Posts Tagged ‘Everette Maddox’

Wild Times on the Burlington Poetry Scene

May 24th, 2011

Everette Maddox

After a long absence, poetry has returned to Burlington City Arts at the Firehouse on Church Street downtown.  Some years ago the BCA canceled its ongoing writing programs and popular First Friday reading series, an open mike poetry reading the first Friday of every month, explaining that literature was not part of its mission.  I guess graphic artist Dug Nap has persuaded BCA otherwise, with readings on alternate Wednesday evenings.  The night I was there, young people, mostly high school and college age, some twenty-somethings, read work mostly about the types of confusion that young people mostly suffer from, that is, erotic and identity issues, and were used as a sounding board by Dug for his whimsically observant narratives centered upon the types of confusion that young people mostly suffer from.  Twice the age of most of his audience, Dug establishes a comfy, inclusive atmosphere in which anyone might feel like sharing.

That same month witnessed an explosion at the monthly (more or less) reading series hosted by Michael Breiner at the Flynndog Gallery, in the space until recently occupied by the Outer Space Cafe, on Flynn Street in South Burlington. 

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City with a wounded heart

November 7th, 2010

During my week and a half in New Orleans, I heard people talk about Katrina only once.  That was while waiting for the Everette Maddox Memorial Poetry Reading to begin.  This reading has been held weekly since 1979 at the Maple Leaf

Everette Maddox

Bar, except for a few weeks after the storm.  Now hosted by Nancy Harris, it was started by beloved local poet and legend Everette Maddox, who died  at age 45 the year the Berlin Wall fell.  Some of his ashes are buried in the outdoor terrace at the back of the bar, where the readings are held, with the epitaph, “He was a mess.”

I arrived at the bar at 3:00 in the afternoon, the advertised time for the reading, but the Saints game was still going on and it was clear that nobody would be reading poetry any time soon.  The Maple Leaf consists of a long, narrow wooden bar under a high, pressed tin ceiling, a long, narrow back room with a stage from which great music can be heard many evenings, another squarish room in back of that, and behind that the outdoor terrace, furnished with wrought iron tables and chairs and lush vegetation.  On the stage in the back room was an enormous TV screen, supplementing the TVs in the bar, all turned up loud, with a rapt and vociferous audience at every one.

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