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Minas Gallery & Boutique
Neighborhood: Hampden Category: Movies & Cinema, Fashion, Art Galleries
Essential Sundays – Minas Gallery & Boutique – June 6th 2010 815 W. 36th Street, Hampden, "On the Avenue." Featured Poets: Chris Toll and Jamie Gaughran-Perez Reviewed by M. S. Sanders It was a day of on and off showers “On the Avenue,” but happily, that did not scare the crowd away for this...
Essential Sundays – Minas Gallery & Boutique – June 6th 2010
815 W. 36th Street, Hampden, "On the Avenue."
Featured Poets: Chris Toll and Jamie Gaughran-Perez
Reviewed by M. S. Sanders
It was a day of on and off showers “On the Avenue,” but happily, that did not scare the crowd away for this latest installment of “Essential Sundays.” As always, the soft spoken Minas and the affable Peggy created a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere that made everyone feel as though once again, their cool aunt and uncle were letting their unofficially adopted neighborhood kids put on another show in the loft.
Not surprisingly, when featuring talents such as Perez and Toll, the house was packed. Even the church pew along the north wall had to be utilized to accommodate the appreciative audience.
Chris Toll gave a mesmerizing performance, literally teetering over each poem as if on the brink of falling into their depths. Poem after poem was almost feverishly delivered with little or no introduction. His performance, like his work, a true work of art – one that does not step down from the wall to explain itself. Like a mystic who is one part unrequited rebel and one part urban prophet, he explored with each poem the intricacies and mysteries of the love, longing and heartache. A philosopher not satisfied with examining the world with a cold, detached intellect, but determined to question it fearlessly with the vulnerable human heart, asking of the audience not to provide him with the answers, but to discover them for themselves.
Jamie Gaughran-Perez’s reading style is of the rarest and most welcome commodities at any public reading. Candid without being self-effacing, entertaining without acting and humorous without telling jokes. He proves he is a serious poet with his more traditional work, yet proves he has nothing to prove with more irreverent pieces that are deceptive in their simplicity. Even his piece that was allegedly just a list of words that he was obliged to add to his “spell check dictionary,” provided insight into the new American psyche. Much of Jamie’s work seemed to function as literary Rorschach blots – a gallery of portraits, sketches and snapshots where the listener learns of themselves.
Although Sheri Bell said she was “new to this,” it is clear she is not new to writing. Her lucid and well crafted work was perfectly matched with her subtle yet engaging reading style. If indeed, Sheri is new to reading in public, one can only hope she will continue to share it and on a regular basis.
Sid Gold’s work, like his gravely voice, gave testament to a life of hard-earned experience while striving to maintain an empathetic human heart. Like a truck stop shaman or honky-tonk guru, Sid provided unpretentious, poetic communiqués from those not crushed by a broken American dream, but mending their souls, unashamed of their scars. Sid’s book “Working Vocabulary,” is available from the Washington Writers Publishing House.
Angela Horner, host and organizer of popular Moaning Pipe Cabaret series, gave a signature solid performance. Angela seamlessly blends the polished imagery of the literary academic with the street-wise and edgy language of the modern urban poet. The only fault that one might find in one of Angela’s performances is that it is an event that does not happen frequently enough. Hopefully, this reviewer’s voice will be added to the many who are of the same opinion, and Miss Horner will be inspired to share her work more often.
M. S. Sanders is the host and organizer of !SPEAK YOUR PIECE!, a weekly featured poet / open mic literary event that takes place every Wednesday at Singer’s Bar & Restaurant in the heart of Mt. Vernon. He has hosted and organized scores of literary and multimedia events and has won two “Baltimore’s Best” awards from the City Paper for his literary events and publications. He won 1st place in the City Paper’s 8th annual poetry contest and was awarded an individual artist’s grant for poetry by the Maryland State Arts Council. He has been a featured performer at dozens of events and venues including Artscape, the Maryland Institute College of Art and the WHFS Festival at RFK Stadium. His work has appeared in the Shattered Wig Review, The Pearl, Art In Progress and numerous other publications.
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