Poetry Night with Joanna Brown, Wendy Grossman & Ceridwen McKenna

Event date: 
Saturday, April 13, 2024 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
471 Angell Street
Providence, RI 02906

Poetry Night with Joanna Brown & Ceridwen McKenna

Join us on Saturday, April 13th at 6:00 p.m. for a poetry reading with Joanna Brown, Wendy Grossman, and Ceridwen McKenna.  The theme will be "Poetry is Springing Up Everywhere."

The Golden Flicker by Joanna Brown

"Consider: “for a moment we are swimming together”­­–– nowhere near a body of water. In Joanna Brown’s poetry, compassion and pathos are one. The “we” in her lines, as with Walt Whitman’s, contain multitudes––sometimes a patient, sometimes a child, the speaker’s wife, the unborn, David Buckel, a LGBT pioneer/suicide, two gilded flickers, and always her readers. A fragment of a poem, with a line like “I get lost in their scars,” is emblematic of the depth and risks this poet takes in the striking poems in this remarkable first collection."–Elaine Sexton, author of Drive 

"With poignant lyricism, Joanna Brown’s The Gilded Flicker bears witness to what separates us and what binds us, to the knife’s edge upon which our society lives. Her poems are vibrant and tender, and acutely aware of each passing moment, and it is there, on every page of The Gilded Flicker, that nothing is left unnoticed, unlived, unsung."–Christopher Kondrich, author of Valuing

The Gilded Flicker is an interrogation of what it means to live in our time as an activist, Jew, queer spouse, mother, and healer. Its poems perch at the edges and peer into multiple worlds: of the medical clinic during COVID, of the forest or park as haven or hell, of the detained or wounded teen, of pregnancy and death. These works are in passionate dialogue with each other and their surroundings, yet they still manage to pause and appreciate beauty and wonder.

Joanna Brown’s poetry has appeared in Gertrude, Earth’s Daughters, Chiron Review, Ethel Zine and other publications. She is a physician and lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with her spouse, Rebecca Kislak, and their two teen sons. When she’s not writing, she can be found working in an adolescent clinic or spending time with her family.

Dreamcycle: (my days and nights with John Leguizamo), by Wendy Grossman

Dreamcycle: (my days and nights with John Leguizamo) is a collection of poems that cycle through the poet’s dreams, imaginings, and real-life encounters with the actor. It’s throwback, fangirl poetry—a love letter not only to Leguizamo, but to a time and place dear to the poet—the 1980’s and 90’s, East Village, New York City.

These poems show us what it feels like to be on the outside looking in, whether it’s the writer’s longing to be considered a real New Yorker, or her desire to penetrate the wall between the celebrity and the starstruck. As readers, we get to wonder alongside her, as she lovingly recalls her downtown city girl days, what’s better—to keep dreaming about and pining for Leguizamo, or to come face to face with him.

Wendy Grossman is a poet living in Rhode Island whose work straddles both the world of poetry and the world of mental health. Her work has been published in The New York Times, San Fedele Press, and Indolent Books Online Edition. Currently working on a social media cento project, and other poems, you can also find Wendy’s personal blog focusing on cross-racial connection through the lens of whiteness, at www.wendyjanegrossman.com. This is her debut poetry chapbook.

Changeling: Poems of Risk, Trust and Transformation by Ceridwen E McKenna

Earthy grace and elemental magic tussle with the digital world in this poetic quest for love and belonging that pulses with a spoken rhythm. This collection of 21 original poems ride the senses encountered through the natural world, the contrasting digital world, and back again into physical bodies. Dragons, Rideshare bikes and quantum science deliver lush ancient questions. Author Ceridwen McKenna's experience in the arts (acting, improvisation, dance, orchestra) is evident in the musicality and storytelling quality of these compositions that have left readers "breathless."

Fond of the spoken word as well as written, Ceridwen Elizabeth McKenna's poetry and non-fiction stories have been performed in sketch comedy, songs and theater pieces in Chicago, and published in poetry collections internationally. As a Certified Rolfer in holistic body work, Ceridwen has shared her expertise through published articles in health magazines such as Massage Magazine and the Journal of the Rolf Institute for Structural Integration. She is a member of the LitArts RI in Providence, Rhode Island and the Binders.