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The East Village Poetry Walk

September 15, 2017

 

As a New Jersey resident living in the beautiful suburbs for many years, this walk opens a very first new experience of a part of the city that I never image it would exist. Starting at St. Marks Church, located at 131 East 10th Street, at the intersection of Stuyvesant Street and Second Avenue in the East Village and walking for about an hour, I learned about the history of this vicinity and the life around this community, it was extraordinary! Through the walking tour, Jim Jarmusch (the narrator) shared his knowledge about the history of poetry in the East Village.  With rich storytelling details about how life revolved around this neighborhood, Jim transported me with his ebullient voice towards the events that happened in the lives of many poets such as: Ted Berrigan (1934-1983), Ron Padgett (1964 - ), Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), Eileen Myles (1949 - ), Kenneth Koch (1925-2002) among others. The sound and music took an important stage in this enlightened trail, listening to many poems, narrations, quotes and even the gunshots that Kenneth Kotch received during one of his lectures at St. Marks from his very own student Allen Van Newkirk using a fake gun.

All these references gave me a good sense about how the life and work of many poets combined with the richness of this textured area have been an important influence in the development of the American poetry.

As a first timer walker of those boulevards, recollecting many images: the people’s faces, the designer’s stores, the little bars, the dynamics, the smells, the sounds of the streets or the conversations of the neighbors, I am certain that, although it is a bubbling and eclectic area with many more invigorating corners to discover, I was happy returning, at the end of my day, to my quiet suburb place. But despite the fact that I like quieter set-up communities, I think that East Village is indeed a big part in the development of many forms of art and still have the potential of continuing taking a big scenario in the revelation of more poets to come.

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