The Bards Initiative, a Long Island poetry organization, celebrated the release of their latest book, “Bards Annual 2011: A Poetry Anthology,” at in September with a lively poetry reading and book signing.
The event, which was hosted by Bards Initiative president, James Wagner, featured the contributors of “Bards Annual.”
Each poet bravely stood at the front of the room, reading either his or her work from the new book. While some read with strong and deliberate voices, others chose to perform a little, bringing the poetry to life.
Steven T. Licardi, one of the first to read, presented his fiery poem, “Smokey Says,” to eager listeners:
“Mankind is not a lowly flame
Burning in a thicket,
Who abstains and waits for rain
To come along and snuff it.
Instead, it spreads to neighboring brambles
To obliterate and scar,
Gambles and only minimally ambles
Towards it’s weighted par.”
Contributor J.R. Turek drew inspiration for her poetry from a real life experience. Having been previously entranced by the photography of exotic cars and stilettos on a local radio station’s Web page, Turek felt compelled to write the descriptive poem, “Heels and Wheels:”
“and oh, the ’76 Stingray, 350 V8 4 speed
Bicentennial Edition in metallic black cherry
t-tops, racing spoiler, sumptuous model’s back
straddled across the black bucket, her burgundy-red
classic cleavage 5 inch stilettos propped
on the open t-rail - nice.”
All contributors appeared jovial to be apart of the afternoon festivities at the restaurant.
“Being in this group cheers me up,” said contributor Antonio Bellia. “It’s the best.”
Wagner said although he has a strong background in theater and performance, there is much to love about poetry.
“It’s fun for me because it’s one of the few places where people are comfortable sharing with each other,” he said.
“What I love most about poetry is there are no rules,” said Bards staff and Glen Cove resident Marc Rosen. “Whatever rules there are, they are there to be broken. You can defy social convention, offend anyone you like, or nobody at all. You can do what you please, and still get applauded for it at the end.”
Over 60 Long Island natives contributed to this year’s Bards poetry collection. Wagner said Bards is currently working on an event and poetry contest, where submissions will pertain to the economic crisis.
“Everyone has been affected in some way by the economy,” said Wagner. “Might as well get everybody together and have them all poetize about it.”
The Bards Initiative also has a held every first and third Wednesday at Page One Restaurant at 7:30 p.m.