On Monday September 2, 2013 the Saturn Poetry Reading and Open Mike, hosted by SuPolo devoted an evening to the Save Our Schools Campaign for Artful Resistance. The evening was billed as “Special school themed poetry reading, presenting a night of extraordinary work exploring teachers’, parents’, students’, and communities’ insights into how schools should be run, part of the national Campaign for Artful Resistance of Save Our Schools.”
The featured poets were a mix of Saturn regulars and Save Our Schools recruits. The event was attended by a friendly group of people who are regulars at the Saturn Poetry Reading. The venue was quite appealing. It was a long narrow room with a brick fireplace above the Revival bar. The walls were painted to look like wooden paneling, cabinets and bookshelves. The décor combined with the friendliness of those attending to create a very welcoming atmosphere.
Su Polo, the host, began the evening with an open mike. Then she asked Rosalie Friend to speak briefly of Save Our Schools and the work we are doing. The first featured performers were:
- Diane Block: a professional classical violinist who received her training at the Manhattan School of Music, with a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance in 1980. She retired as Orchestra Director on June 21 after serving the Farmingdale School District on Long Island for 25 years.
- Helen Peterson: an award-winning poet, retired as teacher of English as a Second Language and professor of English with 35 years in the public school system. Her students inspire her poems.
- Fred Smith: a testing specialist. He worked as an educational researcher and administrative analyst for the New York City public schools. He is now a member of Change the Stakes, a parent advocacy group.
- Megan DiBello: founded Poetry Teachers NYC in 2010. She holds a M.F.A from Naropa University, in Writing & Poetics and a B.A. from Marymount Manhattan College. Megan is also a Literacy Partners Volunteer Tutor. She has been published in Fact-Similie, Flanour Foundry, The Bathroom, & Monkey Puzzle Press. Megan has performed at the White Box GAllery, The Bowery Poetry Club, The HOWL Festival, The Socrates Sculpture Park, The Center of Book Arts, and the upcoming DUMBO Arts Festival. Her first hybrid book is entitled, Voyeur Without A Title.
- Mindy Matijasevic: a math teacher who is a frequent participant in the Saturn Poetry Series. She introduced her poem by telling about the teacher who evoked her interest in math for the first time.
The evening continued with an open mike at which a number of poets praised influential teachers before reading their work on other topics. SOS thanks Su Polo, Rosalie Friend, and all the poets who helped make this such a fun event! See the Gallery of Artful Resistance for many of the poems that were read at this event.