Vic Kondratas

OPEN MIC Vol. 1 – FEATURING the poetry of JESSIE CARTY, VICTOR KONDRATAS, & VAL B. RUSSELL

I posted the following review of Jessie Carty‘s book Paper House on Amazon:

“Discovering your parents aren’t perfect is the childhood equivalent to losing one’s religion – yet Jessie Carty handles such a realization with a profound grace laced with (somehow) maintained innocence in this brilliant first book from a poet who might best be described as the Princess of Tides. Written from the perspective of a young woman, but with such a universal voice that I, as a gay man, can recall my own coming of age, Paper House is like reading the diary of a survivor from childhood through early adulthood. If Judy Blume and Pat Conroy had a lovechild, this is the collection of poetry she’d create.”

If you need more reasons to discover Jessie Carty, well, here are three:

Mixed Drinks by Jessie Carty from PAPER HOUSE

Saturday at Merchant Mill Pond by Jessie Carty from PAPER HOUSE

While We Were Unattended by Jessie Carty from PAPER HOUSE

*****

I also wanted to share with you a couple of poems by friends which are personal favorites:

doppelganger by Vic Kondratas (for the original click here)

Add Vice by Val B. Russell (for the original click here)

*****

Dear Readers (and Dear Listeners),

Please recognize that I sat sweltering in my Honda Civic in the parking lot of a Vietnamese restaurant for you in order to capture these recordings.  That’s how much I love you. I sacrifice.  Please also recognize that for my entire life, through about an hour ago, I thought the word was doppeldanger with a second ‘d.’ Therefore I will never pronounce it the correct way. What the hell is a doppelganger? It sounds like some freaky porn film.  To console myself, I’ll take comfort in the fact that MedicatedLady pronounces herb with an audible ‘h.’

Loverboy and I are going to Jazzfest this weekend.  A seven-hour drive Friday and Sunday nights with some alcohol consumption in between.  When in New Orleans…

OVER THE RAINBOW AND BACK AGAIN

I want to share my appreciation with so many of you who contributed to my wonderful experience in New York City and the Rainbow Book Fair.

Philip F. Clark
, for handing me a dream (and his wonderful partner Parker – who delighted me with the best tiramisu I’ve ever tasted). Seth Ruggles Hiler, the talented artist whose portrait “Aaron” graces the cover of My Life as Adam, who surprised me with a visit and made fun of the amount of cream I take in my coffee. Beth Bloch, for morphing into my personal assistant  (at least for grilled-cheese runs). Perry Brass, Daniel Kitchens, and Sarah Chinn, whose hard work organizing the Rainbow Book Fair certainly paid off.  Joseph Harker, who endured my repetitive hugs, and Victor Kondratas, who graciously gave me the prize he won from the adult-themed TLA Releasing prize wheel.  Elizabeth Stelling, who took photographs when I could not, and who schooled me on impromptu interviews and the importance of fruitcake at public events.  My most passionate cheerleader and poetic angel, Annmarie Lockhart, who really is as nice as she seems, and her beautiful daughter, who may have convinced me to give green-tinted contact lenses a try (because her green contacts were glorious).  Manny Beltran, who was an absolute pleasure to meet. My fellow writers, poets, and artists in attendance (Jamie Newinski, Mike Luongo, Alina Oswald, among many, many others), whose company I was proud to keep. Stephen S. Mills, who, even in his absence, helped me bring “The Hanky Code” back for at least a day in New York City.   William Johnson, who I suspect will become a great friend. The kind-hearted Philip Clark, whose new anthology with David Groff, Persistent Voices: Poetry by Writers Lost to AIDS, has transformed writing for me in the 48 hours the book has been in my hands.  And last but not least, the beautiful D’Elia family, who are the reason I write, and who made every mile of my trip worthwhile.

There will be more names added to this list, because the amount of love and positive energy I felt in New York City was unlimited. There will be book reviews highlighting my peers. There will be more pictures, too, but, for now, check out me and Annmarie… photo courtesy of Elizabeth Stelling:

Thanks Philip, for the poster!

And some video, also provided by Elizabeth Stelling: