Martin Bidney Reading from “Six Dialogic Poetry Chapbooks”

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Martin Bidney Reading from Six Dialogic Poetry Chapbooks

Martin Bidney will offer a dramatic reading of original poems from his book Six Dialogic Poetry Chapbooks: Taxi Drivers, Magritte Paintings, Gallic Ballads, Russian Loves, Kafka Reactions, Inferno Update

Wednesday April 25, 2018
6:00-7:30 PM

8805 At BCAC (it adjoins Tom & Marty’s)

by Martin Bidney

At BCAC (it adjoins Tom & Marty’s)
On Wednesday the best of poetical parties,
Though alcohol-free, I will festively hold,
And everyone’s welcome! Please come! Be so bold!

From 6 in the evening till just half past 7,
On 4/25 we a lyrical heaven
Will visit – a sixpack of chapbooks I penned
May keep you enrapt from beginning to end!

You’ll cabdriver interviews hear: steady rhythm
And many the rhyme that will nicely go with ‘em:
That these will intrigue you I quite guarantee –
Convincing, artistic – just take it from me!

Surrealist paintings Magritte is providing!
I’ll comment, for riddles within them are hiding:
I’d even maintain that the the pictures I show
Will grant more surprises the further we go.

Next, Gallic ballades in a fashion Villonic
The hearer will offer a lyrical tonic:
A cutthroat and burglar – but highly refined,
The olden French poet sweet writing designed.

I’ll then let you sample what Russian translations
Have taught me of love in my song-celebrations.
Flash fictions from Kafka thereafter inspire
Reactions amusing – the humor is “drier.”

I’ll end with an update of Dante’s infernal
Descent – but with goal therapeutic-supernal:
A sonnet I wrote for each canto of his.
They’re dashing and light, and with wit they will fizz!

(That’s April 25 – Wednesday at 6 – 81 State Street BGM, top floor)
at Broome County Arts Council
81 State Street, Binghamton


Martin Bidney, Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Binghamton University (MA, Slavic Langs., Harvard; PhD, English, Indiana), will be “acting out” poems from all 6 of the short collections in this first of 3 planned readings from his books. In the 13 years of his emeritation (let’s not talk about “retiring”) he has published 21 books of original and/or form-faithfully translated verse (3 of them with SUNY Press). All of his poems are singably rhythmed and melodious: he’s a 21st century troubadour and a “dialogic” poet who loves to con-verse in the forms he learns from his master-mentors.

You’ll hear New York State cabdrivers tell of their lives. Magritte’s peculiar paintings will be shown and interpreted. “Gallic Ballads” are written in a form exemplified in highly crafted ballades of the 1400s by the famous poet and criminal François Villon. Bidney responds with original poems to his new musical translations of favorite Russian poets. He writes sonnet “replies” to the flash fictions quickly jotted by Franz Kafka. Bidney’s “Inferno Update” is subtitled “A Sonnet Tour of Hell, with Other Treats.”

Bidney has given memorable readings from Russia’s World Traveler Poet at Riverread Books and from A Lover’s Art at the Brunelli Gallery. These are available on YouTube. His “sixpack” readings will range in mood from the relaxed and conversational to the musical-mystical and wittily whimsical.

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