Since its first open mic eighteen years ago, Calling All Poets’ only goal has been community outreach and providing that community an open and democratic stage. To that end, CAPS has been hugely successful.
But other wonderful things have happened along the way, fulfilling CAPS larger vision. Its perseverance and duration have made it the longest running poetry series and the most diverse and dynamic in the Hudson Valley. CAPS has become what its founder, Beacon poet Jim Eve, and fellow poet Mike Jurkovic envisioned: a poetry hub, an expansive network connecting poets from New York, Long Island, Woodstock, Albany, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Early in 2015, with the addition of technologically adept poets Glenn Werner and Beacon's first Poet Laureate, Larry Sansone, CAPS urban and rural outreach includes the global community, streaming our events live and streaming in poets for live readings from all over NYS, as well as Arizona, Colorado, California, Slovenia, and North Carolina.
Relying on talent and tenacity CAPS has recently become 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. With funding possibilities now available, CAPS will continue, as it has successfully done in the past, to nurture the artistic and literary aspirations of its supporters. Many who started at CAPS open mic (and whom we still count as fervent supporters and members) include acclaimed playwright/poet/children's author/Pushcart Award winner Irene O'Garden; world renowned tattoo artist/poet Shotsie Gorman; author/poet/photographer Eddie Bell; poet/translator Bill Seaton, performance poet Janet Hamill, and author/essayist/poet Dr. Barbara Adams. Poets Ken Holland, Matthew J. Spireng, Mike Jurkovic, and Glenn Werner are former Pushcart Award nominees. Suffolk County's first poet laureate and internationally recognized poet, George Wallace, is a frequent guest. National Slam finalists Kenaya Massline and Elizabeth K. Gordon continue to bring their talents to CAPS. Several regional publishers, including Donald Lev, Dayl and Alison Kofler-Wise, Jane Ormand, and Susan Sindall are regulars. Mt. St. Mary professor and widely published poet Dr. James Cotter returns often. SUNY Nerw Paltz professor Laurence Carr and Chair of Creative Writing, Pauline Uchmanowicz regularly share their work. Award winning poets Raphael Kosek and Rebecca Schumejda call CAPS home. Besides numerous books bearing their names, CAPS supporters Will Nixon, Robert Milby, Mike Jurkovic, Kate Hymes, Roberta Gould, Cheryl A. Rice, Dr. Lucia Cherciu, Dan Wilcox, Linda Lerner, and others have individually been published two hundred times and more at the national level. And, as CAPS prepares its second anthology, Beacon poet and publisher Roger Aplon has begun highlighting our featured poets in his nationally distributed magazine, Waymark - Voices of the Valley.
2016 was been a watershed year for CAPS. Our recent certification as 501(c)(3) non-profit (EIN#46-4971399) will enable us to expand our program. Partnering with Roost Studios (www.roostcoop.org) provides us a greater community presence. Our second CAPS Anthology 2015 is hot off the presses. CAPSCASTS, archival readings from the series, can SoundCloud, YouTube, and our recently reconstructed website, www.callingallpoets.net. Live streaming of our events and the streaming of poets from afar, has taken Calling All Poets well beyond the Hudson Valley. CAPS has recently launched an online fundraising campaign at www.gofundme.com/y8r9jc/donate
This is what CAPS does and will continue to do. This is the quality of people and talent CAPS attracts to our new home, Roost Studios, 69 Main Street, New Paltz, NY. Our live streaming from www.callingallpoets.net Facebook; our archival recordings (CAPSCASTS, available on SoundCloud and on the website) only serve to showcase the artistic diversity and integrity that sustains Calling All Poets. Word of mouth from our participants and audience has and will continue to bring people to CAPS, making any donations to Calling All Poets beneficial not only to our organization and community but to the continuation and democratization of free speech.