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November 1
Doug Anderson
plus our famous Open Mic!

We are very lucky to have acclaimed western Massachusetts-based poet Doug Anderson feature for us! Doug is a poet, fiction writer, and memoirist. He served as a corpsman in the Vietnam war and his poems reflect the horrors, tragedies, and unlikely friendships of that tragic time. Upon returning home, Anderson earned his M.A. from the University of Arizona, and then settled in Northampton, where he began to write plays and poems in a workshop with Jack Gilbert.

A meticulous, unerring chronicler, especially of his experiences in Vietnam, Anderson has published three volumes, including The Moon Reflected Fire, winner of the 1995 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His most recent book is a memoir, Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam, the Sixties, and a Journey of Self-Discovery (W.W. Norton, 2009). Joyce Peseroff writes that this work is “not just about Vietnam but resonant with the history of warriors from the backyard to The Iliad to the Bible.

Anderson’s subsequent collection, Blues for Unemployed Secret Police, was funded by a grant from The Eric Matthieu King Fund of the Academy of American Poets, and praised by Booklist for its “powerful, funny-horrific, brutal-tender poems.” His recent poetry and prose have been published in Ploughshares, the Connecticut Review and The Autumn House Anthology of American Poetry, as well as this year’s Contemporary American War Poetry. He also published a play, Short Timers, which was produced in New York in 1981.

Recipient of a Pushcart Prize, an NEA grant, and a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship, Anderson teaches at the University of Connecticut and the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Its Social Consequences. He is currently at work on a memoir, Don’t Rub Your Eyes, about Vietnam and the nineteen-sixties.

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November 8
Poetry Slam !!
plus our famous Open Mic!

Tuesday is Election Night, and what better way to spend it than surrounded by poets? We'll bust some verse and judge art on a scale of 1-10, with cash prizes and a chance to compete for a spot on the 2017 Northampton Poetry Slam Team! We will have scorecards, and we will ask random members of the audience to judge Art on a scale of 1-10, while remembering that of course you cannot judge Art on a scale of 1-10. . . and then we will judge Art on a scale of 1-10!

And why do we do all this? Because poetry is something that you do not need to have an extensive traditional education in order to understand and respond to, a poet's work should be passionate, charismatic, and fascinating enough to interest anyone who is willing to listen, and a slam gives a poet an opportunity to practice and hone their work, bring their best- and then we will clap and stamp and whistle and support them! Also, there is a rumor that we have cash prizes. And remember- the winner of this slam is automatically qualified to compete in next Spring's semi-finals for a spot on the 2017 Northampton Poetry Slam Team which will compete in the 2017 National Poetry Slam in Denver!

As always, the night begins with our awesome Open Mic- doors open at 7 pm, Open Mic starts at 8 pm, cover is $4 ($3 for students)- we put the sign-up sheets for the Open Mic and the Slam out at 7, and they fill up fast! PLEASE NOTE: We have a new system for slam sign-ups for the 2016-17 Slam Season: there are, as usual, 8 slam spots. The first four spots will be on a first-come, first-sign-up basis; the remaining four spots will be drawn by lottery from a list of all who wish to sign up to slam by 7:30.