December 1: What’s a myth or two between friends?

It’s nice when friends get together. It’s even nicer when they happen to be three gifted poets who get to read together.

Clara, Andrea and Dane agreed we might as well get together before the reading to hash out movies, mythology, music and how to eat pomegranates.

Sometimes the conversation is drowned out by the noisy, youthful Clinton’s crowd. Consider these moments Jungian, voices from the unconscious bubbling up to tell you why the king of the underworld is such an attractive archetype.

Stephen Humphrey

Valentino Assenza

The night’s host, Valentino Assenza. Who doesn’t that guy know?

Andrea Jarmai

Poet, translator, one-time falconer and lifelong student Andrea Jarmai presented poems from her Lyricalmyrical collection, Fools and introduced newly-polished poems intended for a new collection with the working title, In the House of Pomegranates, which she partly borrows from Oscar Wilde. Pomegranates are not merely a grocery store item for a sensibility so tuned to myth and symbol as Jarmai’s, which her conversation with Clara Blackwood makes clear.

She read in a hypnotic, measured voice enriched by Hungarian heritage, head tilted like a curious bird.


Dane Swan

Dane Swan‘s influences draw on hip-hop, olden-time blues, science fiction and the canon of American and Canadian poetry.

Dane, known for winning slams across North America, gave an understated reading, releasing his energy through word and wit. You’re floored by his imagination and smarts. It’s a surprise attack.

Due to technical problems, unfortunately, only the early fragment of Dane’s reading recorded. However, the mishap left plenty of time to include a discussion about his evolution from rapper, to slam poet, to an author whose work increasingly lives on the page.


Clara Blackwood is in love with poetry, myth, pop culture, the 90s Goth scene and yes, even the Twilight movies. Her poems weaves multiple fandoms together by years of hitting the books. She is like the Subway Medusa of her poetry collection – urban and many-tentacled. Chop off one creative tentacle and two more take its place (okay, that last bit was the Hydra, not the Medusa, but work with me here…).


(Photos and text by Stephen Humphrey)


One Response to “December 1: What’s a myth or two between friends?”

  1. […] Dane Swan is a poet who straddles the worlds of music and straight-up writing, which was reflected by his choice, folk singing legend Odetta, who passed away last year. “She considered herself more a historian than an artist,” he said, “which to me makes her a poet.” […]

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