July 19, 2014 Nerve Lantern Show: Authors & Performers


Joel Allegretti is the author of four collections, the most recent being Europa/Nippon/New York: Poems/Not-Poems (Poets Wear Prada, 2012). His second book, Father Silicon (The Poet’s Press), was selected by The Kansas City Star as one of 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006. His poetry has appeared in many national journals, including Smartish Pace, The New York Quarterly, Fulcrum, and PANK. He wrote the texts for three song cycles by Frank Ezra Levy, whose work is released on Naxos American Classics. Allegretti is a member of the Academy of American Poets and ASCAP.

Featured performance text by Joel Allegretti: “‘Hiroshima!’ I Cried”

Performed by: Joel Allegretti, Maggie Dubris, & Kris Lew



Allan Andre is a poet, saxophonist, dancer, and teacher. He is often seen at a portable typewriter, improvising poetry in public spaces; he has written over 3,000 poems in major cities across North America. He recently graduated from Naropa University with a degree in music and writing. He now lives in his hometown of New York City with his beloved partner and a very spoiled Chihuahua. His biggest artistic inspirations are Ornette Coleman, John Ashbery, and Kobun Chino Roshi. His website is www.allanandre.net.

Featured performance text by Allan Andre: “E Mani Mani Um No Ta Tus”

Performed by: Allan Andre (on tenor saxophone)



Maggie Dubris is a writer and musician who lives and works in New York City. She is the author of In the Dust Zone (Centre-Ville Books, 2010), Skels (Soft Skull Press, 2004), and Weep Not, My Wanton (Black Sparrow Press, 2002). She was guitarist and a principal songwriter for the 1990s all-female extravaganza Homer Erotic and in 2010 was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts grant for music composition. Dubris completed the soundtrack for a collaborative animation with the artist Sang-ah Choi; the animation was exhibited in 2013 at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Ore. A 2001 recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Dubris currently is working on a nonfiction book about St. Clare’s Hospital, where she worked for 20 years as a 911 paramedic.

Performer in: “‘Hiroshima!’ I Cried” by Joel Allegretti



Michelle DuPré has an extensive collection of fake teeth, a BFA in Theatre from New York University, and an MFA in Poetry from Brooklyn College. Experimenting with poetic forms since second grade, she has recently been attempting to meld traditional poetry with the stage play. This cross-pollination of poetry and playwriting has resulted in her current work-in-progress, a collection entitled, Falling Operative. Michelle lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she works as a writer-reporter for LIFE Books. Her poetry has been published in The Brooklyn Review, and The Henry Miller Library’s literary journal Ping Pong.

Featured performance text by Michelle DuPré: “Topless Conifer and the Real Mary”

Performed by: Michelle Dupré (on banjo ukulele)



Trae Durica is a Brooklyn-based writer, performer, and occasional chef. Trae’s poems can be found in NYSAI journal, the upcoming anthology I Let Go of the Stars in My Hand (great weather for MEDIA), and carved onto the underside of picnic tables found overturned in empty lots throughout the Greater New York area. In his spare time, Trae glues paper, twists wire, and calls it interesting. Trae is the heartthrob harmonica player half of the band Pen Pals, soon to be playing in a bar near you.

Performer in: Postulation” and “a meeting of selves through the salve of love” by Aimee Herman



Kim Essex received her MFA in poetry at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Her poetry has been published in two chapbooks and several journals including Nerve Lantern and Bombay Gin. Currently, she lives and works in Brooklyn where she teaches art and ESL classes at a public high school. She spends most of her creative time painting, collaging, and reading tarot. Kim recently became certified to teach yoga “in the holy lineage of the Conquering Lion.”

Featured performance text by Kim Essex: “So Hum”

Performed by: Kim Essex (on ukulele)



Aimee Herman is a queer performance artist and poet looking to disembowel the architecture of gender, bodies, and sexual grievances. Aimee’s poems may be found in THRUSH Poetry Journal, the anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books), and full-length book of poems to go without blinking (BlazeVOX books). Aimee is a faculty member with Poetry Teachers NYC, which offers affordable and diverse creative writing workshops. Aimee’s forthcoming book of poetry will be released next year by great weather for MEDIA. For more words, go to: aimeeherman.wordpress.com.

Featured performance texts by Aimee Herman: “Postulation” and “a meeting of selves through the salve of love”

Performed by: Aimee Herman (on ukulele) & Trae Durica



Kris Lew: My roots in spoken word are anchored firmly beneath the glass-and-steel edifices that are terrorizing the Lower East Side. Throughout the 90s, I performed my work at Joe’s Pub, Frederick Douglass Writers’ Workshop, Lollapalooza ‘94, and many other spaces at events organized by my brilliant, visionary peers. During this time, I also worked professionally as a modern dancer, primarily with Marlies Yearby’s Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater Company and with numerous other NY- and CA-based choreographers. “Made in the U.S.A.,” a piece I wrote about mail-order brides, was commissioned by Kwame Ross’s Sands of Time for a dance piece that we performed at Danspace Project circa 1996.

These days, I toil under the hellish fluorescent beams of my low-level 9-to-5, while attempting to organize my fellow rank-and-file union members and continuing to question and damn this way of living that desperately seeks life. Most recently, I performed a piece specifically written for U.S. Army Pvt. Danny Chen at a NYC benefit in May 2012. Pvt. Chen endured pervasive racism and abuse at the hands of his Army superiors before being found dead in a guard tower in Kandahar in October 2011, and the benefit was held to raise money for the family’s travel to the courts martial for all eight suspects in Fort Bragg, NC.

Featured performance text by Kris Lew: “Minutes After Death”

Performed by: Kris Lew

Kris Lew: show co-organizer (with Ellen Redbird) & show emcee

Also a performer in: “‘Hiroshima!’ I Cried” by Joel Allegretti



Magus Magnus is the author of The Re-echoes (Furniture Press, 2012), Idylls for a Bare Stage (twentythreebooks, 2011), Heraclitean Pride (Furniture Press, 2010), and Verb Sap (Narrow House, 2008). Several of his poems and an idyll have been anthologized in the 10th and 11th editions of Pearson Longman’s university-level English textbook, Literature. Magnus’ Poets Theater work has been presented in Washington D.C., Alexandria, Baltimore, New Orleans, and New York—highlights include Boog City Poetry, Music, and Theater Festival 7.0 and 7.5; two years in a row at Washington D.C.’s The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s “Happenings at the Harman” at Sidney Harman Hall; the Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival; and a “Must-See,” 5-Star, “Best of the Fringe”-rated run for the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival. His essay on the theory and technique of the Idyll, “Imagination and Performance,” appeared in Nerve Lantern 6. Magnus is the curator of Poets Theater night at Welcome to Boog City Poetry, Music, and Theater Festival 8, on August 3rd, 2014, at Sidewalk Cafe in New York. http://www.magusmagnus.com/

Featured performance text by Magus Magnus: “drone: poetic monologue for monotone”

Performed by: Magus Magnus


Photograph by Jill Greenberg, 1989.

 John J. Trause, the Director of Oradell Public Library, is the author of Eye Candy for Andy (13 Most Beautiful… Poems for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, Finishing Line Press, 2013); Inside Out, Upside Down, and Round and Round (Nirala Publications, 2012); the chapbook Seriously Serial (Poets Wear Prada, 2007; rev. ed. 2014); and Latter-Day Litany (Éditions élastiques, 1996), the latter staged Off-Off Broadway. His translations, poetry, and visual work appear internationally in many journals and anthologies, including the artists’ periodical Crossings, the Dada journal Maintenant, the journal Offerta Speciale, the Uphook Press anthologies Hell Strung and Crooked and -gape-seed-, and the Great Weather for Media anthology It’s Animal but Merciful. He has shared the stage with Steven Van Zandt, Anne Waldman, Karen Finley, and Jerome Rothenberg; the page with Lita Hornick, William Carlos Williams, Woody Allen, Ted Kooser, and Pope John Paul II; and the cage with the Cumaean Sibyl, Ezra Pound, Hannibal Lector, Andrei Chikatilo, and George “The Animal” Steele. “Ishtar Redux” was published in Nerve Lantern: Axon of Performance Literature issue 6 (winter 2013) and has been staged for the Bergen Poets at the Teaneck Public Library, Teaneck, NJ; at the renovated Loew’s Jersey Theatre, Journal Square, Jersey City; as part of “Muse Pool” at the Theater Outlet, Allentown, PA; and in the show “By Light of the Nerve Lantern” at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, New York City. For the sake of art Mr. Trause hung naked for one whole month in the summer of 2007 on the Art Wall of the Bowery Poetry Club. He is a founder of the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, N. J., and the former host and curator of its monthly reading series. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (2009-2011, 2013).

Featured performance text by John J. Trause: “The Guides of March”

Performed by: John J. Trause