A bohemian night of Beat poetry was had at the Project Café; presented by Tell It Slant’s Maggie Graham and Ellen McAteer, Friday evening showcased the works of seminal female poets (contemporaneous with Ginsberg and Kerouac, but whose names have been somewhat neglected by a male-biased commentariat).
The subversive poetry of Diane Di Prima, Anne Waldman, Joanne Kyger, Hettie Jones, Janine Pommy Vega, and Ruth Weiss, parodied a world which purported to stand for liberation and freedom (but which too often relied on women toiling in the background, to support the leisurely excesses of their male counterparts). Societal norms gave way in a drug-fueled odyssey for existential truth, but some would be left to pick up the pieces; Hettie Jones was ultimately unable to find acceptance as a white, Jewish woman married to LeRoi Jones in Civil Rights era USA.
Varied and vigorous open mic contributions were later offered, from the likes of Derek Parkes, Jude Stewart, Ibrahim Bashiru, Calum Rodger, Ellie Goldman, Charlotte Le Good, Chris Agee, and others. Ellen McAteer reciting, while Gerry Cambridge provided harmonica accompaniment, will not be forgotten in a hurry!
** The embedded colour photograph is by Ellen McAteer, while the black and white photography is Dominique Carton’s.