Cross Reading Series at WORD Jersey City

A warm tempest of conviviality. That is my impression of this weekend’s impressive congregation of readers and literary bon vivants at the Cross reading series at Word bookstore.

A group of singularly talented poets presented their works. The wry Melissa Adamo (@adamopoeting), who admitted to working on an upcoming chapbook, began the evening. Vincent Toro stormed the podium next with an arresting performance of his politically-charged and personal poems. The animated delivery would have carried the audience away if it were not for our third reader, the deeply insightful Emilia Phillips, whose moving lyrics plumbed the depths of female sexuality and power dynamics in the modern age. Culminating the evening was Ricky Laurentiis, the Ruth Lilly award winner, who read an exquisite series of works from his newly released collection titled Boy With Thorn. This book also won the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

Such a wealth of literary talent should not go unlauded. I implore you, learned readers, go forth, and purchase these writers’ books forthwith. Your soul will thank you later. Buy Emilia Phillips’ Signaletics and Ricky Laurentiis’ Boy With Thorn on Amazon. Vincent Toro’s collection, Stereo.Island.Mosaic, is forthcoming in January 2016 from Ahasahta Press.

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