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Subterranean Poetry Festival

Image credit: Chris Funkhouser

The 27th Annual Subterranean Poetry Festival, an event always held in Widow Jane Mine on the grounds of Century House Historical Society in Rosendale NY, took place on September 10, 2017. I was asked by poet Anne Gorrick, who works closely with Century House, to “curate” this year’s rendition (past curators include Gorrick, Edwin Torres, Bethany Ides, Steve Hirsch, Mike Jurkovic, and others). Having now lived in the area for three years and twice before attending the Festival, I felt ready and gladly took on the task. A single, self-imposed constraint was to feature writers who had not read there before. I contacted a variety of friends, poets known over the past three decades whose work I admired for its dynamism, and whose voices I wanted to hear at this time and in this spectacular and unique cavernous space. The Festival brought forth a wide range of poetic stylings, and ended up having somewhat of an international flavor. Though nearly all of the participants live in New York State (one came from Providence), half of them were born and raised in other countries. Prodigious documentarian Kush, who made contact two days prior to the gathering saying he and his video camera planned to be there, offered up a Lew Welch poem as our invocation. Essentially operating without a budget, the main reason the occasion was successful is due to the generous spirit of the poets—John Cayley, Andy Clausen, Dorota Czerner, Pierre Joris, Adeena Karasick, Nicole Peyrafitte, David Rothenberg, Michael Ruby, Pamela Twining, and Rebecca Wolff—each of whom took time to prepare potent work and spend three hours underground bringing their best to the hearty audience assembled.
—Chris Funkhouser

27th Annual Subterranean Poetry Festival, September 10, 2017, Rosendale, NY

Recorded by Chris Funkhouser

  1. Kush (1:54): MP3
  2. Rebecca Wolff (9:55): MP3
  3. Pierre Joris (13:59): MP3
  4. Pamela Twining (12:40): MP3
  5. Nicole Peyrafitte (15:33): MP3
  6. Michael Ruby (11:53): MP3

  7. John Cayley (19:14): MP3
  8. David Rothenberg (10:33): MP3
  9. Dorota Czerner (16:13): MP3
  10. Andy Clausen (13:04): MP3
  11. Adeena Karasick (12:34): MP3

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. © 2017 Subterranean Poetry Festival. Distributed by PennSound.