The Swerve Goes Down The Rabbit Hole

Sat., Oct. 3, 7 pm. A mere $5 at the door.

DSC_9045This October, the Swerve—Mt. Airy Art Garage’s Poetry and Jazz Open Mic—goes down the rabbit hole!

Come one, come all to the Wonderland of Whimsy: Poetry in Celebration of Lewis Carroll. 2015 marks the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!

Bring your most whimsical, Tea-lightful (and G-rated) poems inspired by Alice and her adventures (in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass), childhood, Lewis Carroll, Snarks, Fairies or life in general to our Open Mic. Your hosts for the evening will be April Lynn James, PhD and her alter ego, Madison Hatta, Sonneteer. They will share selections from their new chapbook, Madison Hatta’s Book of Unreasonable Rhymes (forthcoming from Philly’s own Moonstone Press). Jazz backbeats to the spoken words provided by Tank & Co.

When? So glad you asked! Saturday, October 3 at 7 pm. $5 at the door. Don’t be late for this very important date!

An official Alice150 event. For more on Alice150 celebrations around the world, visit www.alice150.com.

“I could tell you my adventures — beginning from this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: “but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

                    — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Word Play! The Swerve Returns With Poet Susan Windle

Saturday, Sept. 5, 7 pm, $5

swerve_fb_profileThe Swerve opens the fall season with poet extraordinaire Susan Windle returning to host the evening. On this Labor Day Saturday we’ll celebrate summer’s last gasps with Word Play!—your best poems, songs, short prose pieces, or anything new you want to try out on a warm and willing audience. Bring it on! A jazz back beat by Tank Keitt will become part of our verbal playground. Susan writes, “What a great way to create a spontaneous love song to summer, an invitation to the coming fall, or just to be together, turning, each of us, as the season turns.” 

Come as you are—to speak and listen. Or just to listen.  All good.Susan Windle

 

 

 

 

This Thing We Do
                   with homage to John Fox

When we listen deeply, each to each

you to me and I to you 

 

there is a bridge between us, stretched 

across a glistening gorge.

 

The bridge itself is lovely

a slender, swaying thing

 

lovely as the snaking river

lovely as the reaching rock.

 

You and I, a river and a bridge—

that’s what I mean by heaven. That’s

 

what I’ve been trying to say.

–Susan Windle

The Swerve Returns!

Saturday, June 6th, 7-9 PM, $5

It’s our final Swerve for the season till September! (We’re taking off July and August.) Please join April Lynn James and Mary Ann Domanska as they host yet another fun Open Mic Poetry event here at the Mt. Airy Art Garage. Barone_Amy_COV (2) - TW background Amy BaroneOur special guest poet for the evening is Amy Barone, a native of Philadelphia.  She’s excited to share with us her new chapbook, Kamikaze Dance, which was published by Finishing Line Press where she is a finalist in their New Women’s Voices Competition. We are happy to have her join us and hope to hear from many other voices as well. Plus, it’s never a dull moment with Tank Keitt and guests doing live jazz backbeats as we appreciate the power of words and music.

More about Amy Barone:

Her poetry has appeared in CityLitRag, First Literary Review-East, Gradiva, Maintenant, Philadelphia Poets, and The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow, among others. Her first book is Views from the Driveway from Foothills Publishing. She spent five years in Milan as Italian correspondent for Women’s Wear Daily and Advertising Age. A board member of the Italian American Writers Association, she co-organizes and promotes their monthly readings in New York City. She belongs to PEN America Center and the brevitas online poetry community that celebrates the short poem. A native of Bryn Mawr, PA, Barone lives in New York City. 

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Speak! Outloud. At The Swerve. Where Poetry & Jazz Intersect.

Sat., May 2 @ 7 pm — 1st Saturday of every month. $5

You may have noticed over the last few months that a different poet hosts the Swerve alongside the jazz beats of Tank Keitt and Charles Witherspoon. It gives us the opportunity to swing to a different rhythm every month with all poets, both young and old, welcome to share their work. Love poetry? Come too!swerve_fb_profile

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(c) Sheppard Williams

This month’s host is André Saunders so we’ll be celebrating hip hop and spoken word. Don’t do spoken word? It’s all good…just bring it. The Swerve is a night of celebration, a community of poets and those that love the power of words supporting each other’s art.

Now a word from André:

“Art is self expression. Art is Freedom. Art allows us to be us completely. This event gives artists a chance to come together and give a piece of themselves to others. There aren’t any right or wrong answers. Just each artist opening up and leaving a piece of themselves on a stage. My vision for this event is to have a collection of people come together for an evening and appreciate each others stories and presence. To feel comfortable with each other and create a memorable energy amongst ourselves. I want everyone to enjoy themselves and at the end of the evening feel like they gained something valuable from their experience.”    Andre3  

Join us @ 11 West Mt. Airy Ave. on Saturday, May 2. Starts at 7 pm. $5

Meet André Saunders

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(c) Sheppard Williams

André Saunders is a hip-hop artist and poet from Philadelphia. Through his work he tries to capture the inner feelings and emotions of his audience. Knowing how powerful words can be, he uses them wisely as he reflects on honest moments of his life while also trying to be a positive influence to others. His storytelling and honest approach has been successful as he continues to further progress as an artist.

 

Youth Poet Cohosts The Next Swerve!

Saturday, April 4 at 7 pm.

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April is National Poetry Month. Philadelphia is looking for it’s next Youth Poet Laureate. Sounds like the perfect combination to celebrate at the Swerve!

This has been an amazing year for the evolution of The Swerve!  We have heard so many talented voices, breathing words of wisdom through our mic, challenging our ideas, pushing us to pick at our heart scabs.  We have been left breathless and in awe of the raw life moments laid down at our audience’s grateful feet.  And now, we reach out to the young poets in our region, anxious to share our space and our vision, ready to clap, and snap, and gasp at the talent that takes our stage.  Will you join us?  

Come out and throw down your spoken word skills.  Bring your friends and your original works.  Revel in the joy that follows. 

Che

Poet and Cohost, Che Carter

On Saturday, April 4, our doors open at 7 PM.  This is an Open Mic event being co-hosted by Mary Ann Domanska and Che Carter (10th grader at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy).  We’re encouraging poets of ALL ages to join us for one electric evening of powerful prose.  Plus let’s not forget our live jazz backbeats. Post it, share it, and put it on your calendar!

ALSO, you still have time to apply to be Philadelphia’s next Youth Poet Laureate! Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) is now accepting applications.  Entries must be submitted online or postmarked by April 10, 2015.  You can reach them HERE.

 

photo of Mary Ann Domanska

Poet and Cohost Mary Ann Domanska

What Poetry Is

 It rips through the flesh

            to get at the guts

It uses a scalpel to peel back

            the truth of things

 

Am I making you uncomfortable?

            Do you hate the sight of blood?

 

It is what we’re made of,

            this liquid of life

and poetry performs anatomical dissections

            on the meat of us

 

 This lancet has a thin, sharp blade

            of particular words,

 words that slice through 

            to our aching souls

because what we hear can 

            quicken the heartbeat

 

Poets are surgeons, of a sort, 

            trained in the school of life experiences

and they are skilled at handling

            scars and contusions

those nights that have left us 

            beaten down and injured at the core

 

A poem might begin like a saline drip, 

hydrating and soothing our emptiness            

then slowly it works its way

            into our bones

 

With just the right twist of a lyrical phrase

            you feel an easing of pain and lessoning of rage

the anesthesia of knowing another soul understands

            unburdens your body

relaxes your mind

            calms your heart

 

They say surgery is 

an ancient medical specialty

Then writing is an 

ancient unraveling of ghosts

and we are the interpreters 

of these maladies

stitching up the afflictions of living

with syllables and tones

seeking out the cures with gentle 

controlled strokes of a pen

 

and everyone of you can find your remedies 

in our words

 

Mary Ann Domanska

February, 2015

 

The Swerve Returns & “Sap Is Rising” With Guest Host Susan Windle

swerve_web-landing-page_templateSaturday, Feb. 7, 7 pm @ 11 West Mt. Airy Ave.

Sap Is Rising: with Poet Susan Windle
This month’s Swerve, will be hosted by Mt. Airy poet, performer, tree-hugger and people lover Susan Windle. Susan writes, “I love sharing poetry with people. I love to be with people who are sharing what has heart and meaning for us, so teaming up with my friends at the Mt. Airy Art Garage for this late winter gathering is a joy! I call this gathering “Sap is Rising” because the life that’s beginning in the trees is moving within us too, and when we come together in poetry and song, that life is strengthened and sweetened. So bring your tree poems, your February musings, your secret stirrings of spring, any writings that bring you closer to this particular moment in the turning of the year— your own words or the words of someone you admire—poetry or prose—whatever you’d like to share out loud.”

Just want to listen and take it all in? That’s fine too. Just come. As always, a soulful jazz backbeat will support and inspire our voices and please our ears, thanks to Tank Keitt and Charles Witherspoon on percussion, drums, and bass.

Just want to listen and take it all in? That’s fine too. Just come. Saturday, Feb. 7 @ 7 pm, 11 West Mt. Airy Ave. (19119). $5 admission. For more information call 215.242.5074.

FERTILITY SONGSusan Windle
No flowers.
But each year in February
the sun
comes throbbing through
webs of bare branches,
touches my skin,
softens the path
where I walk
to the beat of dripping icicles
and the high flute
of the chickadee.
My womb aches—
opens.

I want your song
sung
through me.

— Susan Windle

Poet Susan Windle uses her craft to explore and share the wonders of everyday life, to strengthen community, and to challenge the forces of injustice within and without. Relishing the resonances between voices, she collaborates frequently with musicians, visual artists, spiritual leaders and activists. She writes poems for community choirs, for non-profit and progressive organizations, as well as for personal celebrations. Her most recent book, Through the Gates—A Practice for Counting the Omer, is a spiritual memoir and daily guide in letters and poems. Other books include Love Letters, Between the Doors, and Already Near You: Poetry in Concert, a compilation of poems performed with co-creator Ellen Ford Mason.

Synco-Poetic Jazzetry…The Swerve

October 4, 7 pm @ 11 West Mt Airy Ave. First Saturday of every month!

Jazz that speaks to poetry and back…

performer080214_1000x644We’ve changed our name, we’ve changed our feel. We’re now a combo of live jazz and poetry (open mic). That’s right, open mic, for all you emerging and published poets. And some jazz backbeat to inspire…percussion, drums, and bass thanks to Tank Keitt and Charles Witherspoon.

Did we say the poetry is over the top? Well, it is. Did we say that some folks wrote their inspiration sitting at the table last month listening to others? Well, they did. Did we say we’re on to something really special? Well, we are.

2014-08-02-20.06.36You’re the ones who make it happen. Bring a friend, bring your words, bring it on. $5 @ Door.

Susan DiPronioGuest poet this month is Susan DiPronio. Susan lives in Philadelphia and founded Pink Hanger Presents — a project dedicated to giving voice to the unique life experiences of women, transgender and genderqueer individuals. Susan’s poetry recently appeared in Sinister Wisdom, Corset Magazine, The Avocet, Defenestration and Spillway Literary Journal. Her memoir “Laurel” was included in the memoir chapbook from First Person Arts and her personal essay: “Damaged: A journey of healing from sexual assault” is included in the book “The Survivors Project: Telling the Truth About Life After Sexual Abuse.” Susan was a 2013 recipient of The Transformation Award from the Leeway Foundation. www.pinkhangerpresents.com and  www.susandipronio.com

Sweet Jazz And Open Mic Are Just Days Away

Open Mic, Sat., September 6 @ 7 pm $5 at the door

Jazz and Poetry—we liked it so much we’re doing it again.

When we first started our monthly poetry events, we envisioned a slam. We met some really cool poets, some emerging and others established. We had judges, some listened to the words, and others not.

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Last month, in the slow month of August and vacations, we tried something new. Open Mic, just Open Mic…with a spoonful of jazz. Specifically Tank Keitt on drums and Charles Witherspoon on bass. And the poets came. And the soft beats of the music, followed suit. We had a really good time—intimate, safe space, to try on different kinds of words while the beats inspired. We liked it so much, we’re doing it again. Read just one of the poems that birthed from our August Open Mic.

So this Saturday, at 7 pm stop on by. For a mere $5, you’re in the mix whether you’re a poet or a lover of poetry.

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Tank, ending the evening, with a little bit of Langston Hughes.

Tank, ending the evening, with a little bit of Langston Hughes.

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Susan Windle

Susan Windle

We’ll start off the evening with Susan Windle, our guest poet, who uses her craft to explore and share the wonders of everyday life, to strengthen community, and to challenge the forces of injustice within and without. Susan collaborates with musicians, visual artists, spiritual leaders and activists. She writes poems for community choirs, for non-profit and progressive organizations, as well as for personal celebrations. Her most recent book, Through the Gates, is a memoir in letters and poems. Other books include Love Letters, Between the Doors, and Already Near You: Poetry in Concert, a compilation of poems performed with co-creator Ellen Ford Mason. With her performing ensemble Voices of a Different Dream, Susan has produced two recordings blending poetry and a capella song– Refuge for a Soul and You Know My Name. Find out more at www.susanwindle.com

And Now A Word From A Poet…

Next Open Mic on Sat., Sept. 6, 7 pm $5 at the door

Jazz backup with Tank Keitt and Charles Witherspoon

2014-08-02 20.06.36Poetry Slammin’ at The Mt Airy Art Garage

(a poet’s review)

And even tho’

I’ve made a practice of

hiding in plain sight

safe in the knowing

that no one really knew

what they were looking at

when they saw me,

I heard there would be jazz

 

2014-08-02 20.30.39I heard there would be

soulful songs from

singing hearts

accompanied by bass notes

and rhythmic drums.

 

And there were.

 

Every wild woman in town

who heard the call

who had something worth saying

something

they were compelled to say

DSC_9045something

that emerged from the cracks

made by the wear and tear of

living and

 

dying

of keeping a candle lit

in the darkest days,

in the violence of storms,

in the irretrievable nothing

left by loss,
DSC_9036WEBREADYAnd it was magic.

It was lightning.

It was a blazing

spectacle

of soul.

 

So come

and slam

your poetic self

down on the table

naked and writhing

DSC_9020WEBREADYin all its glorious

lightness

and darkness.

Show yourself,

bear witness here.

History is being made.

You won’t see it on the news

but it’s quake

can change your destiny.

 

This poem written and contributed by Alison Nappi, founder of Write With Spirit.

 

Want to read at our next open mic/slam? Contact poetryslam.maag@gmail.com

 

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An August Summer Night of Poetry and Lemonade

August Open Mic Sat., Aug. 2, 7 pm

And now a few words from Jen Hemenway, cohost of the Poetry Slam

Back in April the Mt. Airy Art Garage hosted it’s first poetry slam. The event went so well, we were ready to keep it going. We liked watching it grow in poet participation, with both published and emerging artists turning out their work. The audience members? They come, perhaps stuck in a writer’s block, and become inspired. Or they come to find the eclectic hub of Northwest artists— where networking and socializing thrive under one roof.

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Katrina Smith

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We’re taking a break in July but MAAG is coming back in August with a warmup, getting ready to bust loose in the Fall.  We’ll be hosting an Open Mic event Saturday, August 2, at 7 pm. Extra added bonus! We’ll be trying something new…background jazz featuring the D&B combo with Tank Keitt on drums and Charles Witherspoon on bass. We expect that it will be an awesome evening of writers, artists, and folks looking for a nice spot to chill and relax on a fine summer Saturday night. August will be the time to try out new work and share written thoughts in a relaxed atmosphere while we get ready for Fall.

The event will be hosted by Mary Ann Domanska (poet and actor), April Lynn James (sonneteer and poet), and Jen Hemenway (cartoonist/painter and poet)…all MAAG members. We expect to bring high energy, laughter, and talent to the table.

We hope that artists and poets will escape the walls and confines of their homes and come to this event at the Mt. Airy Art Garage and be inspired to create, share and explore. This event will be an open mic. So come one, come all and share your poetry talents on stage with other fellow artists. Picture this…a cluster of tables in a lounge-like setting, with candles, and a stage…with lights beaming down, mics ready and waiting, and words being spoken that floor you, pull you, center you, intrigue you, move you, inspire you! Come solo, bring a date, bring friends, family, or loved ones. It will surely be a night to remember.

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Andre Saunders

DSC_9300-Slam-WinnerSarahKillianJune

Slam Winner Sarah Killian

The Mt. Airy Art Garage is a hot spot for Northwest artists and writers with a beautiful wide, open space and gallery, always showing new work on its walls. There is always something to be seen there, always people to be intrigued by, and always interesting conversation to be heard. Once again, save the date for this night of open mic poetry! Saturday, August 2, 7 pm.  $10 at the door.

For more information you can contact us at poetryslam.maag@gmail.com.