings I flap to find
someone else already signed the contracts, delivered the mail,
threw his body between the exploding grenade

& the rest of the world. My years
have been punctuated by small salvations
I can never explain, they arrive like sleep or waking,
like going home the morning after the bunker’s lost,
always the morning after.

-John Amen


Ken Holland - Ken Holland has had work published in several dozen literary journals, including Rattle, Southwest Review, and Confrontation. His poetry has recently appeared in the Cortland Review and Poetry East and has work forthcoming in Naugatuck Review and an anthology being published by the Paulinskill Poetry Project. He’s at work on both a chapbook and full-length poetry manuscript. He works for a NYC publisher.

Call Back the Dogs

Call back the dogs
They’ve got no scent to follow
That brindled one,
Sloe-eyed and slavering,
What’s he bellowing about?
Is it the loam freshly thawed
Or the river’s hard run, bearing away
The brown corpse of winter?

The pond ice is blear
Like an albino’s long stare,
Refuses to mirror
The cobalt brush of the sky.
Even the dogs can smell
The thinness of it
And prance at its edge
As they would an animal wounded.

There’ll be another freeze
As when the season first gathered,
And snow, the great white weight of it
Unfurling from the sky.
It’ll keep us to ourselves
Nothing to be done for that,
The dogs have known greater hardship
From the muddied heel of my boot.

So ignore that starling’s cry
It’s still the time of crows
See them squat like black Buddhas
In the bud-less trees.
When they flock, it’s with reason
They call it a murder.
There’s carrion beneath the melt
And they’ll be the first to know.

-Ken Holland


Developing WPS 2017 Schedule - all readings at Golden Notebook (Upstairs)

01/January 14th – Elizabeth J. Coleman; Lee Slonimsky
02/February 11th – Janet Hamill; Pauline Uchmanowicz
03/March 11th – Perry Nicholas; Peter Coco
04/April 8th – Matthew J. Spireng; Richard Levine
05/May 13th – Joel Lewis; Kate Reese Hurd
06/June 10th – Karen Corinne Herceg; Mike Jurkovic
07/July 8th – Donald Lev; Howard J. Kogan
08/August 12th – Paul Nash and the "Palisades Poets"
(John J. Trause, Denise La Neve, Josh Humphrey, Susanna Rich, Mort Rich, ...)
09/September 9th – Mary Makofske; TBA
10/October 14th – John Amen; Ken Holland
11/November 11th – Cate McNider; Laurence Carr
12/December 9th – Dante Kanter; Otis Kidwell Burger; and Annual Business Meeting

Also, why not become a 2017 Member of the Woodstock Poetry Society & Festival?

Membership is $20 a year. (To join, send your check to the Woodstock Poetry Society, P.O. Box 531, Woodstock, NY 12498. Include your email address as well as your mailing address and phone number. Or join online at: www.woodstockpoetry.com/become.html). Your membership helps pay for meeting space rental, post-office-box rental, the WPS website, and costs associated with publicizing the monthly events. One benefit of membership is the opportunity to have a brief biography and several of your poems appear on this website.

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