Monday May 14th! Our Very Own LIZ SWENSON feautres! Musical Guest LA Based indie art rapper ADDER! Plus! The “Ooops, I forgot Mom’s Day” Bastard Haiku Excuse Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2012 by dirtygerund

Mondays gettin kinda craZeeeeee!

POETRY FEATURE: LIZ SWENSON reads with both childlike wisdom and ageless experience at the same time. She is a faerie. When she reads it makes the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up, as well as the little part of the back of your head tingle.”- Greg McKillop, aka Speaker for the Dead – 

Some of the best people live right around here! At the Dirty Gerund we don’t always have to import! This Monday, our own LIZ SWENSON will be doing her first featured reading for us and we couldn’t be prouder.  She spends her days as a child and family therapist in Southern Worcester County. Born in Amsterdam NY, she moved to Worcester 10 years ago. Always a writer of things, a dabbler in poetry at different points in her life, she’s been writing & performing poetry regularly for a little over 2 years, making splashes in all the local readings, especially our fair little variety show where’s she’s been crowned “word ninja” on more than one occasion. Over the past 6 months, she has also become a community activist. She was not exactly intending for this to happen, but she’s pretty sure poetry is at least partially to blame for making her think her voice could help make a difference. She’s started a free school that runs two monthly workshops on social justice issues, and community interest issues (e-mail for more info). It has led to her getting people together to come and talk about important issues, and facilitating things far too often. It has led to meeting and getting to know even more great people around Worcester and a few other places. A fine poet, a finer person and just the type of voice we’re proud to celebrate week in and week out at the Gerund. Expect 2 full sets of awesome this Monday!

MUSICAL GUEST: ADDER is a Los Angeles, California Based Artist on a national tour. In his own words: “Hip hop rooted in the DIY guts of punk rock culture. Many hip hop live shows can come off looking like a karaoke jam. My shows are based on musicianship, word play, philosophy and an ideology grown from the top of mycelium. Sometimes I get to busy trying to operate multiple machines at once, but that’s fun and challenging to me and I love it. I could easily write this in third person, but I think that makes for a lame Bio. Caught somewhere in between the ‘beat scene’ and spoken word poetry I’m not interested in committing to a genre. I’m not trying to break a mold, I’m trying to reshape the one’s I’ve grown to love.I’m a pianist, an emcee, a sample based producer as well as acoustic engineer. To put it complicated my music is psychedelic socio-philosophy. To put it simply, it’s art rap that’ll move your neck.” Check out music, tour dates, etc at

BONUS RUCKUS: The “Ooooops I forgot Mother’s Day” Bastard Excuse Haiku Challenge! Ya. You missed it. You hungover, self absorbed, narcissistic douche bag. The woman who gave you life, christmas socks and $20 when you were low on gas only asks for a phone call, or a card, or a brunch. We understand (not really, we hang with our mom’s on mothers day) but we are accepting souls at the DG, and wish to offer you the opportunity to excuse yourself with a haiku. Your haiku can be an overdue apology, an IOU promising future recompense or the “mother” of all excuses, an excuse that only an enabling mom could accept. The biggest doozie gets a prize, even though you don’t deserve one. Honestly call your moms ya’ll!

DUCT TAPE BAND got the local florists on lock! YOSH & CHICKEN will refrain from “yo mama” jokes for one night only! Snack Time may not come from a mom, but you’ll feel the same sorta love anyways. Visual Artist TBA (hoping something special comes through the pipe line). JESSICA LOVINA is almost done with our new add campaign, compliments of the Worcester Arts Council! NICHOLAS EARL DAVIS is mother hen for all and misses you even more than he can express. I’m alright. All is swell in DG land. Come play!

Monday! May7th! Portlan Maine Poetry Slam Champion RYAN McLELLAN on tour! Musical Guest JARED GOING! Plus!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7, 2012 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURE – You may remember Ryan as part of the Mission of Zod Tour back in fall of ’09! RYAN McLELLAN is a Buffler Fellow, teacher, nationally-touring poet and singer/songwriter from Waltham, Massachusetts. The author of four collections of poetry and the spoken word album, “Last-Second Changes to the Set List”, since graduating from Plymouth State University in 2006 his work has appeared in over 40 publications, in journals such as “Bird’s Eye reView”, “Concise Delight”, “Cosmopolitan Review”, “Lower East Side Review” and “OVS Magazine”, as well as the anthologies “Chopin With Cherries: A Tribute in Verse”, “Safe Harbor: Volume II” and the “2010 Poets’ Guide to New Hampshire”. He is a three-time recipient of the Esther Buffler Poetry-In-Schools Fellowship and has facilitated writing workshops around the country in classrooms, coffeeshops, colleges, rehab centers and prisons. He is a member of the touring group Uncomfortable Laughter, the writing group Blood on the Floor, and runs the Poetry-On-Tap weekly reading at Mama’s Crowbar in Portland, ME. He has performed with the likes of Jack McCarthy, Jeanann Verlee, Joe Buck (Hank III), Gang Green, The FU’s, Evan Dando, Theresa Davis, Ryk McIntyre and Andi Kauth. In 2011, he finished 4th out of over 40 competitors at the Arkansas Grand Slam; he is also a veteran and semi-finalist at the National Poetry Slam and placed in the top 30 at the 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam. His first full-length collection, “Plenty of Blood to Spare” will be released by Sargent Press in April 2012. He currently resides in Portland, Maine and teaches in Dover, New Hampshire. This punk rocker poet never disappoints so come on down and check the heat!

MUSICAL GUEST: JARED GOING is a solo Folk/Acoustic Act from Worcester, Ma. He has been writing music for years and been playing around Worcester every once in a blue moon for just as long. Jared is currently in the works of recording his first full length Album and will be releasing it and playing shows more often this summer. Seriously, there is no photo available. It’s not that we didn’t want to post one. It’s literally not available to this earnest, erstwhile bloggy blogger.

BONUS RUCKUS: Return of the “ARE YOU LISTENING” CHALLENGE! We’re bringing back this old game in which we check in with you listening audience types and reward those who actually pay more attention to the show than the drink in front of them. We will take notes and create a series of questions about the poetry going on that evening. We’ll select three to play. First to get three questions correct, will win a snazzy prize! It might even be as simple as us buying your next beverage! Listen! Then Play!

DG Duct Tape Band (and most of the rest of us) anticipate the return of a slightly older, wiser, sagier YOSH SHARTIN on taps! Chicken can only remember what absolute power feels like. Snack Time? Visual Artist? Don’t know, but we expect a tasty, artistically gifted open mic this Monday! Nick and I will be buzzing from accepting our second WoMag “Best of” Award. We may even be dressed nicer than normal! Either way, we’ll bring the award with us so ya’ll can take a gander!

Monday! April 30th! Chicago phenom EMILY ROSE! Musical Guest TEXTBOOK CO-PILOT! IRON POET CHAMPIONSHIP!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27, 2012 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURE: EMILY ROSE- Emily Rose is a Chicago-born and raised poet, performer and host of many things. An active organizer in her community, she is currently a Real Talk Avenue Artist, co-SlamMaster and host of the Mental Graffiti Poetry Slam, Jilted Emily Rose at The Encyclopedia Show, Tournament Director for Louder Than a Bomb, member of the 2010 & 2011 Mental Graffiti Slam Teams, a board member for Chicago Slam Works, chair of poetry for the Bucktown Arts Festival, and much much more. Her first chapbook, Cigarette Love Songs and Nicotine Kisses (Cross+Roads Press), was published in 2004. Her work has appeared in After HoursTimeOut Chicago and more. Emily Rose probably already likes you.

MUSICAL GUEST: TEXBOOK CO-PILOT- These recently re-formed Boston rockers are mysterious. But I have found the lair where they keep all their delicious musical treats 

If you want a visual to go with their awesome, Greg McKillup approved, sonic goodness you are just going to have to haul yourself down to Ralph’s on Monday. And with an already killer line up of badassedness, you don’t really need much more motivation. But, just in case you do, we’ve got a BONUS RUCKUS worthy of only the Gods themselves



Can our current champion DR. JENN MAHON hold on to her title? We shall see as she goes head to head with ASLAN KING in what promises to be a throwdown of epic proportions ! 3 rounds, 3 poems, 3 judges, 3 criteria. One secret ingredient from our Chairman Yosh Shartin! Battle ? BEGIN!

DUCT TAPE BAND in full effect. YOSH and CHICKEN slingin’ da booze. Snacks and visual art a-plenty. This has been PAULIE LIPMAN (yet again chained to chair with only Monster and cigarettes) reporting for Alex, Nic, and the rest of the Dirty Gerund crew. See you Monday!

Monday! April 23rd! RYK McINTYRE Returns! Musical Guest MICHAEL THOMAS PETRALIA! Bonus Ruckus: “WoMag’s Best Of” Haiku Gameshow Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2012 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURE: RYK McINTYRE – one of our favorites returns from down Route 146 way in Providence RI, where he makes his home with fellow poet wife Melissa and darlin daughter Autumn! A legend in the North East Poetry Slam Scene, Ryk’s represented several teams at the Annual National Poetry Slam. He’s co-hosted at the World Famous Boston Cantab Poetry Slam and currently hosts the popular Got Poetry Series that happens every Tuesday at Blue State Coffee on Thayer Street in Providence! One of the funniest story tellers on the scene, Ryk’s known for going well beyond most comfort zones, whether its rapping about Godzilla or gulp, Hamlet, to beautiful odes to love, crazy leaps of faith and bread baking, this Tai-Kwan-Do belter, weaves rich tapestry tales that connect with audiences in a way most envy! We’ve featured a lot of great voices at the Gerund, we don’t always invite them back! Ryk’s one of them special types that we’re more than happy to welcome back any time!

MUSICAL GUEST: MICHAEL THOMAS PETRALIA Lyrically driven and emotionally charged, Michael Thomas Petralia combines an unexamined need to say something with driving, folksy rhythms, mellifluous tones, and a gritty vocal blanket. If Conor Oberst, Ray LaMontagne, and Chuck Ragan adopted Cat Stevens’ kid and raised him on Long Island, Michael would probably be friends with him. Michael spent the better part of 2011 learning to be a writer, the early part of 2012 pretending to be a writer, and the past few months
writing. He currently resides in Rockport, Massachusetts and recently typeset, printed, and bound his first collection of writings as well as recorded a demo of his first few tunes. Check out more at

BONUS RUCKUS: Celebrate “Womag’s Best of” Haiku Gameshow Challenge! Every year Worcester Magazine Puts together a readers’ poll to help select the BEST of EVERYTHING Worcester! (They even have a poetry show category!) In anticipation of this year’s poll winners being announced, we’re taking a look back at last year. NICHOLAS EARL DAVIS is going to construct haikus highlighting Worcester’s best in Hot Dogs, Dog Walkers, Cougar Bars, Weeding Cakes, you know whatever folks are into. You guess the Worcester Institution Correct and get a point, get three points and win a beverage on us!

Duct Tape Band grooves behind your words so effortless! Yosh & Chicken rock Bruins Stats like pros! Tip them! New open mic phenom Nicole Zajon has once again offered to bring snacks! Visual Artist TBA! National Poetry Month is taking a lot outta us, why do our phones always ring so much in April! DG’s all about getting ya’ll to care about words all the time! Many thanks to new friend KYLE as he makes his case to get on our ruckus staff page with amazing photographs from the last few weeks! Well done sir! He always gets my good side, just kidding, they’re both my good sides! They’re all good sides. Ugh…. I’m going to quit this while I am somewhat ahead. So long.

We’ll leave you with some video from our feature!

Monday! April 16th! Hey look, it’s DAVE MAC! Musical Guest The Scatter Gang from Boston! PLUS! Iron Poet Prelim “King vs. Mosca!”

Posted in Uncategorized on April 15, 2012 by dirtygerund

Late post this week! But there’s still great show coming at you this Monday!

POETRY FEATURE- DAVE MacPHERSON – Long time veteran of the Poets Asylum Sunday Night Reading Series, Dave made a name for himself, being that poet who’d read first, week in, week out, for years! His hilarious over the top performance style landed him on Worcester Poetry Slam Teams back in 2000 and 2003. Dave’s a master story teller, having run a story open mic for years at 1 Ekman Street, while being involved with both the WCPA and the Ballard Journal. Proud puppa, special needs teacher, Dave has shifted more energy to publication in recent years, with credits on, Worcester Review,  countless online publications and most recently a spot in the Write Bloody Books Zombie Anthology, Aim for the Head! I respect Dave’s writing talent a great deal, he’s got zingers for days, but a real ability to switch tones and journey into those quirky areas, other writers don’t always want to go to! he’s got a week off from his busy school schedule this week, so we thought it the perfect time to see what a DG feature might look like on him!

MUSICAL GUEST – THE SCATTER GANG – Indie Rock From Boston, in their words! It’s the dark longing that lies beneath The Afghan Whigs’ 1965 meets the call to arms of Thrice’s Vheissu; the almost terrifying vulnerability of Brand New’s Deja Entendu meets the cry for redemption in Hot Water Music’s Caution. It is the honest and heartfelt faith of Springsteen’s Born to Run. These are the sounds and words that hold us together when we’re all scattered, and we are The Scatter Gang. We’re part of a generation trying to remember who we are and to reclaim what we had. It’s not too late to find what we lost and to start believing in something real again, and we think it’s high time we all realized that. Check out music, tour dates, more at

BONUS RUCKUS: IRON POET PRELIMINARY “King vs. Mosca” Who will be standing at the end, to step into the ring against newly crowned champion Jenn Mahon? We’ve got two great competitors who’ll try their aprons on this Monday! Krista Mosca is a New Hampshire Poetry Slam Star, most recently making it to the finals stage of the WOWPS Tournament! Aslan King is a Low-Z Records Artist and writes a lot of dirty haiku! Let’s see where this goes. 3 rounds, 3 poems, 3 judges, 3 criteria. One secret ingredient from our Chairman Yosh Shartin! Battle ? BEGIN!

DUCT TAPE BAND welcomes back TAYLOR BENOIT ON BASS! Yosh and Chicken welcome back Spring on Weather! Visual Artists always materialize, as do snacks! I’m gonna go enjoy greek easter lunch. Worcester Youth Poetry Slam is 2012 Louder than a Bomb State Festival Champions! Worcester won at something! Maybe the DG will win something some day too! ZACH HUERAS come down and get your tee shirt!

Monday! April 9th – Double Shot of Portland Awesome w/ TINA “T-Love” SMITH & SARAH HERKLOTS! Musical Guest EGG, EGGS from Easthampton! Plus! Easter Egg Hunt DG Style!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURES: TINA SMITH & SARAH HERKLOTS from Portland Maine, Tina Smith a.k.a. TLove, is a performance poet, community organizer, and activist in Portland. In 2009, Tina was a member of the Portland Slam Team and the first Individual Slam Champion for Portland. The same year, she co-published her first chapbook, Butch Poets: A Redefining of Masculinity and a Reclamation of Butch with local jazz poet, Lady Zen. The second edition will be published in 2012 along with Tina’s first solo chapbook, 14: Temperance. Currently, Tina co-hosts poetry writing and performance workshops and a weekly poetry open mic with musical accompaniment, Rhythmic Cypher at Slainte in Portland, Maine which features local, regional and national performance poets, musicians and the occasional travelling queer circus. As co-founder of The Poet Rising Project, Tina also offers poetry writing and performance workshops to youth in middle and high schools and at the Preble Street Teen Center. Her heroes are those who are brave enough to speak/be the truth and share the growing pains in front of an audience. She’s practicing to do as she says, not as she has always done…easier said. SARAH HERKLOTS Holds a BFA in performance and writing from New School. During her tenure in NYC she performed as a Stand Up Comic winning Grand Prize in the “Music is a Joke” reality competition at Stand Up New York. After moving to Portland, ME in 2010 she rediscovered her love of performance poetry and in under a year won multiple competitions culminating in her 2011 win of Portland’s Women of the World Poetry Slam Champ representative. She recently competed in the 2012 Women of the World Poetry Slam where she placed in the top 15. Come support our fellow NORTH BEAST Poetry Friends!

MUSICAL GUEST: How appropriate, smack dab after Easter Egg Hunt Festivities, we welcome EGGS, EGGS from Easthampton MA!- members of this this musical collaborative collective of experimental indie noise art rockers are tripping out to Worcester for their first gig at Ralph’s Rock Diner! With limited edition vinyl release, The Cleansing Power of Fruit) under FEEDING TUBE RECORDS under their belt, these guys are ready to disregard our by-a-thread normative establishment with pulsing rhythms, quirky arrangements and awkward swag for days! Northampton is a hot-bed for engaging, eclectic sounds, and this is where these eggs are cracking from! Check out video at or peep the discography at!

BONUS RUCKUS – “HUNT EASTER EGGS!” Game Show challenge! Instead of hiding a bunch of eggs around Ralph’s Rock Diner, we’re gonna let you all scavenge yourselves with answers to questions about Ralph’s Diner, Dirty Gerund Trivia and maybe random crazy questions about poetry and the poets who make it. We’ll bring the easter eggs. In them will be little prizes. Maybe you’ll pick the one with money in it! Maybe a nip. Maybe some candy! Either way, this could get kinda hippity hoppity fun! Now let’s see how much these bunny costume rentals cost!

Duck Duct Tape Band! Greg’s throwing down as he throws musical notes back at ya! SNACKS? Please confirm with EMILEE MORREALE! Yosh and Chicken are counting the days until next time! Visual Artist Sorana Gatej killed it again last week! We’ll see if this Monday’s Visual Artist can keep the artistic vibes flowing! National Poetry Month is upon us. We’re getting mad requests to show up everywhere. It’s the month where people like us, the rest of the year is pretty rough. DIRTY GERUND has once again been awarded an Arts Council Grant from the City of Worcester! Me and Nick may be too busy poet-ing to pick up our gift certificate. If this man falls, who will pick up this flag? I mean, certificate?

We out!

Monday April 2nd! Celebrate National Poetry Month w/ Boston Cantab Star CARRIE RUDZINSKI! Musical Guest THE HOT HOLY MESS from Brooklyn! Plus, the “April Fool’s” Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 by dirtygerund

When’s National Ruckus Month? Oh well, we’ll just stick with National Poetry Month until the powers that be, give us ruckus makers some recognition, that national kind! Let’s go April!

FEATURED POET: CARRIE RUDZINSKICarrie Rudzinski’s ethereal voice flows through heartbreaking metaphors of rejection and loss. She speaks with the smooth, sensual rhythm of a jazz singer.
The Boston Globe

Carrie is a performance poet, adventurer and full time anti-sock activist! Named “Best Female Poet” and “Best Of The Rest” at her first national poetry competition in 2008, she’s a full time performance poet who has performed her work on stages around the world. She has toured the United States four times and represented the Boston Poetry Slam at the 2010 Individual World Poetry Slam and twice at the National Poetry Slam in 2010 and 2011. She ranked 14th in the world at the 2011 Women Of The World Poetry Slam in Columbus, Ohio. Most recently, Carrie performed her work to audiences in New Zealand, Australia, and India. She has been published twice in the online magazine Muzzle and had her first collection of poetry, A History Of Silence, published by Bicycle Comics in 2010.

MUSICAL GUEST: THE HOT HOLY MESS – From Brooklyn, this self described collaborative astral phonetic experience” was conceived in a dream that Skye Steele had the night after a near-fatal encounter with a mountain lion in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley last January, the Hot Holy Mess will draw an astral circle around the room within which performers and participants co-mingle in song singing, musical reflection, poetic interjection, glossolalic incantation, and dancing. We celebrate Love, Lust, Mortality, Memory, and the world about us. Check ‘em out at


BONUS RUCKUS: The “April Fool’s Blues” Haiku Gameshow Guess Challenge! (I try to include as many cute kittens as I can, so we get more internet hits, you understand!) Got suckered recently? Getting suckered soon? Wanna sucker punch back at all this suckering? Sign up. We’ll have haiku’s prepared with the latest news. You guess true of false and we’ll see who the real April Fool is around here? First to three correct gets a prize! When Nicholas Earl Davis and I write haikus, we all win! APRIL FOOLS!!!!

Duct tape band does their thing! We expect a return of the wayward GREG McKILLOP this week! YOSH & CHICKEN are kickin hot rap verses between burger flips! Tip them! Visual Arts TBA! (I love their earlier work!) Snacks will be taken care of by one of our newest open mic stars, Nicole! Can’t wait for poetry on Monday, check out for news on the first ever LOUDER THAN A BOMB YOUTH POETRY SLAM FESTIVAL happening at MIT! Brought to you by Zachary Hueras (and some other folks)! Also, Poet’s Asylum has a great feature coming through this Sunday, REGIE CABICO from DC! Onward Gerunders!

We’ll leave you with some music from our special guests! I like it!


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