At The Poetry Forum
Final weekly reading after 39 years
Monday, July 31
Last Monday, Hanif Abdurraqib packed the house—and wowed it—with two sets of his work that were a showcase of how social awareness, a sense of place, a discerning approach to observations of family and popular culture, a broad appreciation of culture and humor, and a style that is at once conversational and lyrical can make poetry both accessible and powerfully moving.
This coming Monday will conclude The Poetry Forum's 39 years of poetry readings. It’s been an uplifting 7 months since we announced that 2023 would be our final season of weekly—OK, the pandemic noticeably threw that off—readings. We’ve attempted to present what has been admittedly only a sampling of the best that central Ohio poetry offers, and our audiences' response has suggested we hit the mark. We hope you’ll join us Monday evening to hear
Steve has been a coordinator of The Poetry Forum since its founding in 1984 when, in his mid-30’s, he was recruited into a group of Columbus poets working to establish a weekly poetry series at the same time his own poetry was beginning to develop seriously. Since then he’s published widely in journals, served as an associate editor for Pudding Magazine and Evening Street Review, worked to expand poetry’s place at the Columbus Arts Festival, and helped to develop Columbus State’s run of writers conferences. In addition to presenting workshops at conferences locally and nationally, he has edited two anthologies, Cap City Poets (2008) and Ohio Poetry Association’s Everything Stops and Listens (2013). For the past 10 years, he has edited OPA’s annual member journal Common Threads. He has produced five chapbooks and two full-length collections, A Green Line Between Green Fields and A Language the Image Speaks, a collection of ekphrastic poems. He continues to see some relevance in the fact that he has never danced the Macarena.
We’ve given our venue’s owners a heads-up that Monday may be more hectic and go a bit later than our readings usually do. We hope you’ll join us at Bossy Grrls Pin-Up Joint, 2598 North High Street (in Old North Columbus) on Monday, July 31, at 7 PM. Bring a couple of poems for the open mic (we’re not sure exactly how that’s gong to work, so we hope you’ll be understanding regardless of how things pan out). Bring some cash or a credit card and a few friends. It’s likely to be an emotional roller coaster.
We can’t say enough to appropriately thank Bossy Grrls’ owners Cora Helton and Mike Folker for their generous support. Despite deciding early in the year to no longer be open on Mondays, they offered to open for Poetry Forum readings until we completed our already scheduled events that are now coming to a close.
We also want to acknowledge the founding members and other poets whose work as coordinators of The Poetry Forum sustained it for nearly four decades:
Cheryl Abdullah John Cropp Mary Kenney Rumm
Elizabeth Ann James Homer Weathers Bill Redding
Jack Boenninghofen Steve Abbott MJ Abell
Linda Smith Gary Hammons Carol Jevrem
Glenn King Dale Russell Davis Charlene Fix
Danny Hunsinger Is Said Lewis Meyers, Jr.
David Baratier Stephen Mainard Frank Richardson
William Fabrycki Julie Otten Connie Everett
Rose M. Smith Nathan Moore
Although our weekly readings are ending, The Poetry Forum hopes to host occasional readings in the future (no commitments at the moment, however). We'll maintain our email lists and let you know when a specific event is about to happen.
It goes without saying that any poetry series owes its success to its audiences. Like any cultural offering, a reading series depends on the size, quality, and financial support of its audiences. YOU have made The Poetry Forum as successful and influential as it has become. We hope that your interest and support will move gracefully to some of the other literary and cultural events that make Columbus a city that continues to develop the arts in ways that reflect and showcase an evolving culture and its residents' wealth of talent.
Steve Abbott & Nathan Moore