This Month at Pi

NOTE: We are now meeting the 3rd WEDNESDAY  of each month.

Next Reading:

Pat Mottola and Bill E

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

  Pat Mottola teaches Creative Writing at Southern Connecticut State University, where she earned both an M.S. in Art Education and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. In addition to working with students at S.C.S.U., she is thrilled to teach both art and poetry to senior citizens throughout Connecticut. Her work is published in journals across the country, including War, Literature & the Arts, Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, San Pedro River Review, VietNow Magazine, and Paterson Literary Review, among others. She is the winner of the prestigious 2019 CSU Board of Regents Outstanding Teaching Award. On a global scale, she has mentored Afghan women writers living in Afghanistan through the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. Pat served as editor of Connecticut River Review from 2012-2017 and is currently Co-President of the Connecticut Poetry Society. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Under the Red Dress and After Hours.

Bill E is a poet who uses conventional poetic techniques, such as rhyme and alliteration, and at the same time shatters many conventions.  In doing so, he creates his own unique and dynamic style.

With these two vastly different poets, Pi continues our long established practice of presenting high quality poetry experiences that explore far reaches of the creative poetry universe.


Frederick-Douglass Knowles

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Cancelled due to Weather Conditions

Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is a poet, educator and activist involved in community education.  He is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Hartford.  His collection of poetry, Black Rose City was featured at the 2018 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP).  His works have been featured in Connecticut River Review, Sinkhole Magazine, Poems on the Road to Peace, A Collective Tribute to Dr. King, Vol 2, by Yale University Press, Lefoko Magazine and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora by Third World Press.  Fredrick-Douglass is an Associate Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

 Our 11th Annual Blue-Ribbon Favorite Poem Panel


Ruth Hoberman, Tom Menchion, and Vinny Midolo

Moderated by

Mark McGuire-Schwartz

  For Favorite Poem Night, Open Mic readers are encouraged to bring a favorite poem (although reading your own poem is still acceptable).

Until her 2014 retirement, Ruth Hoberman was a Professor of English at Eastern Illinois University, where she specialized in twentieth-century British literature. She is the author of Modernizing Lives: Experiments in English Biography 1918–1939, Gendering Classicism:  the Ancient World in Twentieth Century Women’s Historical Fiction, and Museum Trouble: Edwardian Literature and the Emergence of Modernism. Since her retirement, she has been writing poetry and creative nonfiction, with publications in Calyx, Rhino, Natural Bridge, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Rattle: Poets Respond, among other venues.

Tom’s interest in poetry began in 1999 when, on a whim, he attended a poetry open-mike at a restaurant in Arlington, Virginia. Here he eventually read the first several poems he had composed. He now reads his work at Pi Poetry Series where he enjoys the benefit of featured readers, published poets, in addition to the open-mike time. Tom hopes that going onward, he will keep finding subjects to write about.

Vinny has been writing poetry since the ripe age of seven years old. He speaks on events that have shaped his life, the ills of modern society, and personal experience that would otherwise remain swirling around in his exhausted synapses. He is currently working on having several projects published and is hopeful they will be done by the summer of 2020. Personal blogs can be followed on Facebook and Instagram by searching permaburnedpoetry.

On the third Wednesday of each month, The Poetry Institute Poetry Series celebrates an eclectic mix of poetic voices.  Free.  Refreshments.  (And participants are invited to bring something to share.)  Open mic.  Outstanding featured readers.  In a casual setting.  Open to all members of the public (and even others).

 The Institute Library
847 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT

right next door to the Tattoo Parlor

Doors Open at 6:30. Reading starts at 7:00.

Please arrive a few minutes early to sign up for the reading.

 Great Poetry!  

 In a Warm, Friendly Environment


Jane Muir

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Jane was born two weeks before the Great Depression and it has been all uphill since. She has been a member of the Guilford Poets’ Guild for twenty years.  Her poems generally reflect her life, which has been up and down.  Down when she couldn’t help it, up when she could.

NOTE: We are now meeting the 3rd WEDNESDAY  of each month.


Pi Poetry Series


Poetry on the Border

A Special Presentation

along with an

Interactive Session with Audience Members

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

CT Shoreline Indivisible members will present stories, poems and reflections from Nogales, Mexico, the Sonoran Desert, Casa Alitas Monastery Shelter and the Arizona Federal Court Proceedings.  These women spent nine days speaking with immigrants, working with local volunteers, and assisting immigrant refugee families, and they will bring us their first hand report on the Humanitarian Crisis: Suffering and Hope at the Southern Border.

Following the presentation, we will have a Question and Answer time and a slightly extended break, to allow audience members to speak with our presenters, reflect on the presentation, and come up with a reaction, perhaps in the form of poetry or song. 

For this special event, our Open Mic will not only have poets presenting poems on diverse topics in many styles, as usual.  We will also open the floor to give anyone a chance to react to this evening’s issue in any way you choose.  For instance, participants may choose to use their time to do any of the following:

1.    Read a poem (or early draft) that speaks in some way to the evening’s topic, which was written during the break,

2.    Sing a song inspired by the topic.  Or play some music.

3.    Display artwork on the topic.

4.    Speak about the topic or presentation (For this occasion, poetry is not required.)

5.    Read a poem written before the evening about the topic.

6.    Read a poem about any topic.

1n other words, we will open the floor for anyone to briefly share a poem or address the evening’s topic in any way.

So, bring your poems, your songs,

your thoughts and open hearts

for a special evening

combining poetry

and a pressing issue of our times.


NOTE: We are now meeting the 3rd WEDNESDAY  of each month.

NOTE:  Beginning in September, Pi will meet on the third Wednesday of the month (and not on the third Thursday of each month as we have up until now.)

Each month, The Poetry Institute Poetry Series celebrates an eclectic mix of poetic voices. Free. Refreshments. (And participants are invited to bring something to share.)  Open mic. Outstanding featured readers.  In a casual setting.  Open to all members of the public (and even others).

The Institute Library
847 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT

Stanford M. Forrester

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Stanford M. Forrester is a past president of the Haiku Society of America as well as the editor of bottle rockets:  a collection of short verse.  Stanford has had poems published internationally in journals and in over 40 anthologies, including in Haiku (part of Everyman’s Pocket Poetry Series) and in American Zen: A Gathering of Poets.  He has won many prestigious awards, including first seat in the 57th Annual Basho Anthology Contest in Japan and second place in the International Robert Frost Poetry & Haiku contest. He was the 2001 recipient of the Museum of Haiku Literature Award.  He has read his haiku and taught workshops in several countries.  Recently he’s had 4 haiku published in a Norton Anthology: Haiku in English The first 100 years, and his haiku beat out 20,850 other poems to win the honor of being printed on a bottle if ito-en tea.

NOTE:  Beginning in September, Pi will meet on the third Wednesday of the month. 

(and not on the third Thursday of each month as we have up until now.)

Previous Readings:

Brendan Walsh

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Walsh is the author of four collections of poetry. His poems have appeared in Wisconsin Review, Baltimore Review, Glass Poetry, Mudfish, and other journals and magazines. He has taught in South Korea, Laos, Connecticut, and South Florida. He has been awarded a Fulbright Grant, several Pushcart Prize nominations, the Anna Sonder Prize of the Academy of American Poets, the Leslie Leeds Poetry Prize, and a Freedman Prize for poetry in performance.

Dolores Hayden


Dolores Hayden, award-winning poet and historian of American landscapes, engages the lives of daredevil pilots—women and men from the earliest years of aviation—in Exuberance, her third poetry collection. Hayden’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The Common, Ecotone, Raritan, Shenandoah, the Yale Review, Southwest Review, Best American Poetry, and Poetry Daily. Author of American Yard (2004) and Nymph, Dun, and Spinner (2010), she’s received awards from the Poetry Society of America and the New England Poetry Club, and residencies in poetry from Djerassi, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Noepe. Professor of Architecture and American Studies Emerita at Yale University, Hayden has also been a Guggenheim fellow and won an American Library Association Notable Book Award for nonfiction.

December 20, 2018


Gian Lombardo

Gian Lombardo has published six collections of prose poetry, the latest of which are Machines We Have Built (Quale Press, 2014), Aid & A_Bet (BlazeVOX ebook, 2008) and Who Lets Go First (Swamp Press, 2010). His translation of the first half of Aloysius Bertrand’s Gaspard de la nuit was published in 2000, and a translation of Eugène Savitzkaya’s Rules of Solitude in 2004, as well as translations of Archestratos’s Gastrology (2009), and Michel Delville’s Third Body (2009) and Anything & Everything (2016). He teaches book and magazine publishing at Emerson College. He also directs Quale Press.

August 24, 2017


Charles Fort

 Thursday, August 24, 2017

(Note: There is no reading on 8/17/17.)

Charles Fort is the author of six books of poetry including: We Did Not Fear the Father  and Mrs. Belladonna’s Supper Club Waltz.  Fort has poems in The Best American Poetry, 2000, 2003, and 2017. He is Distinguished Emeritus Professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Founder of the Wendy Fort Foundation and Theater of Fine Arts. In 2017, Fort completed, Sorrow Road; 200 Villanelles: including, sequences on Bergman films and Dante’s Inferno. His first novel The Last Black Hippie in Connecticut.

The Institute Library

847 Chapel Street

New Haven, CT

right next door to the Tattoo Parlor

Doors Open at 6:30. Reading starts at 7:00.

Please arrive a few minutes early to sign up for the reading.

Great Poetry!

In a Warm, Friendly Environment

Next Reading: August 24, 2017

Next reading:  August 24, 2017

Our monthly poetry reading for August will take place on the 4rth Thursday of the month instead of our usual 3rd Thursday.

This is a one-time change only.  In September and subsequent months we will meet on the third Thursday of the month.

To belabor what is already obvious:

There will be no Pi Poetry Reading on August 17, 2017.  On that date, Pi will not offer a scintillating Featured Poet, a dynamic Open Mic, a break with yummy refreshments and meaningful conversation.  On that date, we will not have our usual thought provoking poems replete with clever and original word play, heartfelt laughter, touching personal tales, and an altogether rollicking good frolic.  All that will have to wait until 8/24/17.

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Past Features: 

Simeon Berry

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Simeon Berry won the 2013 National Poetry Series for his first collection of poetry, Ampersand Revisited (Fence Books), and the 2014 National Poetry Series for his second book of poetry, Monograph (University of Georgia Press).  He has been an Associate Editor for Ploughshares and won a Massachusetts Cultural Council Individual Artist Grant.  He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

On the third Thursday of each month, The Poetry Institute Poetry Series celebrates an eclectic mix of poetic voices.  Free.  Refreshments.  (And participants are invited to bring something to share.)  Open mic.  Outstanding featured readers.  In a casual setting.  Open to all members of the public (and even others).

Lori Derosiers

Thursday, June 15, 2017 

Lori Desrosiers’ books include  and Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak, Salmon Poetry, 2016.and a chapbook, Inner Sky. Her poems have appeared in New Millenium Review (contest finalist), Contemporary American Voices, Best Indie Lit New England, String Poet, Blue Fifth Review, Pirene’s Fountain, The New Verse News, The Mom Egg, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish-American Poetry and many other journals and anthologies. She won the Greater Brockton Poets Award for New England Poets award for her poem “That Pomegranate Shine” in 2010, judged by X.J. Kennedy. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. She is Editor-in-Chief of Naugatuck River Review, a journal of narrative poetry, and WORDPEACE, an online journal dedicated to peace and justice, and serves as an editor for several other publications. She teaches Literature and Composition at Westfield State University and Poetry in the Lesley University M.F.A. graduate program. She has read her poetry and taught workshops at numerous colleges and conferences. She holds an M.F.A. from New England College and an M.Ed. from Lesley University. Her website is 

Maya Pindyck

May 18, 2017

Maya Pindyck is a multidisciplinary poet and artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her most recent collection, Emoticoncert, was published by Four Way Books in 2016. Currently a doctoral candidate in English Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, she teaches at Parsons School of Design.

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Ameen-Storm Abo Hamzy

Thursday, March 16, 2017

In Arabic, the name Ameen means trustworthy and trusting.  Ameen’s poetry is about trust, it deals powerfully with political and social issues, the human condition, love, humanity, and human sensibilities.  A graduate cum laude of Norwich University with a Bachelor’s in English Literature, Ameen is a published poet, producer of poetry venues:  Collin’s Diner Poetry Series  (North Canaan, CT), Poetry is Music Poetry Festival, and  live poetry on WSBS’s Art Beat show. His involvement in multiple artistic disciplines provides Ameen with the sharpness and depth to his poetry that will take your breath away.  His stage presence is mesmerizing, his words are thoughtful and significant.  An activist who is in love with life, his poetry will move you, inspire you, and make you feel warm inside.”