This Thursday, the Mad Poets is delighted — dare I say giddy! — to host the Round Robin poets at Milkboy in Bryn Mawr. The group, which include Mike Cohen, Steve Delia, Missy Grotz, and Barbara Wagner, will offer a dynamic, coordinated reading, featuring works that the poets have helped each other craft and refine throughout their 10 years together.
But this isn’t just a rare reading from the Round Robin poets. This is a farewell party for one of the group’s members: long-time Mad Poet, Byrn Mawr regular, and all around spunky poet, Barbara Wagner, who will soon be moving to sunny Florida. If you’ve heard Barbara read before, then you know why it’s important to catch one last reading before she goes. If you haven’t, you’ll be glad you got to meet her before the chance is gone.
The reading will begin PROMPTLY at 7pm, followed by an open mic.
Here’s a little bit more about Barbara Wagner & the other Round Robin poets:
The Round Robin began over a decade ago, when a young Steve Delia suggested that some of the poets might help each other with new poems or revising old ones by critiquing works in progress, by mail. Â His idea was to have each member critique the poems that others had sent and then add a new poem to be critiqued on each round. The group began with five people, each would critique four poems, add his/her own, and eventually get their poem from the previous round and the 4 critiques of it. Â Of course with the proliferation of electronic communication, the temptation to succumb to the efficiencies of email was great, but thanks to Steve’s leadership the poets were able to resist, and maintain the Round Robin in its pristine, snail-mail state. Â Says Mike Cohen: “There is something about receiving a packet in the mail and having actual pages, to curl up and spend happy hours with those pages of thoughts from thoughtful, inspiring friends.” The fact that the Round Robin has been sustained for so long is testament to the pertinacity of the participants and to the reliability of the postal service. Â In all this time, they’ve not had an incident of anything “lost in the mail”; Â Postal workers may occasionally go on shooting rampages, but overall they do a very good job. The poets have also done a good job, and they have had no incidents of any of the members going on a shooting rampage… yet.
Those members are…
Mike Cohen: A person who appreciates poetry, art, and other dreams, MikeÂ enjoys sharing perspectives on matters that matter and matters that don’t and how remarkably interchangeable the two types of matters are.Â Mike’s poetry has appeared in the Mad Poets Review, Fox Chase Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and the Philadelphia Daily News. His poetic presentations have been featured in programs at various schools, bookstores, coffee shops, and libraries. His poems have been aired on SKN radio. Mike has served as a judge in the Montgomery County Poet Laureate competition.Â Currently, Mike hosts Poetry Aloud and Alive, a popular monthly poetry program in its fifth year at Mt. Airy’s Big Blue Marble Book Store. He takes part in guiding tours at Woodmere Art Museum. Â His articles on Philadelphia sculpture appear in the Schuylkill Valley Journal in which he is a contributing editor.
Steve Delia has been crumpling balls of paper for 33 years. The ones he keeps he calls poetry. His first love was music but he had zero musical talent. He tried writing song lyrics and gradually drifted into poetry. He has 5 chapbooks: Revisited, Revised and Retyped Volumes 1 and 2, 1622 Church Street, Haiku And Other Imagining and Zoo Poetry. He enjoys collecting cd’s, eating scrapple by candlelight, and playing naked twister.He dislikes heights, shoveling snow, being diabetic, and all feet including his own.
Missy Grotz has followed a gypsyâ€™s jaunt, including education at Penn State and a myriad of careers. Â Her poetry has been published in the Mad Poets Review and Dining and Entertainment Weekly. Missy is a member of the Wild Women Poets and The Round Robin Poets, and has had the pleasure of reading at many venues around the Philadelphia area. Â A series of childrenâ€™s books known as the Aunt Missy books, inspired by her 14 nieces and nephews, is in the works. She has a collection of cat poetry entitled Cat Chat that will be out one day soon.
Barbara Wagner has performed her poetry and fiction throughout the Philadelphia and New Jersey area, including the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and the televised CafÃ© Improv program in Princeton, NJ. Â Her work has appeared in several literary publications as well as on the internet, most recently Poets for Living Waters, created in response to the Gulf oil spill. Her childrenâ€™s story The Giggling Ghost is featured on Smories.com. Her poetry awards include the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. Â In addition to poetry, she writes fiction and has recently completed her second novel.
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As always, the featured reading will be followed by a mixed-genre open mic. We’re just halfway through our annual open mic contest — which means there’s still plenty of time to snag enough votes to win a featured reading slot in December. So come on out! Bring your open ears, your open mind & your best poems!