December 3, 2010 marked the close of First Fridays' 5th year. We celebrated in grand style and hosted both NEIL SHEPARD (Vermont Sudio Founder and Green Mountain Review editor) and SUSAN B. ANTHONY SOMERS-WILLETT who presented her poem/photodocumentary Women of Troy.

Here, Neil reads "Joe Louis and the Duke."

This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

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Listen also to Neil Shepard read "Teenager 13."

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First Fridays had the great pleasure to host SUSAN B. ANTHONY SOMERS-WILLETT and her  poem/photodocumentary The Women of Troy , a collaboration with Brenda Kenneally. Listen to an excerpt from her presentation.

To see the documentary, you can also go to: 

 http://www.studio360.org/episodes/2009/11/06 

Or to read more about it:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-trujillo/the-women-of-troy-upstate_b_396248.html

and

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First Fridays' December open mic was packed to the gills with magnificent poems and people reading them-- such as the effervescent, ever-charming, and formidable VERA B. WILLIAMS-- a truly wonderful farewell to our 5th season before we all go off and hibernate for the winter.

Thank you to everyone who makes First Fridays happen, not least among you: Poets & Writers Magazine for augmenting our readers fees, Penelope Morgan-Lohr and Bob Lohr for your stage management and technological genius, Corinna Vaca-Moran for your sparkling hosting capabilities, John Roth for your generosity and excitement for all things poetic, all the writers who "braved" our open mic, all the people who helped break down the set after the show, and especially  all of you who packed our library month after month and listened with great joy and aplomb. You are First Fridays.

First Fridays Contmporary Writers Series will resume in April 2011 in National Poetry Month.

FYI: There will be an Extravagnaza of Art and Poetry created from our First Fridays ekphrastic  inpirations and FindArt Family Art program tentatively scheduled for Sunday, February 13, 2011.

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A new reader at First Fridays, Sarah Clark took the mic by storm. We swear she was channeling Anna Akhmatova or least a ghost of some venerable russian revolutionary; her lines were that crisp and compressed. A budding poet for sure. Open the file and hear her... all 60 pounds and 59 seconds of trouble!

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A second poem by Sean Thomas Dougherty. This one entitled," Our Love is an Origami Crane."

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Delayed by a week because the host (me!) was doing a show in Albuquerque, NM for Dia de Los Muertos, November's First Fridays was raring to go. Our open mic was, as usual, a stunner. Many people wrote ekphrasically in repsonse to Martin Puryear's wooden sculpture "A Ladder for Booker T. Washington." Those poems, as well as others written in response the artworks FindArt has been exploring, will be presented in February at the Grand Gallery Show of First Fridays and FindArt.

SEAN THOMAS DOUGHERTY was our guest reader. Back in the day, many raucous times were had but I hadn't heard him read in ten years. He blew the roof off and took us hand in hand down his streets into his life. A beautiful reading--truly. The families the next day at FindArt were also given intimate attention as we explored art and poetry, and made a little of each.  Thank you, Sean!

Sean has several books out through BOA, eds. Go get them and touch the heart of poetry. Newest: Sasha Sings the Laundry on the Line.

Above is a poem read by Sean entitled, " After the Election."

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Excerpt from Tristan Silverman's feature at First Fridays Contemporary Writers Series at the Tusten-Cochecton Branch of the Western Sullivan Public Library in Narrowsburg,NY on October 1, 2010.

Not sure the exact title of this poem but Tristan said it was her "Anthem."

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"Fidelity of Epitaphs for Gabrielle Bouliane"

To the bunny...with big love.

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Excerpt from Marty McConnell's feature at First Fridays Contemporary Writers Series at the Tusten-Cochecton Branch of the Western Sullivan Public Library in Narrowsbrug, NY on October 1, 2010.

"Five of Swords: For All My Death Girls"

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