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It's Another Great Big Night!

Just Buffalo presents poet Hoa Nguyen, a Jack Spicer drama, music by Gut Flora, and much more

On Saturday (Feb. 27), Just Buffalo Literary Center presents an art-party designed to entertain: poet Hoa Nguyen, music by Gut Flora, and Buffalo Poets Theater doing Jack Spicer’s Troilus and Cressida.

“One of America’s best contemporary poets that you may not have heard of,” Hoa Nguyen, born in Saigon, grew up around Washington, D.C. and earned an MFA from New College of California. Describing her work, she says, “I don’t dispense with the wacky! I like humor in poems…I think about audience a lot and I want poems that I would want to read and one of those things is to risk saying something…even if that honesty is about how you and everything feels [messed] up.” (Her name is pronounced “Hwa Win;” she says it with an American accent.) Nguyen’s Hecate Lochia (Hot Whiskey)—from which she’ll read—and Kiss a Bomb Tattoo (Effing Press) came out last year; she lives in Austin and co-edits the small press/poetry journal Skanky Possum, from which Robert Creeley selected poems for The Best American Poetry 2002. An essay is forthcoming in Poets on Teaching (University of Iowa).

Buffalo Poets Theater is an amalgamation of city and academic talent that continues the tradition of poets working with drama begun in 1950s New York and still thriving in San Francisco. In 2009 BPT staged an excerpt from Eileen Myles’s Hell to honor her Big Night reading and hosted Kevin Killian at the Burchfield-Penney. Spicer’s Troilus takes a comical, contrarian stance to issues of resistance, change, understanding reality—Zeus says in the prologue, “The Trojan War has been going on for the last 3,000 years and it hasn’t stopped yet. All the stories you’ve heard about the destruction of Troy are just daydreams Ulysses invented to keep himself sane. You’ve probably dreamed like that yourselves, waiting for a war to come to an end. One thing, though—the people in the play don’t seem to know how long the war has lasted. They have the idea that it’s only been going on for nine years or so. I don’t know why. Human beings don’t have a very good time sense.”

Gut Flora makes music on spare parts, rusty tanks, weed-whacker line, bells, whistles, even toys. Members Gabriel Gutierrez and Patrick Cain say, “The aim of our music is to be music. We sound out into sound. We birth the possible from cans and strings, metal and wood.” Experimental but crafted, Gut Flora uses instrumentation to construct an improvisational ambiance that invites and challenges to one listens.

Geoffrey Gatza, a Gulf War veteran, poet and publisher of BlazeVOX [books] with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America (C.I.A.), concocts feasts of epic, edible beauty, connecting with featured artists in delightful, delicious fashion. Big Night’s buffet, cash bar, live music, theater, and poetry, begin at 8pm at the Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington Street at Mohawk. Only $5, free for Just Buffalo, WNYBAC, Big Orbit, and CEPA Gallery members.

robin brox

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