You have to give the BeloJo some credit for publishing Tom Chandler's missives on the local poetry scene. There are a lot of closet fans of verse out there and, considering the inattention from the rest of the mainstream media, those fans are a bit underserved. I might amend my opinion if Mario Hilario starts hosting a poetry slam on WJAR-TV's "Weekend Sunrise" news, just after Frank Terranova's "Cooking with Class" segment. But who really wants to hear Mario recite poetry with a mouthful of banana bread?
Thanks to my friend, the poet Silent Lotus, I have received a few news blasts from the poetry front. First, the weirdest news: poet Michael Cirelli (a much-published poet with a major national reputation) has a new book out from Penmanship Books titled Everyone Loves the Situation. Cirelli has apparently found inspiration in the MTV television mega-hit, Jersey Shore.
While no one is likely to mistake Snooki for Virginia Woolf (although some uncharitable types might wish her to meet the same watery fate as Woolf, just off the Jersey Shore), we hope that Mr. Cirelli is gentle with our own homeboy, DJ Pauly D of Johnston and his signature hair gel which, surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly; see "Red Meat Rampage" below), has escaped a listing as an environmental hazard in the Garden State.
Meanwhile, closer to home, the Ocean State Poets crew was recently honored with a "Victims' Poetry" award commemorating National Crime Victims Rights Week. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin presented them the award at the Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence in Providence (more on them later, too). I am friendly with many of these poets (I'm the director at In-Sight Radio, Rhode Island's only radio reading service for those who are blind or visually impaired, and they regularly read for our listeners) and congratulate them on their continued community service.
Speaking of literary matters, I would direct you to the Cranston Public Library (central branch at 140 Sockanosset Cross Road) on Monday, May 2 at 7 pm. It's the "Friends of the Cranston Public Library" annual meeting, free and open to the public with special guest, former Rhode Island attorney general, and longtime radio talk host Arlene "Ahhhh-lene" Violet, who will discuss and sign copies of her new book, The Mob and Me: Wiseguys and the Witness Protection Program. Ahhh-lene co-wrote the book with the late former US Marshal John Partington, who is largely credited with conceiving the witness protection program.
Since no one has a budget anymore for such frivolities as advertising and promotion, it has fallen upon yours truly (who at least has a newspaper column in which he can slip in such nefarious information) to remind you that the Young Adults, that fabulous band that had its heyday in the 1970s and appeared occasionally in ensuing years to raid Lupo's treasury, will rock again.
On Memorial Day weekend — Friday through Sunday, May 27-29 — the Young Adults play for the first time in more than 20 years. The show is at the Met at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket. Opening on all three nights will be Phoebe Legere and Sir George Leonard who last weekend delivered a marvelous performance at Chan's in Woonsocket. Tix are on sale now at the Lupo's box office and at themetri.com.