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. For more information contact Dru Wall or email us at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Dru is back in St. Louis now, and managed to cover the summer readings from Ireland via email (Go Dru!). Her Point team will continue to assist with readings this 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).

Scroll down the page to see BOTH reading series for the fall season.

Observable Readings has a separate page/tab.

Upcoming Readings & Events

Poetry at the Point: September 23, 2014 and on...

September 23, 2014

Philip Gounis  began to host and produce “Verbatim”, a monthly showcase of poetry and music on KCLC FM radio in 1976. In the 1980s, Gounis contributed to the work of the Soulard Culture Squad, which performed throughout the Soulard area of St. Louis. He co-founded a magazine of politics and popular culture, Steamshovel Press. In 2005, Intangible Studios released the CD Form Matters on which Gounis collaborated with musician Rich Kruse. He has published two chapbooks of poetry: Some Of These Have Appeared and Upgrading the Allusion.

Stefene Russell is St. Louis Magazine’s Culture Editor and a member of Poetry Scores (, an arts collective dedicated to translating poetry into other media, including visual art, music, and food. She is a former co-editor of 52nd City and Princesstårta literary magazines, and her work has appeared in Otis Nebula, The Lumberyard, Bad Shoe, and The Curator. Her books include Go South for Animal Index (2007) and Inferna.

Steven D. Schroeder’s second book, The Royal Nonesuch, won the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University. His poetry is recently available or forthcoming from Barrow Street, The Journal, and Crab Orchard Review. His poems have also appeared by invitation in public transportation, city parks, and business waiting rooms. He serves as co-curator for Observable Readings in St. Louis.

William Trowbridge was appointed to a two-year term as Poet Laureate of Missouri in April 2012. His poetry publications include five full collections, most recently Put This On, Please, (Red Hen Press, March 2014),  and Ship of Fool (Red Hen Press, 2011). His poems have appeared in more than 30 anthologies and textbooks. Having earned a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in English from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University, he is now a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Northwest Missouri State University. Now living in Lee’s Summit, MO, he teaches in the University of Nebraska low-residency MFA in writing program. He is married to Sue, and they have three children and three grandchildren. 

October 28, 2014

Buzz Spector’s artwork has been exhibited in such museums and galleries as the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. His work is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception. Spector has written on topics in contemporary art and culture for American Craft, Artforum, Art on Paper, Dialogue, and others. His more experimental writing has been published in Benzene, Café Solo, and River Styx. He was a co-founder of WhiteWalls: a magazine of writings by artists, in Chicago in 1978, and he served as editor until 1987. His most recent book, Buzzwords, including selected interviews with Spector and new page art, was published in 2012 by Sara Ranchouse Publishing, Chicago. Spector holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is Professor of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

Reagan Upshaw’s poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Atlanta Review, Bloomsbury Review, Boston Review, Hanging Loose, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Poets & Writers, and The San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications.  He is the author of three collections: On the Cape, with Buzz Spector; The Backs, with Buzz Spector; and Upon a Time, with Paul Gardère. He makes his living as an art dealer and appraiser in Beacon, NY.

Aliki Barnstone is a poet, translator, critic, and editor. She is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently, Bright Body and Dear God Dear, Dr. Heartbreak: New and Selected Poems and the translator of The Collected Poems of C.P. Cavafy: A New Translation. Her first book of poems, The Real Tin Flower (Crowell-Collier, 1968), was published when she was 12 years old, with a foreward by Anne Sexton. In 2014, Carnegie-Mellon University Press will reissue her book, Madly in Love, as a Carnegie-Mellon Classic Contemporary. She is the author of the critical study Changing Rapture: Emily Dickinson’s Poetic Development. She co-edited A Book of Women Poets from Antiquity to Now. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

November 25, 2014

Kathryn Kerr, ever a lover of nature and books, has degrees in English, botany, and creative writing. She has worked as a field biologist, an editor, a photographer, and at many other jobs, and she has raised two amazing daughters. Currently she teaches writing at Illinois State University. She has three poetry chapbooks, Coneflower, Equinox, and Turtles All the Way Down; and a book of poems with photographs by Raymond Bial, First Frost. She has published scientific papers, essays, reviews, and poems in forums as varied as Good Housekeeping and The Texas Caver.

Layla Azmi Goushey is an Assistant Professor of English at St. Louis Community College. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri - St. Louis 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 St. Louis Poetry Center's 2012 Stanley Hanks Memorial Contest. Goushey was awarded the Missouri Community College Association's Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. She 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.

Jim McGowin prefers to write, paint and take photographs 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; on KDHX radio; and a handful of bars, basements, and backyards. Jim's poems delve into assorted themes such as existentialism, dreams, surrealism, morality, nature, religion, humor and rage.

Susan “Spit-Fire” Lively is a writer, spoken word artist, producer, emcee, photographer, and educator. Known by the stage name “Spit-Fire”, Lively’s poetry and short stories have appeared in Head to Hand, The Pen, Chance Operations, The East St. Louis Monitor, Drumvoices Revue, No Vacancy, SIUE News, Static Movement, and Postcard Shorts.

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.

September 12:

Mazaré Rogers is a spoken word poet who hails from Durham, North Carolina. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina– Chapel Hill and has taught middle school English and Poetry Writing. Now, she is pursuing her Masters of Divinity at Covenant Seminary and performs her poetry at churches, conferences and concerts.   

Linda O'Connell is an award winning poet and essayist. She is a two time recipient of the Metro Arts in Transit poetry award. Her work appears in Mid River's Review, Grist Literary Journal, Flashquake, Mochila Review, Well Versed, Lucidity Poetry Journal, 22 Chicken Soup for the Soul books and more. She co-created Not Your Mother's Book...On Family. Linda blogs at

Music: Keyboardist, Bradley Ellebrecht is active in the St. Louis area as a professional pianist, composer, and educator.   He has a B.M. from Webster University and has played music in a variety of settings from church praise bands and choir accompanying to jazz and rock bands.

October 10: 

Glenn Boothe studied English Literature at UMSL.  He is an MFA poetry candidate at UMSL and will graduate in May 2015. Glenn is also a sculptor and culinary artist. He muses that he would like to open a pizzeria-pub-art gallery-studio-open mic venue for pizza lovers, artists, writers and musicians, alike.  He lives with his family in St. Louis, and when he is not pursuing his artistic endeavors, he is working his IT job in the aerospace industry.

Jennifer Adams is a graduate of the University of Missouri – St. Louis in English and a graduate of Indiana University in Modern Language. She has been writing and performing for more than 15 years. Her work has been published in Maize, Apt, The Bellerive Review, and others. She has published two chapbooks Prayer, Like a Pilgrimage and Matter and Form. Jennifer frequently volunteers her time teaching poetry courses for underprivileged youth through Girls, Inc. When she is not writing, reading, or performing strange antics on improvisational stages, she works as a development professional for Great Circle.

Music: TBA

November 14:

Jennifer Goldring is a writer and photographer based in St. Louis.  She is an MFA candidate at the University of Missouri St. Louis and is the managing editor for Natural Bridge. Her poetry can be found in Poetry with a Dash of Salt (Lady Lazarus Press) and is forthcoming in Tar River Poetry.  She is inspired each day by her two children and their small menagerie of pets, which at the time of this writing includes a dog, cat, and tortoise. 

Ed Kindley was born in 1934 on a Kansas farm. He began writing in high school and had a poem published in a devotional booklet of the United Methodist Church in 1951. When he attended the University of Kansas, he won 3rd place in their Quill Club poetry contest and published in their magazine. He spent five years in Germany where he did refugee relief work and married his wife. He holds a master’s degree in Social Work and considers himself an "occasional poet" who writes for fun, friends and family. He is now active with the SLPC and co-hosts the St.   Louis Poetry Monthly MeetUp group.                                               

Music: My Molly