It’s in Queens
#NewsFlash | Afternoon of Readings Promotes New ‘Poets of Queens’ Book on Oct. 4
Olena Jennings loves poetry. The Astoria resident also loves Queens.
Lucky her. She’ll combine these two joys on Sunday, Oct. 4, when she hosts an afternoon of borough-inspired verses via the Yara Arts Group Facebook page. Funded by Queens Council on the Arts and set to start at 2 pm, the free, 90-minute event features 15 poets, who will read one — or two — of their own works.
Outgoing Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella, who is a newly awarded Academy of American Poets Fellow, is scheduled to participate. So is Audrey Dimola, a multi-published wordsmith who organizes open mic events throughout the borough (and works as Socrates Sculpture Park’s Director of Public Programs). Rosebud Ben-Oni, who won the 2019 Alice James Award, is also ready to recite. Her 2017 piece, “Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark” was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
Others on the performance list include Sokunthary Svay, a editor of the Queens-based journal “Newtown Literary,” and Vijay R. Nathan, a librarian who has published two poetry collections, “Escape from Samsara” and “Celebrity Sadhana: Or How to Meditate with a Hammer.”
Sounds like a lot of fun, but what’s the occasion?
The anthology “Poets of Queens” has just been published, and it’s time to celebrate. In fact, all the scheduled readers also appear in this book, which is available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Culture LIC.
This is just an opening stanza. Jennings, who edited the book and runs the Poets of Queens website, plans to host another afternoon of prose on Sunday, Nov. 15. It won’t be the last, either, although she hopes to trade the online streams to live, in-person events.
“I was drawn to [poetry] because I felt it was a way to express emotions,” she said. “You could be very experimental…There are so many ways to express yourself.”