Tag Archives: patsy asuncion

Bridgewater International Poetry Festival: Day Two

The festival opened up a bit today with some great informal post-reading discussions. Poet Susan Facknitz closed up the morning readings and in the time remaining helped lead and facilitate a wide-ranging discussion on the role of poetry and its possibilities in the age of internet memes and the 140-character tweet. After Stephen Corey’s talk about making every line count, he found himself in much the same facilitator’s role, as the gathering of poets seemed intent on continuing the early round-table of topics. I think all the different readers and different styles naturally cooked up some of these questions, and both Ms. Facknitz and Mr. Corey were more than up to the task of guiding these talks.

The “international” element was in power mode–

  • the morning opened up with Skype coverage from India of Susil Mandal and Indranil Acharya;
  • Filipino-American poet Patsy Asuncion read with energy, depth and passion in the morning down in the Eagle’s Nest, followed immediately by
  • Ukrainian-American Nicole Yurcaba, who read poems from her forthcoming book which focused on her her family’s history in the Ukraine and America. Both of these poets projected the authentic presence of their work in a way that was utterly personable and perspective-shifting for those in the audience.

After lunch, we were treated to a reading by Albert Russo, calling in from Paris, France.

Definitely a bracing and exciting day. And by definition in a festival packed with concurrent readings, I missed half of the events of the day! including a writer’s workshop held later in the evening by Aimee Suzara, who contributed to both of the aforementioned discussions about a minute after arriving at the college, after her flight from Oakland, CA. Whew! For those of you who saw some of the other poets, please feel free to comment on your experience. I have heard that each of the readings was captured on video, and I hope this will give us the opportunity to view the writers whose readings we missed in person.

Tomorrow I’ll be missing the morning due to engagements with an entity called Family. Among the poets I’ll miss is Angela Carter, one of my favorite Virginia poets and a great presence at our local group’s monthly meetings. Lucky for me, the afternoon of Day Three looks to be packed with quite a few poets I’m looking forward to meeting, several of whom you’ll find on the Bridgewater “Meet the Poets” page on this site.

 

Readings: Bridgewater Fest Poet Patsy Asuncion

Over the next week I’ll be posting information on the poets who will be reading from their work at the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, Jan 15th-18th. 

Patsy Asuncion will be reading her poetry on  Friday, January 16th, at 10:00am.

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Public education, her ticket from poverty, instilled passion for words in all its creative forms. Professional writing morphed into poetry and short stories, featured in Prevention Magazine and numerous anthologies (most recently in Chatter House Press’ Reckless Writing, SUNY’s Healing Muse, L.A. Loyola’s The Truth About the Fact, National Federation of Poetry Society’s Encore) as well as online journals, UK’s Female First and Laughing Fire Press. Her poetry collection, Cut on the Bias, will be published by Laughing Fire Press in early 2015.

Here’s a new poem about growing up in Chicago’s inner city:

Jalopy

She was stolen shiny new outside
a tenement for a joy ride then abandoned
in a back alley No anti-theft devices
in those days just next of kin to fender
troublemakers When they found her
they thought she was lucky just
a busted headlight bloody dents
and pigeon-toed tires probably
the reason thieves dumped her

Once healed she proved a good car
who kept good traction whenever
she drove her stepmother home
from the neighborhood tap Mechanics
saw her potential caught her interest
with books Interior lights a tough
engine ensured high performance
in school despite being left
alone a lot on the street

Tomboy antics in the alleys scarred
all four tires but she put up a poker-face
Two crashes shorting her electrical
started migraines every time she used
her turn signals Surgery on ball joints
and quality oil seemed to quiet cranky
squeaks when she rolled She paid
attention keeping her trim in top shape
to slow depreciation unlike some friends

Maintenance doesn’t stop life’s odometer
Rust spots on her once flawless finish
increased each winter Young cracks
in her underbody began puckering her
mainframe Cheap gas had been no
problem but then started upsetting her gut
Chronic allergies insisted more air filter
changes Not surprised each time she
was traded She didn’t choose her
owners

Sold now as vintage she is adept
a classic from the day the only one
to make it out of the old neighborhood
While memory settings have lost old
details she recalls important choices
running even in bad weather starting
while missing parts finding her way
regardless of confusing road signs
optimizing her standard components