Rust Belt Books
315 Grant St
Buffalo, NY 14213
Date: June 23, 2019
Time: 3:00-4:30 p.m.
The June readers for the Inner Ear Reading Series will be GENE GRABINER and CELESTE LAWSON.
GENE GRABINER’s first chapbook, There Must Be More Than Trigonometry, was published in 2017 by Foothills Publishing. His new chapbook, All Eyes Are Upon Us, was published in 2018 by Partisan Press. His poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies, including: “Café Review”, “Blue Collar Review”, “Comstock Review”, “Connecticut River Review”, “J Journal”, “Jewish Currents”, “Naugatuck River Review”, “Passager”, “Sandhill Review”, “Slant”, “Steel Bellow”, “Snake Nation Review”, and “Sojourners”. Grabiner is a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus.
CELESTE LAWSON is a poet who came to the world of poetry in response to her love and experiences with dance and music–experiences that today contribute to the texture and tone of her writing. She is a past recipient of three NYS Council on the Arts Decentralization artists grants that supported her work in the re-creation of ancient dances rooted in the traditions of North Africa and the Middle East.
Lawson self-published a collection of poems entitled I Was Born This Way, that are reflections on her encounters with women from around the world, when she traveled to Beijing, China as one of the Western New York delegates to the United Nations /NGO 4th World Conference on Women. In 1997, the Urban Libraries Foundation, the American Academy of Poets, and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library recognized Celeste as Erie County’s poet of the month in honor of National Poetry Month–an occasion she celebrated with a reading at the downtown Buffalo Public Library’s “Ring of Knowledge”, accompanied by the late, legendary jazz pianist Al Tinney, and musicians Rodney Appleby and Abdul Rachman.
Lawson has been commissioned to write special occasion poems for events such as the annual Juneteenth Festival, and the 20th Anniversary of HOME (Housing Opportunities Made Equal). She has been a panelist for the New York Foundation on the Arts awards for poetry. She has been part of the Women of the Crooked Circle writers group, and of Pearls, a small group of poets writing under the tutelage of the late, distinguished poet/professor Jimmie Canfield Gilliam. She has been a featured reader with programs of the Just Buffalo Literary Center, including their interdisciplinary Performance Series; and has participated in the Annual African American Writers programs presented by the Buffalo & Erie County Library. Celeste’s poems, essays, and articles have appeared in the Buffalo News, Artvoice, Buffalo Beat, Earth’s Daughters, and other local and regional publications. She is also among the poets included in _A Celebration of Western New York Poets_, Patricia Tansey’s 2015 anthology; and recently has been accepted into Volume III of _A Flash in the Dark_, a collection of poetry and fiction themed around Science Fiction and Fantasy published by Scott Williams and the Writers Den.
Both GRABINER and LAWSON have written interesting poems inspired by Melville’s epic novel Moby Dick. Both readers have encouraged to make these part of their presentations. $3 admission, no open readers, friendly atmosphere.