Pittsburgh: Madwomen in the Attic

On Tuesday, May 8th, the Madwomen in the Attic, a contemporary group of poets, read in the backroom of Hemingway’s cafe which was packed to the wood grain walls with clapping hands.

Jimmy Cvetic, the host and founder of the Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series, told stories of his days as a heavy weight boxer and his days in Vietnam.  He introduced each of the Madwomen: Tess Barry, Doralee Brooks, Angela J. Cornelius, Caley Ferguson, Celeste Gainey, Emily Mohn and Maritza Mosquera.

Tess Barry’s work has appeared in Carlow University Press’s Voices from The Attic: Volume XVI, Girls with Glasses and Sampsonia Way among others. Doralee Brooks’s work has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette, the Pennsylvania Literary Journal, and Callaloo.  Angela J. Cornelius won the flash fiction prize at the Bumbershoot Art festival in 2004.  Caley Ferguson was the editor of the WVW Literary Journal for two years.  Her work has been published in The Vandalia.  Celeste Gainey was the runner up for the Robin Becker Chapbook prize.  Her work has appeared in the Columbia Poetry Review and Bloom among others.  Emily Mohn’s work has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh City Paper, and Carlow University Press’s Voices from The Attic: Volume XVI.   Maritza Mosquera earned her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania.  She began her reading by doing a pirouette in front of the microphone.

Each poet received applause of womb-like warmth from the audience.  Cvetic explained that the fear involved in facing a heavy weight boxer or of going into combat pales in comparison to reading poems in front of an audience.

Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series takes place on Tuesday nights from May until July.  Hemingway’s Cafe is located on Forbes Avenue in the center of Oakland, Pitt’s campus.  Coming from downtown, the public buses, 61A, 67A, and 67B arrive in Oakland (Pitt’s campus).  Coming from the airport, the 28X arrives in Oakland.

–Robert Keiser