The smell of popcorn in the air, the clinking of ice cubes in old-fashioned glasses, and the free-flowing poetry and prose could only mean one thing: Speak Easy is back. After a 21-month hiatus due to the uncertainties of a pesky pandemic, Rochester Spoken Word resurrected its regional reading event this past Sunday (12/12/2021) to an enthusiastic audience who let us know that we were missed. The seating was reduced, but thanks to the magic of video streaming, a record number of people were able to enjoy the performances of our ten readers who included four first-timers to the Speak Easy stage. There were tears; there was laughter, but mostly there was a feeling of joy and relief that something so long absent from the Rochester scene had returned.
The show was dedicated to Rob Siegel who unexpectedly passed away in September at the age of 69. Rob was one of our early readers back in August of 2017 and (along with his wife, Lise Kunkel) was a big supporter of Rochester Spoken Word and Speak Easy. He was a regular attendee and was always a pleasure to talk to. We will miss his smiling face.
Next Up: It’s the Speak Easy Birthday Party! Come celebrate our 5th birthday on Sunday, January 9, and hear a selection of stories from our first-ever short story contest read by the authors. There will be cake! Check out our website for more info and tickets.
Lineup for Speak Easy No. 38, Sunday 12/12/2021 at Cheshire:
Grief Poems — Lise Kunkel
Sitting Bedside Vigil — Rylie Day
An excerpt from Confessions of a ProfessorTurned Call-Girl — Theresa Charlebois
Sub Rosa — Robert Shelton
Pretty.Hurt — Walt Way
Grandpa’s Cinnamon-Sugar Toast — Scott Seifritz
Untitled — Love Nicholson
BMW — Sean Mulligan
From Memory: A Recitation — Evvy Fanning
Roasted Yuletide Pigs — Taylor Terrance
Special thanks to Tony Ruffo for all his technical wizardry and mad production skills, Rob Shelton for camera work and door opening, Kevin Watt for capturing our souls, Ekendra Dasa for our awesome theme, and Tara Shelton for popcorn and door duty!