Charles Bukowski is the kind of poet that is passionately read by people who read no other poetry at all. If anyone should be credited with bringing poetry to the ranks of the common man in the 20th Century, it is most certainly Bukowski.
With 30 books still in print and over 2 million copies sold, Charles Bukowski has beat all odds as a poet. Though he also wrote novels, it was his poetry that garnered him great success as a writer, and in his own lifetime. This great American poet has been dead for 18 years now and yet his book sales and overall popularity are clearly on the rise. He is an American cultural icon, and for something as unlikely as poetry.
Nine regional poets will be paying tribute to this great American writer tonight, Tuesday, February 28th at 6:30 pm in the basement of the Blue Nile located at 181 North Main Street in Harrisonburg. The event is free and will feature original poems by the readers.
All poets have been selected because their poetry reflects characteristics of Bukowski’s poetry in some way. This means that this reading, like Bukowski’s own, will be no ordinary poetry reading. The poems to be read are brutal, honest, clever, funny, offensive, and entertaining. In short, they are vibrantly human.
DJ Neals Barkley will be adding an extra element to the reading, namely, a well-crafted audio accompaniment. This is rather uncommon of a poetry reading, but will certainly make for a very interesting one.
There will also be an anthology of poems being released, containing poems written by the nine participating poets. As a bonus, the anthology comes with a CD which has Bukowski himself reading his poetry over beats and mixes made by DJ Neals Barkley, DJ Fayo, and DJ Cornbread.
Bukowski’s readings were known to be rowdy, full, exciting, and oftentimes in bars. This reading seems intent on falling in line with all of those attributes and more. This will be a great cultural event happening in downtown Harrisonburg and definitely one that is not to be missed. So make it a point to attend and you will be glad you did.
Paul Somers is the event organizer of this poetic tribute, as well as an artist, poet, and co-founder of the Super Gr8 Film Festival.
Show flier by Elliott Downs.