Sunday, May 10, 2009

Somerville's Bagel Bards find an "Official" Home.

Somerville's Bagel Bards find an "Official" Home.

( Somerville, Mass.)

The management of the Au Bon Pain in Davis Square in Somerville, Mass. have given the go ahead for the Bagel Bards a literary group in Somerville, Mass. to commission the design of a plaque to designate the Au Bon Pain as "Home of the Bagel Bards" It will be placed in the section of the cafe where these poets and writers regularly meet. The Bards, founded by Doug Holder and Harris Gardner in March of 2004, started out in the basement of Finagle-A-Bagel in Harvard Square, and then moved to the Central Square (Cambridge) Au Bon Pain and later to its hopefully permanent home in Davis Square. Doug Holder, a poet and journalist for The Somerville News, stated: "The Au Bon Pain has been good to us. They have provided a space for our Saturday morning meetings and they have helped us
form a community of writers. It also has been an inspiration for his own poetry Holder said:"I have written two collections of poetry based on my experiences there: " No One Dies at the Au Bon Pain" ( sunnyoutside) and "Dreams at the Au Bon Pain" ( Ibbetson Street) Harris Gardner, his co-founder, said that two artists from the group will be commissioned to design the plaque.

"The Bagel Bards is an egalitarian literary group and has writers that rank from professors to paupers, to the published to the unpublished," according to Holder. Such well-known poets as Afaa Michael Weaver, Miriam Levine, Tino Villanueva, Kathleen Spivack, Clayton Eshleman, Dianna Der Hovanessian have attended the group, as well as respected local bards like: Barbara Bialick, Zvi Sesling, CD Collins, Timothy Gager, Irene Koronas,, Mary Buchinger Bodwell, Lo Galluccio, Gloria Mindock, and others. Novelist Paul Stone and Luke Salisbury are regular attendees, as well as playwrights, science writers, journalists and other disciplines. Steve Glines, and Molly Lynn Watt work to put out a yearly anthology of the Bards' work, and Glines founded the Wilderness House Literary review an online lit journal.

It was also announced that the Bards have a special shelf at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, the famed all-poetry bookstore in Harvard Square. Holder said: " This is very gratifying thing to happen. This is a great grassroots group, we all pull for each other, and I hope it goes on for years to come."

* Bagel Bard Poet Barbara Bialick has a framed displayed poem there called: "Sitting Alone at the Au Bon Pain in Davis Square"

Sitting Alone in Au Bon Pain, Davis Square

I like sitting here inside a land of bread,
cookies, square-shaped crescents,
fluorescently lit and bright
like they’re having a party.

The circus breads of life
on display around me
are tempting me to have my own fiesta:

“Just take one mammoth shortbread cookie
painted chocolate on one side…”
they urge, and I rise like cake
from my seat, mesmerized by dough—
butter, wheat, chocolate, and sugar—
the classic signs of civilization,
which fill me with fertile flavor
under my tongue,
already only a memory
begging for more.

By Barbara Bialick
of the Bagel Bards