Monday 8/8/11 Pre-NPS bash! DG gets seduced by LAURA YES YES! Plus HAPPY LITTLE CLOUDS & SLAM BINGO!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 6, 2011 by dirtygerund

This Monday, Dirty Gerund is pleased as drunk punks to be welcoming back one of or favorite features evah! LAURA YES YES will be in the house as everybody quakes in anticipation for the NATIONAL POETRY SLAM starting the very next day in Cambridge! (August 9th-13th). Laura is a Callaloo and Cave Canem fellow, assistant editor for Muzzle Magazine, and co-curator of Real Talk Live, Chicago’s most raucous variety show. She tours internationally performing her poetry and leading workshops. She has competed in many national competitions, notably as a finalist in 2010′s Women of the World Poetry Slam. Her first book, How to Seduce a White Boy in Ten Easy Steps, was nominated for a National Book Award by Write Bloody Publishing. It’s been an incredible year for one of our favorite artists! Most of these accolades came as no surprise to us. When she visited over a year ago, she blazed our stage with  incredible energy, wit, humor and heart. And because National Poetry Slam is upon us, with over 500 of the best spoken word poets all converging in our happy little bay state, don’t be surprised to catch some super secret special guest poets in the house on Monday, including one the feature has promised to bring with her! Now if that’s not gangsta, i’d like someone to show me something that is!

MUSICAL GUEST: HAPPY LITTLE CLOUDS – Happy Little Clouds began playing in 2010 when former band-members, Jac Mestel and Alex Toorish, decided to brush themselves off and move forward after their old band, Jac’s Attic, broke up. They got out of the attic and have since felt quite at home enjoying the sunlight of Boston. Happy Little Clouds creates a rock feel that is both musical and memorable. The sound ranges from modern-day indie rock to mainstream pop, with a sometimes down-to-earth folkiness and classic rock grit. Catchy songwriting interwoven with relevant grooves, unique guitar, & big teddy-bear bass lines. Band Interests: Playin’ tunes, floatin’, thunderin’, tossing lightning around, painting with Bob Ross, etc. Influences include, but are not limited to The Kinks, Billy Joel, the Pixies, The Fratellis, James Taylor, Queen, REM, Jethro Tull and about a thousand more acts, that you can read all about at the band’s website,

BONUS RUCKUS: POETRY SLAM BINGO!!! to celebrate National Poetry Slam championships in our back yard EVEN FURTHER! DG’s bringing back the ever fun and popular POETRY SLAM BINGO, Nick and I will sing, beat box, and cliche our way onto your score cards! We’ll be performing a couple poems that highlight some of the most, ahem, over used tactics and allusions in slam poetry. Be the first to get a “bingo’ and win!!!

THIS IS GONNA BE A JAM-PACKED SHOW!!! be there by 9, to assure yourself an open mic slot! YOSH & CHICKEN got my back! Get at us if you want to donate snack time or be visual artist! Dirty Gerund dUCT tAPE band will play as we try to think of a way to keep LARRY WILSON in WORCESTER!!! I think every show we do is top notch in its own special way, but the POETS are COMING, the POET are coming! This Monday is gonna rawk! hide your couches, loose change and significant others!!!

Aug 1st, 2011 – Dirty Gerund pays special tribute to Jim Carroll w/ The Catholic Boys!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2011 by dirtygerund

This Monday, August 1st, the Dirty Gerund is paying tribute to poet, punk rocker and writer JIM CARROLL who passed away in September 2009. It’s his birthday, he rocked pretty hard in his day, and came through Worcester a few times towards the end of his career. A little background for those who don’t know, while still in high school, Carroll published his first collection of poems, Organic Trains. Already attracting the attention of the local literati, his work began appearing in the Poetry Project’s magazine The World in 1967. Soon his work was being published in elite literary magazines like Paris Review in 1968, and Poetry the following year. In 1970, his second collection of poems, 4 Ups and 1 Down was published, and he started working for Andy Warhol. At first, he was writing film dialogue and inventing character names; later on, Carroll worked as the co-manager of Warhol’s Theater. Carroll’s first publication by a mainstream publisher (Grossman Publishers), the poetry collection Living At The Movies, was published in 1973. In 1978, Carroll published The Basketball Diaries, an autobiographical book concerning his life as a teenager in New York City’s hard drug culture. Diaries is an edited collection of the diaries he kept between the ages of twelve and sixteen, detailing his sexual experiences, high school basketball career, and his addiction to heroin, which began when he was 13. In 1978, after he moved to California to get a fresh start since kicking his heroin addiction, Carroll formed The Jim Carroll Band, a New Wave/punk rock group, with encouragement from Patti Smith, with whom he once shared an apartment in New York City along with Robert Mapplethorpe.

Our tribute is going to blend different elements of the artists life together. To do this we’ve enlisted the support of a special musical guest/house band for the evening. When JIM CARROLL played Worcester, he enlisted the music of THE CATHOLIC BOYS, a collection of talented local music makers who dug his stuff. They learned his tunes and put sets together for his Worcester engagements. The band consisted of a veritable who’s who of the Worcester Music Scene, included members Duncan Arsenault, Roger Lavallee, Ron Mominee, Scott Ricciuti, & John Vanderpool. This Monday the Catholic Boys will be the DG house band, playing imporv behind the open mic, as well as featured readers Tony Brown, Lea Deschenes, Ryk McIntyre and Victor Infante, Carroll fans and excellent poets in their own right! The normal poetry feature slots and will be used to pay tribute to Jim through reading his work. We’ll have Carroll poems on hand as well, if you’d like to read something of his in the open mic. MUSICAL GUEST: you know the CATHOLIC BOYS aren’t gonna hit the DG up without playing some classic JIM CARROLL BAND tunes. Your hosts are gonna jump on the mic and try to hold our own!

Proceeds from this show are going to support the Worcester Youth Poetry Slam Program. I opened for Jim Carroll back in 2005 when he played the Lucky Dog. One of the first shows we ever tried to do, after taking over the DG, was a tribute night (he had just passed) but we didn’t have much of a turnout back then. Now that we’ve gotten a community going, and with Jim’s Birthday falling on a Monday, we felt that a tribute night to this rock n roll poet was most appropriate. To learn more about this poet’s life and work, check out

BONUS RUCKUS: The “Subtances” Writing Challenge. There’s always been a connection or perceived connection between art making and substances. For better or worse, there’s always been a link or at least a great amount of focus placed on this link. This challenge is far ranging. Bring poems, rants, songs about substances, addiction or overcoming them. Let’s explore the link together. We’ll have a prize for the best piece.

This tribute won’t be some sad affair. We can pay respect, have fun and rock out at the same time! This is Monday Night After All. Visual Artist TBA. Snack time? YOSH & CHICKEN will be wielding our favorite legal substances all night! If you have a particular piece of Jim’s you’d like to read, please message me and let me know. We’ll leave you with one of Jim Carroll Band’s best known songs!


Posted in Uncategorized on July 22, 2011 by dirtygerund

Holy Gerund!!!

Mark Leighton, Nicholas Earl Davis will be hosting one hell of a show this Saturday Night, July 23rd. THE DIRTIEST GERUND is collaborating with the Raven in Worcester to bring you a complete night of epic EVERYTHING!!!

THE RAVEN 258 Pleasant Street, Worcester

ALL AGES!!! 6PM-1:30AM – NO COVER (Donations Accepted)  We just want to throw a larger scale weekend party that showcases the diverse array of everything that you’ve come to associate with the DG!!! Two Open Mics! 4 feature sets from the WORCESTER POETRY SLAM TEAM! Duct Tape Orchestra tying it all together! Some of our favorite musical acts and your favorite Dirty Gerund Games!

YOU KNOW ALL THOSE FRIENDS OF YOURS WHO ARE ALL LIKE “Yeah, sounds like fun, but I can’t go out on Mondays…” HA!!!! HA!!!! finally a retort worthy of shouting twice!

Peep this schedule!!!!!!

6:00 greg mckillop
7:10 sarah benoit
7:50 haiku game show
9:20 Zack Slik
10:20 shane hall
11:00 hot sauce sonnet
11:55 emily dickinson on helium
12:30 looks realistic
12:50 east coast runaways

Monday! July 25th – WORCESTER POETRY SLAM TEAM storms the Gerund! Musical Guest WATCH ME BURN! Plus the return of the “Prose Cuddle” Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 20, 2011 by dirtygerund

This Monday, the 2011 Worcester Poetry Slam Team is your feature at the Dirty Gerund! We’re preparing to battle 71 other teams from around the world this August at the National Poetry Slam and we could use your support! Members of the team include myself, grand slam champion BRANDI MacDONALD, Poetry Slam God-Father BILL MacMILLAN, Iron poet champ BOBBY GIBBS and Poets Asylum co-host LIZ HEATH! We’ll be bringing two sets of our best solo work and unveiling some multi-voice group poems as well! CD’s will be available for sale to help support our efforts! Poetry slam is the competitive art of performance poetry. Teams converge every year for a shot at the title, every team performs in two preliminary bouts, top scorers move on to semi’s and finals, tournament style! The festival is happening in Cambridge this year, the first time it’s been in New England in over 10 years! We’re hoping to score some home court advantage and seeing a lot of you gerunders on Mass Ave!So get amped, this is your team!!! Dare I say, America’s team? If you want to learn more about poetry slam and possibly get involved, there’s an open poetry slam happening this Sunday Night, check out – Can’t make it this Monday? Want to support Poetry Slam in Worcester? you can buy a download of the Slam CD at their bandcamp page!!!

MUSICAL GUEST: WATCH ME BURN – Not much is known about these local music makers! We had to get the blog post up early this week and at the time of this writing, do not have enough info to give you guys a good indication as to what this band is bringing! But hey! It’s the Gerund. Quality or some form of ruckus usually ensues!

BONUS RUCKUS – THE PROSE CUDDLE CHALLENGE – The triumphant return of a popular game we threw down on last year. Ever heard of a rap battle? Two emcees take turns ripping on each other for jackal audience approval? Well, this is the exact OPPOSITE. We’re all about the LOVE at the DG! You step up to the mic and do your best to poetically compliment your opponent! You don’t even have to rhyme! Whoever elicits the most “awwww shucks…” from the audience advances in their round. Winner gets a cool prize and a group hug!!! Awwwwww……

Duct Tape Orchestra’s upgraded the handsome with new bass slapper CHRIS MacNAMARA joining the fray for a summer residency! DIRTIEST GERUND’s still looking for a few good open mic-ers and audience members! Get in touch with NICHOLAS EARL DAVIS if you want to take part in any of the special challenges we’re doing at the Raven Saturday! Snack-time? Write Emilee Morreale! Visual Arts? Write Aaron White. Contact for all of them on our Ruckus Staff Page. I’ll be away in San Francisco this week for the 2011 Brave New Voices Youth Festival with my slam-lings so I’m relying on all of you to help Nick and Mark Leighton tear things up leading to and at the Dirtiest Gerund Showcase this Saturday!!!! Special announcement blog post with details coming soon! YOSH & CHICKEN have been invited!

Monday! 7/18/11 CHRISTIAN DRAKE rockabilly rolls into the RUCKUS! MUSICAL GUEST: Pittsburgh Indie Hip Hop STILLBORN IDENTITY! Plus IRON POET QUALIFIER “Davis vs. St. George”!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 14, 2011 by dirtygerund

This poem’s crazZZZeeeEEeeeee!!! The man who wrote it is coming HeRE!

This Monday’s show should smash like a summer comic book adaptation block buster! From Albuquerque New Mexico, by way of San Fran Bay Area, by way of Washington DC, by way of Northampton, MA, comes our poetry feature CHRISTIAN DRAKE, a six-time National Poetry Slam team member, who’s appeared on NPS Finals stage three times: Once as a competitor (Team Albuquerque 2009, which placed second) and twice as an invited guest performer (2006 and 2007). This former slam champion of Berkeley, California has also been a host of the Berkeley Slam and Albuquerque, NM’s Poetry & Beer Slam, Oakland’s famous Tourettes Without Regrets variety show and the spin-off he founded, Tourettes Without Regrets ABQ. His poetry has been performed on at least three continents and covered by hundreds of high school forensics students, and he himself has performed in over sixty cities in the U.S. and Canada. He has never been featured on HBO, but he was once featured on Al Jazeera. A native of Northampton, MA, Christian earned his reputation in the United States slam world by combining finely-crafted poetry with wild, rock-and-roll-inspired performance. A poet of outstanding variety, his repertoire includes poetry about heartbreak, music formats, war, nature, pornography, immigration, gardening, mythology, love, and the relative merits of period sex. He’s best known for his environmentalist work; currently a science teacher in the New England wilderness, he has been an aquarium naturalist, a planetarium guide, an urban forester and a park ranger over the years. The effect is, to quote one audience member, like nature poetry filtered through a guitar amp.” This is his first trip to the DG, so let’s make some noise!!!

MUSICAL GUEST: PITTSBURGH Underground Emcee CODY JONES aka STILLBORN IDENTITIY & Youngstown Ohio Emcee & Beats-Maker , NICK BAKER on a national tour!!! When our friend Shane Hall went on his Crazy Branch Deal tour, he visited Pittsburgh and caught this talented underground emcee doing his thing in PA. Cody’s doing an East Coast Tour, bringing his rockin’ indie rap act to the Gerund. Check out some tunes and get to know him more HERE! He’ll be joined by touring mate, BAKER a current Youngstown Ohio, beats producer and emcee. (check him out HERE)! These two lyricists are visiting Worcester for the first time, so let’s get some hands in the air (they still put them in the air right?)!

Hey!!!! OH!!!!!

BONUS RUCKUS: IRON POET QUALIFIER BOUT “DAVIS vs. ST. GEORGE”Your intrepid curator wants to get his grubby paws on the trophy, “when asked why, he mumbled something about sobriety sucking…” Anyways, NICHOLAS EARL DAVIS is a past champion and thinks he’s got the chops to take on Champion BOBBY GIBBS, the man who took it from him before his first reign! The only problem, is raucous, irascible upstart, SARAH ST. GEORGE, a relative new comer to the Gerund Scene, who’s been hitting our mic hard lately, winning challenges and raising our eye brows with some work that ain’t taking your shit! For reals! You know how this goes. 2 poets, 3 rounds, 3 judges, 3 categories and one crazy ingredient provided by our Chairman, YOSH SHARTIN! Winner gets a shot at the title, and maybe one at the bar!

We’re lookin’ for YOU!!! DUCT TAPE BAND will stand behind you and play pretty or ugly depending on what kind of work you’re bringing to the open mic! YOSH & CHICKEN have noticed a discernible drop in hockey fights lately. VISUAL ARTIST TBA. We’re hoping to get our snack queen back from vacation, send her a shout if you got an idea! NICHOLAS EARL DAVIS is doing sit-ups and listening to Eye of the Tiger on loop! This is a JAM Jam JAMMY JAM PACKED SHOW! Get there by 9pm, to assure yourself an open mic slot! We are not playing! :)

We’ll leave you with some ill words from our musical guest:

MONDAY JULY 11th – LEWIS MORRIS IS THE ILLEST! Musical Guest LIGHT UP NANCY! Plus the “Dog Days of Summer” Writing Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2011 by dirtygerund

Hello Good Gerunders! Now that we’ve celebrated our freedom to be backyard bar-b-q, pool moochin’ knuckleheads… let’s get back to business! THIS MONDAY, the Dirty Gerund is proud to welcome poet LEWIS MORRIS to our stage. A former Providence Youth Poetry Slam Star, an integral member on teams from 2005-2008, including the 2006 Providence Team that made it to finals stage (with the top four teams performing on the Historic Apollo Theater Stage in Harlem!). Lewis has gone on to continue ripping microphones in Boston, having established the bomb-ass Mass College of Art Poetry Slam and Open Mic! He’s studying film making, publishes mad books, produces sick instrumental beats and can talk comics and movies long past most hipster attention spans. Apart from being “the illest” (his words, but I tend to agree), he’s also one of the nicest cats on the scene! He can shine that powerful stage presence but also has the writing chops to back em up!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

MUSICAL GUEST: Hailing from Worcester, MA, LIGHT UP NANCY began as an acoustic duo between song writers Kenny Briggs and Ben Gleason. What soon emerged is now a full fledged rock band staying true to their acoustic roots. “Rich chords and melodic chorus. Vocals soft as a feather and gritty as dirt. Front man Briggs proudly steps forward from a background in the NY theatre scene, carrying out a love of words…, literature, poetry, and the stage. Gleason, on lead guitar, refuses to hide behind overly distorted effects. A love for the sound of each string. A deep value for the combined timbre of an old guitar and a vintage tube amp. With nods to their heroes such as Raine Maida and Ronnie Wood, these boys carry utmost respect from whence they came. Now, coming into their own, they take absolute pride in their own set list of potent originals, committing to delicate as well as dirty.” ~ Jenna DeSimone ~

SPECIAL VISUAL ARTS RUCKUS!!! – “AARON WHITE vs. THE WORLD” (Magic Marker Battle Royal Part 1): Visual Arts Director AARON WHITE has chimed in with an innovative collaborative Project, “literally everyone is encouraged to participate. I’m acting as sort of a ringleader, and if people are concerned about their artistic skills, I will embellish stuff and make their contribution awesomer. Everything will be done in marker (I have a 50 piece marker set) so that everyone’s on equal ground. Money from the auction will go to the Dirty Gerund.” (maybe we’ll invest in more bumper stickers!)

BONUS RUCKUS – The “DOG DAYS OF SUMMER” Writing Challenge! – Forget about what the Fresh Prince said about unwinding! We like sweat at the DG and we want to see you fully wind up and throw down your best words about the sweltering! BBQ haiku. Sonnet for that perfect fitting swimsuit that eludes you. Rant about the heat! Share that special slip n’ slide memory! Poems about baseball are totally acceptable. Hey! Why am I giving you all the ideas! Be creative! Best poem about, regarding, incorporating, alluding to, illuminating upon, these here dog days will get a special summery prize!

DUCT TAPE BAND ACTIVATE! Who’s got the snacks? YOSH & CHICKEN have reluctantly agreed to douse you in ice water as long as you’re willing to mop up the residual mess! We totally have bumper stickers, limited edition style! Anybody seen my bass guitar? Last scene sitting on the upstairs stage at Ralph’s on May 30th! It’s red, beat up, got some old ass stickers on it and its MINE! (oh well…) The cops didn’t care either! NICHOLAS EARL DAVIS wants to borrow your pool, or a pond, “yeah, pond would be good for you!” DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE DIRTIEST GERUND COMING TO THE RAVEN on Saturday, JULY 23rd! double open mics, triple musical acts, quadruple the features and fun games! Minus one sad co-host who can’t be there to lord over everything like his OCD ass always does! CLICK HERE to get hip!!!!

MONDAY 7/4/11 COME to the GERUND & HELP SUPPORT GERUNDERS of TOMORROW by cheering on WORCESTER YOUTH SLAM ALUMNI ALL STARS – Musical Guest SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD & The “Bad Poetry I Wrote in High School’ Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2011 by dirtygerund

This week, we have NO IDEA what ya’ll got cookin’ up at your back yard parties, fire work demonstrations or your beach blanket clam bakes! Holidays are holidays and you can still come down and get verbed up at the DG! The WORCESTER YOUTH POETRY SLAM ALUMNI are hitting the stage to help raise money for the 2011 WORCESTER YOUTH POETRY SLAM TEAM as they prepare for their annual trip to the Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Festival. Alex runs the program, that selects teen poets to rep our city! Your curator NICHOLAS EARL DAVIS is a past youth team member (2004) and has put together a group of alumni that includes amazing invitee poets KATE RICHARDSON, TAK MOGEL, RAPHAEL LUCKOM, DANNY BALEL, JEFF SIEGRIST, EDWARD HABIB and ELYSE BIANCHET. They’re all 21 plus now and still writing, performing and willing to support the Gerunders of the future. They’ll be performing new work, some of their classics and perhaps even read covers from this years crop of talented young writers. THIS IS A FUND RAISER YA’LL. WE NEED YOUR HELP with securing plane tickets for this years team to travel to San Francisco! We’ll have copies of this year’s team CD on hand, with 12 poems! ALL YOU GOTTA DO IS BRING SOME CASH AND HELP SUPPORT THE GERUNDERS OF TOMORROW! You can also support the team with a credit card, make a secure on-line paypal donation RIGHT HERE!

MUSICAL GUEST: SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD – DG Musical Director GREG McKILLOP is hoping you got some dance moves and listening ears for his folk indie rock chops! Last time we booked him as our musical guest, there was crazy snow! Now its warm and he’s ready to drop a set of killer tunes for you, the monday crew he cares for so deeply! Heck, he may even have a new album or two ready to go by then! You never can tell! Also, Greg’s got a KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN going for his “Forever Tour” Idea! Can you imagine what he could do with a vegie oil van? Click there and find out, or just click on to get a grip on all his other projects!

BONUS RUCKUS: Return of the “BAD POETRY I WROTE IN HIGH SCHOOLChallenge! Not all of us wrote incredible poetry like the ex Worcester Youth Poetry Slam-sters did back in the day! Some of us wrote endless, cliched, unrequited longing, heart-sick, whiny, depressing, forced rhyme schemed dreck! Go to them attics, closets, find notebooks filled with awful odes and embarasing stanzas, bring them to the Dirty Gerund and perform them with all the angst you got left! Celebrate your early awkwardness and win an awkward prize (well the prize might not be as awkward as your early attempts at writing poetry!).

Come party this with us this Monday! YOSH AND CHICKEN are working the holiday, so tip them EXTRA (they may accept fire-crackers, as long as they’re not USED – no smoking in the bar!) Duct tape band members will be on hand, ready to musical back-drop your fine words! Visual artist TBD! Snack-Time is up for grabs, but not for Durian Fruit flavored candy, ok? (wink)! Many thanks to the Worcester Arts Council for their continued tolerance and support! We have a banner!

we’re going to leave you with one of my favorite pieces from last year’s 2010 Worcester Youth Poetry Slam Team, so you can get inspired, and support our efforts to raise ‘em raise the roof up right!


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