MPS: Robert C. Jennings & Joe Roarty

Tuesday, July 26, 7pm – Poetry
The Moonstone Poetry Series Presents
Robert C. Jennings & Joe Roarty

Robert C. Jennings has this to say:
“A 10TH grade English teacher, whom I loathed and fought with frequently, kindled my interest in poetry.  For almost 30 years I’ve been inspired to write that which I see, feel, sense, and think about into poetry. Originally from southeast PA, I received a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Penn State University and my life has been an adventure ever since.  I worked on Assateague Island in Maryland with the wild horses, lived up in northern New Jersey for a park system for 12 years working with the natural lands and environmental education, spent 3 years living on the literal backbone of the Blue Ridge mountains in the Shenandoah Valley area where my nearest neighbor was a full 3 miles (and 15 minute drive) away, and currently have come full circle back home to southeast PA for the time being.  In short, I’m a northern-born, city-bred boy who feels most at home in the wild mountains of the Southern Appalachians.  A living, walking, breathing dichotomy.  Go figure.
I’ve always been inspired by Nature, mostly, in my poetry.  Having lived on significant-sized tracts of land for the past 15 or so years benefitted the development of my senses to tune into and feel the pulse of Mother Earth, of Nature, and the Universe.  I also am inspired by people; the two-leggeds who roam this Earth, for they are an interesting bunch and provide no shortage of material for writing.
I have been published in local magazines and newspapers more than several times, mostly up in northern NJ, and plan on having my first (self-?) published book of Nature-based inspirational poetry out in 2012. I am grateful for this opportunity to read here at Moonstone this evening.  It’s a great place with a great, passionate vibe to it.”

Joe Roarty has this to say”
“Joe Roarty has lived in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Boston, Chicago & Philadelphia – still not getting’ nowhere.”  “Joe Roarty has been shiprekkd on the shores of the Susquehanna and has made his way 2 Philly.”
C. J. Laity says this in a review of Choruses I by Joe Roarty
“I always find it hilarious when the neo-postmodernists go around declaring that their work is “experimental.” I always have to ask, how can it be experimental if it’s the same quirky style that academics have been writing in for the last forty years? I think in order to be considered experimental, you have to be completely different than everything else that’s going on. You have to be trying something new, you have to take chances, you have to, uh, experiment. Now, I would have to call the work of Joe Roarty “experimental.”
If you’ve seen this performance poet over the years appearing at the various venues you know what I’m talking about. He’s the guy banging on that hand drum like a mad man, shouting every word into the microphone as if it is the word of God. He usually has no time for metaphors or similes or deep symbolism. He usually just tells it like it is as his voice builds to a crescendo like a heartbeat on crank ready to explode. Joe Roarty is really, really out there, man. He’s about as experimental as you can get. Roarty is so damn out there that he put a photo of Shag on the front cover of his chapbook (he’ll tell you it’s Satan) and a poem by Thax Douglas on the back cover. He’s so in orbit that while some look for epigraphs to attach to their titles, most of the poems in Roarty’s Choruses I don’t even have titles. Sometimes you don’t know where one poem ends and the next begins. Sometimes you don’t even know what the hell he is talking about.”
“Joe Roarty is possibly Chicago’s premiere beat poet. This friend of Ginsberg and Corso continues to move his work along a steady line of the hand drum he often uses to accentuate, drive, and punctuate his readings. The strength of this full-time poet is in combining the precision of his lines with the surreal and fantastic power of his premises and conceptualizations.”


Posted in Moonstone Arts Center Events, Poetry Series