Spotlight: Long Beach Poetry Festival

All week the hosts of The Long Beach Poetry Festival have picked poets to highlighted as one of their many fabulous readers  today, and still you are reading this blog instead of sitting in the Liberty Gallery on 435 Alamitos Street being awed by the sheer breath of talent captivating your ears, then I give you my pick, Brendan Constantine.

For me, Brendan Constantine does what so many poets are unable to do, bridge the technical detail to performance.  So writers say there is no divide between the two factions, and others acknowledge an extreme divide.  But with Brendan there is no divide.  He is performance, he is technique, he is the love of poetry as art embodied.  Once a couple of years back I asked G. Murray Thomas, who was still working at Barnes and Noble to give me what he thought was the best local poetry on their shelves.  He handed me David Hernandez and Brendan’s Letters To Guns.  the title captivated me, and then the words did the same.  I read as he deftly maneuvered me through his personal poetic journey, the beauty of all the way to the thought-provoking Last Night I Went To the Map of the World and I Have Messages for You.  Impressed I wanted to no more about this man.


Going to Brendan’s website givers you tons of information about the man.  he’s a teacher, a traveler, a performer, a writer, an artist, and most importantly  he’s a philanthropist of good will in the poetic world.  I went to an open mic at the Coffee Cartel in Redondo Beach, that featured Brendan.  He sat on the couch Across from me, and during every open reader he was attentive.  Regardless to who stood at the open mic reading, he found something to enjoy.  Spontaneously and audibly he would mumble, “hmmm….yeah….great”  It became thrilling to hear his acknowledgement of good work as much as his love for the writing.

Are you still reading this? Instead of heading out to see the scheduled evening poets?  What is WRONG with you?  Read this poem by Brendan and move it.

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