July 02, 2024

Talking With Poets: Sally Rhoades & David Gonsalves at the 2024 Word Fest

Thom Francis welcomes poets Sally Rhoades & David Gonsalves who shared their work at the 2024 Word Fest Open Mic at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts on April 27, 2024.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have introduced you to poets who took part in the Word Fest Open Mic at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts. This was our first Word Fest post-pandemic and we couldn’t have been happier with the turnout and the talent that was presented on stage that day. It was the perfect ending to a weekend filled with books, writers, spoken word artists, and an amazing lineup of open mic poets.

Today, we are going to hear from two poets who took the stage.

First up is a long-time member of the local poetry community, Sally Rhoades. Sally is a former Capital reporter in Albany, N.Y., who began writing poetry in the late 1980s. She is a frequent Albany open mic poet and has featured at various venues. She began traveling out to Oklahoma in 2012 to read at the Woody Gutherie centennial and is a frequent reader at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival in Ada, Ok. Her poetry has been published in Dragon Poetry Review, 2, Elegant Rage, a poetic tribute honoring the centennial of Woody Gutherie, the Highwatermark Salo[o]n performance series by Stockpot flats, Up the River, by Albany Poets, 8T3 and in Peerglass, an anthology of the Hudson Valley. She is also a performance artist and will be showcasing a new work, Surrender Blue, next September in Oslo, Norway. Her fourth play, My Utica, is in negotiations. She read three poems that are familiar to area attendees of open mics – “Dancing is What Frees Me,” “My Dad Was a Good Man,” and “Almost Home.”

Then David Gonsalves, former editor & publisher of the poetry zine Tin Wreath, took the stage to read a poem by the recently gone poet Jerome Rothenberg (“A Little Boy Lost”) and one of his own entitled “Standoff.”

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