Thursday, June 2, 2016, at 7:00 pm, poets David Giannini and Richard Michelson will continue the ninth season of the Collected Poets Series. Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)David Giannini’s most recently published collections of poetry include Span of Thread (Cervena Barva Press,) The Future Only Rattles When You Pick It Up (Feral Press,) AZ TWO (Adastra Press,) a “Featured Book” in the 2009 Massachusetts Poetry Festival; and Rim/Wave (Quale Press.) 13 of his chapbooks were published 2013-16 including Inverse Mirror, a collaboration with artist, Judith Koppel;. His work appears in national and international literary magazines and anthologies. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. Awards include: Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Awards; The Osa and Lee Mays Award For Poetry; an award for prose poetry from the University of Florida; and a 2009 Finalist Award from the Naugatuck Review. He has been a gravedigger; beekeeper; taught at Williams College, The University of Massachusetts, and Berkshire Community College, as well as preschoolers and high school students, among others. Giannini was the Lead Rehabilitation Counselor for Compass Center, which he co-founded as the first rehabilitation clubhouse for severely and chronically mentally ill adults in the northwest corner of Connecticut. www.davidgiannini.com
Richard Michelson’s many books for children, teens and adults have been listed among the Ten Best of the Year by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The New Yorker; and among the best Dozen of the Decade by Amazon. He has been a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award (3X), the National Jewish Book Award (3X), the Harlem Book Fest Award, and he is the only author ever awarded both the Sydney Taylor Gold and Silver Medals in a single year from the Association of Jewish Librarians. Michelson hosts Northampton Poetry Radio, and just completed his 2nd term as Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA.
Michelson’s latest poetry collection, More Money than God, was published in 2015 by the University of Pittsburgh Press, He is a 2016 recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship.
MORE MONEY THAN GOD / Richard Michelson
my father said, again and again, shaking his head
in disbelief at any ostentation; the neighbor’s goldplated
knocker (we still banged fists) or my own lust
to own the autographed edition or the waxed bronze bust.
It is not only the idea—which should hold all the pleasure—
but the poet’s pencil marks on paper which we treasure
above the memorized poem. And so I fan my flushed face,
signaling the fast-talking auctioneer, who has traced
the provenance, and picks up the pace, multiplying offers.
And who now does my father’s bidding? Heaven’s coffers,
perhaps, are for the destitute; but why did he have to die
to escape the shitty crime-ridden, never-to-be-gentrified
neighborhood of both our births? The cost of living,
he would argue, is not the worth of being alive.
But still he checked each lottery ticket which littered
the empty lot next door, praised their silver latex glitter,
praying to the beautiful unscratched, like little gods.
Money talks, he taught me. But nobody beats the odds.