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The Caffe Lena Poetry Open Mic Featuring Emily XYZ

Emily XYZ

The one-two punch of poetry and spoken word on the first Tuesday and Wednesday of the month continues the night after NGS #27 on Wednesday, October 3 with the Caffe Lena Poetry Open Mic featuring Emily XYZ with reading partner Myers Bartlett.

Emily XYZ is an American writer and performer best known for her spoken-word poetry for multiple voices. XYZ acquired a cult following with her live gigs, punk stylings and recordings for indie-rock labels through the ’80s and ’90s, lighting up the stage at the now-famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe. She achieved relative prominence (including appearances on television and in high-profile anthologies), and for 20 years has been performing with her reading partner, Myers Bartlett. The duo has performed in theatres, arts centers, galleries, colleges and nightclubs across the U.S. and in Australia, Germany and Canada. In 2010, she was named Arts Queensland Poet in Residence. In addition to her longtime collaboration with Emily XYZ on stage and in the recording studio, Myers Bartlett is an established voiceover artist with numerous credits to her name. She received a BFA in theatre from Boston University and is currently represented by Innovative Artists, NYC.

Here is a video of Emily XYZ and Myers Bartlett performing “Separation of Church & State”

Publishers Weekly said the following about Emily’s book, The Emily XYZ Songbook:

The Emily XYZ SongbookPresent at the creation of performance poetry, Emily XYZ acquired a cult following with her live gigs, punk stylings and recordings for indie-rock labels through the ’80s and ’90s, lighting up the stage at the now-famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Despite her relative prominence (including appearances on television and in high-profile anthologies), XYZ has produced no previous book: she may have felt, and her fans might have agreed, that her performance style, vocal delivery and musical accompaniment contribute as much to her work as the words themselves. This breakthrough volume collects 13 of XYZ’s texts, each scored for two simultaneous speakers, along with notes on their composition and performance. “I think of them more as something to be heard than read,” XYZ writes in her introduction, and indeed the texts can fall flat on the page; they are saved, though, by the wonderful accompanying CD, in which XYZ’s own readings – along with Virgil Moorefield’s compulsively catchy electronic musical settings – demonstrate her real powers for all to hear. Several works rely on insistently repeated phrases, reducing the voice almost to a percussion instrument; others imply a traumatic early life or promulgate an inspiring, sometimes sarcastic feminist politics.

The Caffe Lena Poetry Open Mic happens on the first Wednesday of each and every month at the historic Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY. This great, long-running poetry event is hosted by Carol Graser. Sign up is at 7:00, the open mic begins at 7:30. There is a $5.00 admission.

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