So far, Polestar has done readings for Nirvana’s Nevermind, Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly, Radiohead’s Kid A, The Pixies’s Doolittle, Smashing Pumpkins’s Siamese Dream. February 5th will mark the largest album interpretation in Polestar history by having roughly thirty poets take on The Beatles’ The White Album. If you find yourself in New York, be sure to check out the Polestar Reading Series.
Polestar Poetry Series is curated and hosted by Melisa Broder, author of two poetry collections, Meat Heart (Publishing Genius Press, March 2012) and When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother. Broder is also editor of the online journal La Petite Zine. Polestar readings take place at the Cake Shop in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the first one dating back to August of 2008. Broder choose the Cake Shop because of the “darkness, the kitsch and the grit,” providing a perfect location for both established and up and coming poets to interact with an intimate audience.
Polestar also does poetic interpretations of albums which is been wildly successful. Broder says the idea came from a London series run by Roddy Lumsden. She continues, “Roddy did one here in New York where each poet got a line from Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues*. My line was “Ring bell, hard to tell if anything is gonna sell.” There was this mess of a poem I’d been working on, and suddenly the line helped me re-imagine it into something strong. I like that approach to using a prompt, the collage method rather than starting from scratch. Anyway, around that time I wanted to shake things up at Polestar, which was functioning like more of a typical reading series. I wanted to have some fun.”
* Read Coldfront’s coverage of the Dylan reading here.
Read about more poetry and music blending in NYC here.