BRIDGES READING SERIES
Bridges Reading series January 21, 2021
“January is a time for new things and to look ahead. We do both for the January Bridges reading,” says Stan Kusunoki, Host/Curator. “Looking ahead, two of my ex-students, Morgan Kerber-Folstrom and Mikaela Pavlicek read their own work, and we have several firsts.” Kusunoki says that while he has had poets from out of state read, this will be the first time poets read from out of state. “ Betsy Mars is in California and Alan Walowitz is in New York, so it will be a bi-coastal reading,” says Kusunoki. “They have collaborated on a new chapbook, In the Muddle of the Night—another touch of newness!”
The roster for the reading includes:
During his 50 years as a part-time poet, Alan Walowitz has studied--though to little avail-- with Stephen Stepanchev, C.K, Williams, Carol Muske, Colette Inez, Estha Weiner and many others.
He was a teacher of secondary English for 34 years and served as Coordinator of English Language Arts in White Plains, NY public schools from 1992 till 2004. He’s taught at Pace University, St. John’s University, and at Manhattanville College.
Alan is a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, and his poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017 and 2018. His chapbook, Exactly Like Love, comes from Osedax Press. The full-length, The Story of the Milkman and Other Poems, is available from Truth Serum Press. Forthcoming from Arroyo Seco Press is the chapbook In the Muddle of the Night, written trans-continentally with Betsy Mars.
Betsy Mars is a Connecticut-born, mostly southern California raised poet, photographer, and occasional publisher, founding Kingly Street Press in 2019. In 2020, she was one of the winners of the Alexandria Quarterly's First Line poetry series, and a finalist in both the Jack Grapes and the Poetry Super Highway contests. Her work has been widely published. Her books are Alinea (Picture Show Press) and In the Muddle of the Night (Arroyo Seco Press), co-written with Alan Walowitz. Her childhood years in Brazil left her with a love of language(s), travel, and an awareness of the global community.
Brett Elizabeth Jenkins lives and writes in Minneapolis. Look for her work in The Sun, AGNI, Beloit Poetry Journal, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere.
Mikaela Pavlicek is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she studied Journalism and Public Health. She will begin working at UnitedHealth Group in January as a Marketing Specialist. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, drinking iced coffee and writing poetry of course.
Morgan Kerber-Folstrom is a 17 year old girl in her junior year of high school. She became interested in writing after meeting Stanley Kusunoki through her elementary school’s high potential learning program and has written several poems and even a short story since. Outside of writing, Morgan enjoys drawing and is a part of her school’s swim team. In the future, she plans on pursuing psychiatry but still dreams of publishing her own book someday.
The BRIDGES Reading series is intended to bring together writers across genres and cultural backgrounds to express themselves, but also build links to each other. The title comes from a performance piece, LANDBRIDGE: THE BERINGIA PROJECT, a performance piece co-written and performed by Kusunoki and Jamison Mahto, an Anishinabe performance poet/trickster coyote. “Starting with conflicting creation myths, we came to a point where we understood and connected with the commonalities of our histories and cultures,” says Kusunoki. “It is the hope of the series that readers and the audience will do the same.”