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  • NYS Writers Institute

Poetry Friday and two poetry events this weekend!

Before we get to today's Poetry Friday, here are two events of special interest to poets and poetry fans in the Capital Region...

The Hudson Valley Writers Guild, Trailer Park Quarterly, and Hobo Camp Review are joining forces to present two nights of poetry and spoken word.

These readings will showcase the work of Paula Bomer, Dan Provost, J. Lester Allen, Cord Moreski, John Dorsey, Jason Baldinger, Jason Ryberg, Victor Clevenger, Tony Brewer, Ian Macks, Tohm Bakelas, and Mary Panza.

8 p.m. Friday, July 22

Elixir 16

45 2nd Street, Troy NY 12180, ($10), and at

8 p.m. Saturday, July 23

The Linda

339 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12206 ($10).

“All of us at the Writers Guild are so excited to be working with these great literary journals to bring some of the nation’s most prolific and talented poets and writers to the Capital Region,” said Thom Francis, Hudson Valley Writers Guild Vice President. More at the HVWG site.

Hope to see you at one or both of these poetry readings! Now here's a Friday poem from John Dorsey.

Trailer Park Song, 1988 or Poem for Tish

By John Dorsey

i never knew you

but when we lived in the trailer park

we got countless calls for you

in the summer of 1988

andre held you close to his heart

like a cracked locket

or a spring flower

that never got to bloom

he just wanted you to know that

he cried when my father

told him you died

just so he would stop calling

when we were in the middle

of eating dinner

telling us about how

you slow danced at the prom

the night before he got shipped off

into the hungry mouth of jungle

that swallowed boy like him whole

how you were the one

who pressed his uniform

that morning he left town

how he did his best not to wrinkle it

for weeks after that

eventually giving in

to humidity & the war

inside his heart

but you can't iron out heartbreak

he dreamt about you as news

of the moon landing

came across the radio

he just missed the sound of your voice

calling back to him

out of the past.

By John Dorsey from the book Afterlife Karaoke

John Dorsey
John Dorsey. Photo provided by the Hudson Valley Writers Guild

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016), Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017), Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020), Afterlife Karaoke (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2021) and Sundown at the Redneck Carnival (Spartan Press, 2022).

His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous.


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