Report Back: PeaceSmiths May Coffeehouse

May 8, 2010 at 6:57 am 3 comments

This is my personal and informal report back. If you want to add anyone or any topics I overlooked, please feel free to add in the comments…KW

It was an awesome evening at PeaceSmiths. I would say there were around 40 people there or more. I counted at least nine new people. One set of folks came because a local college professor is giving credit for people attending live poetry readings. Another person said that he found it from an on-line poetry calendar (have to check that out, we did also get a big spike in our blog stats yesterday.)

Walter Sargent did a great set. Walter is the Director of  Island Songwriters Showcase (ISS). Walter performed a song of Bob Campbell – a local musician and activist who had performed at PeaceSmiths before. Bob Campbell passed away last October, and his wife was in attendance. It was a wonderful moment, and a great song!

Pedro Pereira’s set was beautiful. Lots of thoughtful music about relationships and personal reflection. Can’t wait to listen to his CD.

For the middle section, Ian Wilder (my husband), led a section honoring local, Long Island poets. Ian read a Pat Falk poem and an Alan Smerdjian poem, among others. Several people took the stage, including John Burke (not our old friend the environmentalists, same name, different person)  for whom it was his first time at PeaceSmiths, who performed with dramatic flair. Max Wheat gave brief comments that were well received about the fact that students in kindergarten through twelfth grade can write poetry that is literature. A few other great readings in this time slot.

Some open mic highlights: Grand Folk Railroad sang smooth songs with heavy bass; Two new poets read; In honor of Mother’s Day, Susan K did an interpretive dance to a Celtic Woman song; Brian O’Haire did a new song, in this style of kind of folk musical oral tradition. I have to confess that Brian O’Haire’s performance filled in the blanks of mentioning a lot of the issues we care about, but hadn’t otherwise had a chance to articulate at the meeting.

Speaking of which, a current focus of PeaceSmiths is the demo against military drones that happens on the first Saturday of the month at Greenlawn. And, we are always looking for new volunteers and fresh ideas. Sometime around now we should be planning board elections. Let someone know if you are interested.

(Thinking about volunteering,  here is a list of some of the volunteers I can remember: Frank Aurelio who does set up, signs and other art; Kari in the kitchen; Matt B, Wendy D, and Mark W who often work in the kitchen; RV who organizes and hosts the Open Mic; Billy Breitenbach who does sound most times; board members (who tend to do various and lots of serving and clean-up tasks): Dori, Margie, Judy, Sonny, and Ed; Billy T sometimes swirls in and helps with talent and set-up; Wendy from Nassau – who invented the Chair-person/Chairperson schtick – often works, and/or motivates others to help; Ellen often lends a hand in the kitchen; And, I have even seen Chris G do the dishes on occasion! In addition, nearly everyone who stays to the bitter end (well, the sweet, by past bedtime end) usually helps put chairs away!).

Volunteer John Phillips tapes each PeaceSmiths, and it should wind up on our Public Access show in the next few weeks. Myself and others take informal video-tapes, and you never know what might show up on youtube.

Hope you will come to the Friday, June 4th Coffeehouse. It will be our last for the season. PeaceSmiths Coffeehouse is the first Friday of every month October through June!


Entry filed under: Coffeehouse, Friends, Long Island, non-violence, Peace, performers. Tags: , , , , , , .

Saturday, May 1st: Long Island demo against drones June 2010 Coffeehouse: The Last Internationale, Shinnecock Cultural Discussion, John Collins

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tom and nancy  |  May 9, 2010 at 5:25 am

    always nice to see friendly art-loving faces. We especially enjoyed Ian Weilder’s recitation of Kate Kelly’s poem. Ian has a wonderful, engaging voice. He is a good leader. He is loving and not self-centered. We always love meeting Max and Virginia Wheat. Nancy and I got contact information about Willow. We will invite them to perform at our wedding in October. [Edited, for questions I will answer personally. – KW] We will return to PeaceSmiths. I interviewed Susan Blake and her mother Betty. I once created a long island calander and honored Betty as woman of the month for her activism. I met Susan at a Clear water festival. She was trying to drum up participation for a game she created. I played her game and laughed and enjoyed being with her. She had a crazy sense of love and deep longing for peace and she did something about that longing. She created that longing in many others through her passion and enthusiasm. Indeed, she was a giant whose shoulders we all stand on. Her likeness image on the poster is a wonderful sentiment. Nancy and I will return often. Likeminded peoplle mush stick together. This isawonderful community. May it live long and prosper.
    Pax Gaia,
    Tom Stock and Nancy Keating

  • 2. Walt Sargent  |  May 9, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Thank you all so much for having me. Pedro, the open mic’ers and the poets were a real pleasure to listen to – many great moments. Long live Peacesmiths.

  • 3. kwilder  |  May 10, 2010 at 5:05 am

    KW: Thanks, Walter! Loved your performance. Thanks for sharing!

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Fri. March 9, 2018
Art & Music
Robyn Bellospirito &
Jimi Durso
Bryan Gallo
Open Mic!

Fri. Feb. 2, 2018
Tom Ryan

Fri. Jan. 5, 2018
Eli Maniscalco


Fri. Dec 1st
John Myles
Zack Reyes

Fri. November 3rd

8pm / Jazz & more
Coincidence Machine
Jimi Durso & friends
Rudel Drears, jazz piano
Open Mic!


Fri. October 6th
Bluegrass and Jazz!
Open Time.

The PeaceSmiths Coffeehouse is the first Friday of the month, from October to June.

Public Access TV

PeaceSmiths Monthly Coffeehouse and Monthly Forum can sometimes be seen on Public Access TV on the Woodbury Cable system channel 20 on the following shows:

Church of Comedy

Harmony Rising

Banner Photo

The banner photo is PeaceSmiths friends and banner in Washington, D.C. for a peace march on January 27, 2007. Susan is waving on the left, above the "e". Photo copyright Merly Thinanyi of Thihanyi Photography in Valley Stream.

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