Saturday, January 05, 2008

Boston's 'Dire Literary Series' is worth a trip to Bean Town

The Dire Literary Series is hosted by poet Timothy Gager at the Out of the Blue Art Gallery, 106 Prospect Street, Cambridge, Mass. (in Boston). The series is set up like so many around the New York and Philadelphia areas, but it has its own personality, which is special and compelling.

I attended last night's event, when featured speakers, poet Harris Gardner and writer Jackie Corley, read selections of their work. They were accompanied by seven "open mic" speakers who read their works as well.

Firstly, the background for the event, the Out of the Blue Art Gallery, is home to some local artists who are both wonderful and under-selling some very compelling work. I have not seen a better place for a reading series. While parking is a challenge (ala The Meadowlands), it is well worth the effort trying to find a space.

I forgot my camera for last night's event, and it's a shame, because the eclectic, thought-provoking and often wonderful pieces on display at this gallery absolutely merit chronicling and even a drive back later on.

At Mr. Gager's event, there was some of the best poetry I have heard -- period. Going to various New York events previously, getting through the poetry part of readings has sometimes been like navigating around a car accident to get to an acceleration lane on the highway. Often the wreckage has been upsetting.

But, during the night, both Mr. Gager and one of the featured speakers, Mr. Gardner, were two of the best poets I have heard. This is especially true of Mr. Gager, a former musician who is a University of Delaware grad.

Ms. Corley was outstanding in her rendition of "The Suburban Swindle," a short story she wrote several years ago.

Mr. Gager's packed house comprised a great audience, that included people with real interest in literature. In all, it was an experience worth a four-hour drive through 32-degree weather.

Mr. Gager's next installment of his series will be taking place at the Out of the Blue Art Gallery at 8 p.m. on Feb. 1, when he will feature writers Kim McLarin, "Jump at the Sun"; John Sheppard, "Santi: The Lives of Modern Saints"; and guest poet David Surette.

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