St. Louis Poetry Center

POETRY AT THE POINT is held at THE FOCAL POINT, in Maplewood on the 4th Tuesday of the month.  “Poetry at the Point” poetry series is now graciously underwritten by Webster-Kirkwood Times and West End Word. The Focal Point is at 2720 Sutton which is one block east of Big Bend and Manchester. Turn right or south on Sutton, the Focal Point is on the left; parking is in the lot on nearby Marietta Avenue. Doors open at 7 pm, readings start at 7:30 pm. Refreshments available at the Maya Cafe next door (currently closed for improvements). For more information contact Dru Wall or email us at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Drucilla Wall and her Point team will continue to present an exceptional season: Jennifer  Adams, Jennifer Goldring, and Jason Vasser.

Second Friday Notes is held monthly (on second fridays) in the large cafe at Whole Foods Market in Town and Country in the Target Plaza at Clayton and Woods Mill Roads. Music begins at 7pm followed by poetry and more music.  Refreshments are available for purchase.  The reading is free. The series is curated by Dwight Bitikofer, (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Please scroll down the page to see BOTH series.

Observable Readings has a separate page/tab.

Upcoming Readings & Events

Poetry at the Point: Rings in 2015. 

January 27, 2015              

Alice Azure’s work has recently appeared in Cream City Review, About Place Journal, and Against the Current. Her chapbook, Worn Cities, was released in October 2014.  She has authored three other books. One, Games of Transformation, was selected by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers as the 2012 poetry book of the year. 

Jim McGowin prefers to write, paint and take pictures when he isn't at his government day job. He has resided in Missouri and Mexico, and holds a degree in Media Communications from Truman State University. He has performed locally at Chance Operations; Poems, Prose, and Pints; 100 Thousand Poets for Change; Voices From The Underground; and on KDHX radio. Jim's poems delve into themes such as existentialism, dreams, surrealism, morality, religion, humor and rage. (McGowin was originally scheduled for November 2014)

Metropolitan St. Louis native, Stephanie “Surreal Sista” Williams is a dynamic and award-winning poet, author, spoken word artist, educator, and activist. Since her humble but competitive beginning in 2002, she has won a spot on 7 Poetry Slam Teams and has won or been a finalist in numerous other poetry competitions locally and nationally. Williams is constantly giving back to the community, where she has volunteered her time as a poetry workshop facilitator for Word In Motion, Support-A-Child International and The St. Louis Poetry Center. For her activism and dedication to community arts, Williams was awarded the coveted Warrior Poet Award in 2010, where she was gifted an inscribed sword. She is a prolific writer and performer, with several self-published works including 15 chapbooks, a science fiction short story entitled: “Inner Song”, and a CD entitled “Now What?” produced by Mind Energy Entertainment and Cobalt Skyy Productions. Check her out at

February 24, 2015

Nancy Pritchard’s poems have appeared in Mankato Poetry Review, Natural Bridge, Small Spiral Notebook, Melic Review, Main Channel Voices, Poetry Southeast, Fugue, Re)verb, and two collections of New Harvest: Jewish Writing in St. Louis. She received an MFA at University of Missouri-St. Louis. She won the 2005 and 2006 Wednesday Club Poetry Contests, the St. Louis Poetry Center’s Nash Members’ Contest and the Arts in Transit award. Recently retired from Moneta Group, where she was director of marketing and communications, she has taught poetry to middle school students in the St. Louis Public Schools for Springboard since 2006.

Layla Azmi Goushey is an Assistant Professor of English at St. Louis Community College. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UMSL where she is pursuing a PhD in Adult Education: Her creative work has been published in journals such as Yellow Medicine Review, Mizna: Journal of Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America, and Natural Bridge. She writes a blog on Transnational Literacies, and won second-place for her poem "The Box" in the SLPC’s 2012 Stanley Hanks Memorial Contest. Goushey is currently working on a volume of poetry titled Peculiar Fairytales. Her cultural heritage, which is Palestinian and American, frequently inspire her creative and academic work. (Goushey was originally scheduled for November 2014.)

Marcel Toussaint's poems have been featured in fourteen anthologies, including America at the Millennium. He has read on various radio and TV stations including National Public Radio and the Education channel and the 100,000 Poets for Change. In 2009, he won gold medals in the National Veterans Poetry Awards competition. He had two winning poems at the St. Louis Writers Guild Poetry Throwdown in 2010. He has been a featured poet at Observable Readings, at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and Poetry Per Chance at Washington University. A selection of his poems have been published in Korean, in Wilderness January 2011. Toussaint writes in English, French and Spanish and has been translated to Dutch, German, Catalan, Korean. Toussaint is the recipient of a National Gold Medal in the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition and was featured on PBS in 2012. His new novel Terms of Interment , is on Kindle at Amazon.

second friday notes presents poetry and music throughout the evening in the store's large cafe.  Music begins at 7pm, followed by poetry.  Food and drink available for purchase.  Open to the public.

December 12, 2015:

Keith Byler is a physician with ten years in the trenches of the emergency room and is now in private practice. His poems have appeared in Emergency: True Stories From the Nation’s E.R.’s, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, Thema, and Hurricane Blues.


Crawford “Ford” Fanter is an actor, filmmaker, writer, and musician based in St. Louis where he was born and raised.  During his off time, he enjoys a stiff Shirley Temple and writing short one- to two- sentence biographies about himself.


MUSIC: Erika May Randolph’s music is described as avant- garde, jazzy, and embodied with a fiery world spirit. She sings with a graceful emotionality that has been compared to Norah Jones. Her songs are imbued with creativity and compelling lyrics like Joni Mitchell. 


January 9, 2015: 

Bill Foster was a faculty member of the University of Missouri, Saint Louis, before retiring in 2008. He is now a pilgrim, poet, artist, and booze baron.


Pam Garvey is a Professor of English at St. Louis Community College-Meramec. She authored two poetry chapbooks, Things Impossible to Swallow and Fear, which was a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Competition. Her poems and stories have been published in such journals as Margie, Esquire, Cimarron Review, RATTLE, The North American Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review.  


MUSIC: Catching the Westbound: Transplants to St. Louis from Arizona and Ohio, Emily Stuart and Andy Schrieber blend together elements of rural American music. Drawing from a catalog of original songs and 19th and 20th century folk standards, the duet weaves together syncopated string rhythms of country-blues guitar with vocal melodies that evoke the hardships and hopefulness of Appalachian Mountain gospel.

February 13, 2015:

Ben Moeller-Gaa is a haiku poet and a contributing poetry editor to River Styx literary magazine. He is the author of two haiku chapbooks, Wasp Shaows (Folded Word 2014) and Blowing on a Hot Soup Spoon. His haiku, essays and reviews have appeared in over 30 journals world-wide including: Acorn, Frogpond,  Modern Haiku, and World Haiku Review as well as in several anthologies.


Chloe Nelson recently graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelors in Psychology. She first fell in love with poetry through hearing spoken word performed at her church, and now has a budding interest in the relationship between spoken word and page poetry. She will pursue an MFA in creative writing in the Fall of 2015. Chloe is loving her experience as a St. Louis Poetry Center intern.


MUSIC: Music is Craig Jacobson, singer-songwriter, master of the didgeridoo and student of the Hawaiian nose flute.