Known for their themed, improv-style poetry readings, Cool Women riff on each other’s poems like jazz musicians, providing an unpredictable and compelling performance. Eight members will be participating—Eloise Bruce, Juditha Dowd, Betty Lies, Judy Michaels, Sharon Olson, Penelope Schott, Maxine Susman, and Gretna Wilkinson—have deep New Jersey roots.
Friday, June 21, 2019 @ 7:30 at The Newtown Library Company
114 E. Centre Avenue, in the heart of Newtown Borough, Bucks County
COOL WOMEN will perform their poetry and wrap up the 2018-2019 season. Please join us! An open mic follows.
On Friday June 21, Cool Women Celebrate Summer at the Newtown Library Company with “Long Days, Short Nights.” Each member will bring 8-10 poems and in three rounds of one poem each, they link their poems to what has gone before. The result is a poetic jazz performance which all should enjoy.
Cool Women is a central New Jersey-based, nine-member poetry critique and performance group, who have been meeting for 25 years and who do 40-45 minute poetry readings. The members are widely published individually and as a group (6 anthologies and 2 CDs of their work). Their performances are theme-based improvisations in which they begin with a theme.
It was Alicia Ostriker’s idea! To perform Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem “Recuerdo” at the Staten Island ferry terminal where the poem’s events took place. Then we added performances of Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” at the Statue of Liberty tour dock. The only thing that went amiss was the weather, it rained all day. But our spirits were lifted by many encounters during the day. Most of the passengers glided by us with puzzled looks, but some engaged us, like the two students from a local college who wanted to ask us if we knew about “God, the Mother”…boy, did we! And the Staten Island ferry official who prevented us from handing out our poems (too intrusive for their ‘customers’) ended up helping us out by taking a photo of the part of the Millay poem we couldn’t get to because it was past the entry point. And we should point out that we hadn’t even known it was painted up there around the ceiling of the ferry terminal until after we were done reciting it! Only a few of us Cool Women joined the excitement: Lois, Sharon, Juditha and Gretna. Here are a few photos of the special day:
Planet Princeton article about the show at the Merwick Gallery.
Join the Cool Women for a themed reading (Fools Rush In) on Thursday, April 4th, 7 p.m., at the Hillsborough Library Branch of the Somerset County Library System, 379 South Branch Rd., Program Room AB, Hillsborough, New Jersey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 908-458-8420.