A Scintillating Saturday Night @ Cyrus
From the open mic stylings of 6 year-old Irie Waterberry, 7 and 9 year-old brothers Rainer & Atticus and Middle School singer-songwriter Jordan Morales to rollicking feature performances by accomplished veteran writers Maria Aponte and Susan Dingle, November 2015’s Second Saturday Poetry event was truly one for the ages… all ages.
Since June of 2015, the Second Saturdays @Cyrus poetry series has sought to establish a safe and welcoming haven on Long Island’s south shore for all who seek art, community and inspiration. Using the format of two featured professional writers followed by an Open Mic (capped at 20 slots), the event, curated by local husband-wife author team Matt Pasca and Terri Muuss, has quickly garnered broad support and enthusiasm. Between 25 and 55 people from all backgrounds, artistic disciplines and parts of the community have come together on these nights to experience something authentic and powerful.
In the wake of ongoing national and international crises, this month’s unscripted, real time sharing of spirit, art and beautiful beverages seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for the 45 individuals who turned out on the breezy November evening. After a few tone-setting words by Matt and Terri, including a quote from Kurt Vonnegut about the intrinsic rewards of creative expression, Terri Muuss introduced the night’s first feature.
Maria Aponte promised “to bring the Bronx to Bay Shore” and she sure delivered, spellbinding the audience with beautiful and moving poems about life in her barrio and beyond, read mostly from her award-winning book TRANSITIONS OF A NUYORICAN CINDERELLA. First time Cyrus attendee Lisa Morales said, “Thank you for the wonderful night of poetry. Maria Aponte really brought me back with her words.” After the whooping and clapping subsided, Matt Pasca introduced the night’s second feature.
With her unique brand of self-deprecating honesty, clever wit and pizazz, Susan Dingle had the crowd laughing and crying in no time. Dingle, who hosts a similar kind of Open Mic series in Riverhead called Poetry Street (at the Blue Duck Bakery), read pieces both new and old, including bits from her one-woman show about Los Angeles entitled THE HOLLYWOOD DREAMCATCHER. Susan’s performance was met with enormous applause and, afterwards, she had nothing but wondrous things to say about her co-feature and Second Saturdays in general, exclaiming, “What an inspirational night!”
After a short break to pass the hat and purchase more of Cyrus’ incomparably delicious coffees and teas, it was Open Mic time. 16 slots were filled and every act was astounding. There were first timers, including Jose Gallego singing and playing a heartbreakingly beautiful song in Spanish on his red guitar, and Cyrus regulars, including September 2015 feature Mary Jane Tenerelli.
Social worker and two-time Cyrus attendee Ed Brown called the night, “An uplifting and meaningful sharing of the human heart,” and August 2015 feature Steven T. Licardi said, “I love this community. I love being a part of this movement.”
December’s Second Saturday @Cyrus will lift off on 12/12 and feature New York poets Meagan Brothers and Deborah Hauser.