The New Age of the Poet

There is a great push, energetic with a life all its own. In all forms of art, poetic voice is giving wonderment to the age-old questions of life. There has only been times like this, when the poets are singing the origins of consciousness, when the ends necessitate the means. These times are impressive as interesting. The entire paradigm of reality and status quo buzzing with change, we begin to hear the sound of the light. The answer is in the process of the soul as displayed into art form via the poem. That is the main context Virgogray takes in sharing the work of others. Above form and structure, whether manicured or not, but maintained within the wellness of basic grammar, the content, the truth spoken in the artists words is the driving force. I have seen a spectacular display of such poetic art these past few days in the bustling period that is National Poetry Month. From the marathon that is the Austin International Poetry Festival to the continued poetic mayhem at the Austin Salon Poetic to the new faces of poetry I bore witness to at the Fresh Meat Poet Showcase to the independent TV broadcast celebrating poetry and Austin poets, the East By Southeast (EXSE) Poetry Showcase, to the poets slamming it around town at such venues as Spoken and Heard at Kick Butt Coffee and Ruta Maya Poetry, there was much to do in the month of April, and that’s not all. There’s much more I’ve not even mentioned. If there is one art form that is thriving in the city of Austin it is poetry. Of course, all art forms are, I just get higher doses of this one. But one thing I did appreciate, as at the venues I attended at this years Austin International Poetry Festival was the wealth of loving insightful, enlightened-like poems that were all about spreading light and being aware. And they are not new age type poems or sentiments, either, they are direct rays of truth shattering societal paradigms. Now that is art. Anyway. The richness is vast and growing still. As the influence of the artist is to surface the hidden and stifled conscience of man, and even as that has been seemingly compromised, that is why we turn to the local and the independent.  It merely takes an individual willing to share that with the community, and there are several examples out there. One mark I’ve always found important is a lack of consideration for the style or skill level versus the paramount message and content is the key equation when considering a fair and consistent standard among poet talent. Because not all of us are fortunate to have Harvard Masters in poetry, and that is not to malign the dignity of suffering such programs the academic dictates, but it is a truth we must all consider. The insightful work I’ve been exposed to, delivered in fashions all over the spectrum of poetry reading and performance, and its writing, naturally, have satisfied the desire of a deeper understanding to arise in the majority of humanity. It starts inside the hearts and souls of a few who burn as beacons and as candles, and spreads to the minds of many through the hidden net of consciousness and extols itself through the art and poetry of those who create. And it recycles becoming greater. I am looking forward to the many messages to come and to their deliverance, the voices to come.

 

Closing 2012 – Intentions for 2013

 

Good evening. I hope everyone is well at the time of this writing. It has been a crazy year, 2012, that showed very fruitful for poetry and Virgogray Press. Having released several collections, and gratefully with the humble returns of poets like Suzi Olmsted, Justin Blackburn and Chris D’Errico, a core has begun to form. The remainder of 2012 and moving into 2013, Virgogray has plans for the release of only a few more titles of poetry from poets such as Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke and Ayne Francis de la Cruz. The newest collections, A. Molotkov and John S. Williams’ “The End of Mythology” and Mary B. Harrison’s “Beneath our Feet” are virtually upon us.

 

Nothing. No One. Nowhere. No. 5 is still waiting in the wings. Do not fear. We will move forward with the magazine as soon as we are able to. Do not forget, issue number 6 shall be edited by Sonnet Mondal. To have your work considered for publication please be sure to e-mail Sonnet Mondal (sonnetmondal@gmail.com). We will be accepting poetry, short fiction, non-fiction. Carcinogenic Poetry is still publishing and shall anthologize for the third time very soon. The Occupy Poetry Project shall publish through the end of the year and will be laid to rest in 2013. We’ll probably anthologize the series to send it off. It is with great thanks to the writers and readers of the web series that I reflect on it as it has been a fun and interesting ride in publication. That could be said the same for Virgogray in its entirety.

 

Virgogray is producing the Austin Salon Poetic, a free community-based poetry open mic in downtown Austin, Texas at a bar called Headhunters Club, that recently underwent a remodel by Spike TV reality show, “BarRescue.” The Austin Salon Poetic features local and regional poets to raise awareness of local poetry and also features a poetry open mic. Poets we’ve featured so far include, Thom Woodruff, Juan Manuel Perez, Bill Shute, Devorah Winegarten and others.

 

There is certainly more to look forward to, including re-issues of previously out of print collections, such as Marc Olmsted’s “Fresh Lotus Rehab” and A. J. Kaufmann’s “Broke Nuptial Minds.” That is all that can be said. To all others involved, I thank you for your patience and understanding in all matters of the press. Virgogray could not promote and share such vital work without the loyalty and integrity of the poets, artists and readers who support us.

 

Virgogray Press Presents: The Austin Salon Poetic

Virgogray Press and the Austin Poets Association present a new poetry open mic event called Austin Salon Poetic to be held on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month beginning August 20, 2012 at Headhunters Club and Lounge located in downtown Austin, TX at 720 Red River Street, 78701. We are glad to be involved in presenting a poetry open mic for the Austin community to enjoy or participate. Headhunters Club is pretty much a classic venue, standing in the Red River District for years on the corner of 8th and Red River. One may associate “headbanging” with “Headhunters,” and Headhunters is a rockin’ live music venue that does serve up metal, rock and alternative local, regional and touring acts,but Headhunters theme is more akin to a Tiki type bar and lounge, with an amiable staff and good drinks.

The Austin Salon Poetic, while primarily a poetry open mic will feature local, regional and traveling poets who wish to share their words with an Austin audience. All are encouraged to come and participate or just spectate, check out your favorite local spoken word artist and poet or just have some drinks and socialize.  The Salon will be held on the intimate “Cannibal Stage” (no zombies, please). Doors open at 7 PM, at which time you may also sign-up for the open mic which shall begin promptly at 7:30 PM, unless we have a feature poet presenting their work.  The open mic will be sign up and round robin till the end of the event. Free speech is encouraged, as well as all styles of poetry.



Upcoming Salons:

August 20, 2012 – Feature Poet: Thom Woodruff aka Headhunter Thom + Open Mic
September 3, 2012 – Feature Poet: Mike D. Knight + Open Mic
September 17, 2012 – Feature Poet: Bill Shute (San Antonio) + Open Mic
Ocotber 1, 2012 – Open Mic
October 15, 2012 – Open Mic

It is our hope to bring  new and familiar voices in poetry to downtown Austin, as well as highlight the rich literary culture of the city by sharing the art of poetry freely and to the general public. If you are a poet interested in setting up a featured reading, please do not hesitate to contact. Further information regarding The Austin Salon Poetic and The Austin Poets Association can be found at the following address http://austinpoetsassociation.blogspot.com/