It was 1970, a year after Steve Cannon’s novel, “Groove, Bang and Jive Around,” was published, that he used proceeds from its sale to buy a three-story townhouse on East Third Street, just east of Avenue C, with a brick facade and a hospitable stoop.
Over the decades, that stoop became a gathering spot where Mr. Cannon and friends, including many from the nearby Nuyorican Poets Cafe, held wide-ranging conversations that lasted all night. Those freewheeling discussions moved indoors in 1991, when Mr. Cannon turned parts of the building into a gallery and salon known as A Gathering of the Tribes. There, he and others published magazines and organized readings and art exhibitions.
“It became a center for poets, musicians and artists from all over the world,” Mr. Cannon said. “People realized they could be themselves there because it gave the feeling of being at home.”
Faced with debt, Mr. Cannon sold the building in 2004, with an agreement that he could continue living and holding events on the second floor. That arrangement began to fray in 2011, and last year Mr. Cannon, 79 and blind, moved out of his home of more than 40 years.
The photographer Gaia Squarci spent several weeks documenting life inside the Tribes gallery. Her images show Mr. Cannon’s comrades arriving for final farewells, helping to pack books and using saws to remove a section of wall that had been painted by the artist David Hammons.
Mr. Cannon moved into an apartment a few blocks away. He has continued to organize readings, but they are now held in other places. Friends still visit to work on an anthology of art and poetry that Mr. Cannon is putting together or to discuss their own projects. Sometimes, he said, they reminisce about the good times on Third Street.
“It’s the same spirit here,” he said, “Only there’s less room and fewer people stopping by.”
Originally in The Best American Poetry: http://blog.
Levi Asher writes about Language Matters for LitKicks: http://www.litkicks.com/
YOU'RE INVITED TO A SPECIAL EVENT
Please come to a very special evening in honor of our new PBS documentary Language Matters with Bob Holman a film by David Grubin
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 6:00 PM at the National Museum of the American Indian 1 Bowling Green, New York City
What do we lose when a language dies? What does it take to save a language?
The one hour event will highlight excerpts from the film woven together with live performances by endangered language speakers, including Native American poets, a hālau hula (Hawaiian school of dance), the colorful legacy of Yiddish, and the tongue twisting poetry of the Welsh language. Afterwards, Bob and David will offer a short Q&A followed by a reception.
Please note: Language Matters with Bob Holman airs on PBS THIRTEEN onSunday, January 25th at 12:30 PM.
In partnership with THIRTEEN, Poets House, and the Endangered Language Alliance
For more information on events and airdates visit languagemattersfilm.com
Language Matters is a co-production of David Grubin Productions Inc. and Pacific Islanders in Communications. Produced in association with The Endangered Language Alliance. Major funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and philanthropic individuals.
Happy Holidays from us and ours to you and yours!
Every Friday of the month!!
Prof Steve Cannon will be workshopping (Bob Holman will be in & out due to traveling this month). Take a gander at this geezers as they make poems out of air & give 'em away for free.
OR drop by live 745 E 6 St #1A, or phone in your poems 212-777-2038. )
We are announcing Tribes 2.0: Live from Steve's Couch ---as a way to keep the old Tribes spirit alive -- and keep a flow of new energy into the 6th St space. So Gander TV put in a camera and mic in 6th St for us.
The working dynamic here is that since Steve left 3rd St and the open door, every night a performance policy there, there has not been the kind of flow-through energy that sustained him and Tribes for a couple of decades. This is an attempt to find a way to find some new Tribes energy, to enter the digital world, and to have some fun with art.
You don't need to do anything different than what you always do here at Tribes, shoot the shit, heckle and read to the blind guy. The only thing that will be different is it'll be taped for people to watch live! (And there will be future events which we are in process of developing)
We will be setting up times and dates for people who want to participate. If you're interested please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Friends of Steve Cannon: A Evening of Poetry and Jazz In Celebration of A Gathering of the Tribes & An Incredible Man A National Poetry / Jazz Appreciation Month Benefit for A Gathering of the Tribes
Hosted by Mariposa, Frank Perez & Sheila Maldonado
Featuring: Jesus-Papoleto Melendez, Melanie M. Goodreaux-Fielder,Stephanie Agosto, Dusty Rhodes, Ron Kolm, Danny Shot, Tsaurah Litzky, Bonafide Rojas, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Patricia Spears Jones, Paul Beatty, Eve Packer, David Henderson,Bob Holman, Sophie Malleret, Bonny Finberg, Howard Pflanzer, John Farris, Willie Perdomo, Anyssa Kim, Jill Rapaport, Thaddeus Rutkowski and others
Wed, April 23, 2014 @ The Nuyorican Poets Cafe 236 E. 3rd St. (Pedro Pietri Way) Bet Aves. B & C http://www.nuyorican.org/
Doors open 5:30pm Show 6pm - 9pm
ADMISSION: $20 at the door / $15 in Advance Students & Seniors $10
"Come hell or high water, Tribes will exist." - Steve Cannon
For more info: http://www.tribes.org/web/
10 March 2014
Beloved Wordsmith and Living Treasure Honored
“Steve Cannon is the only admittedly blind gallery owner in New York City, as well as the only Paid Heckler in town,” says Dean of the Scene Bob Holman, founder/proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club and board member of HOWL!. “When you walk into his gallery aka his living room, you know this is the secret portal to the real Art World—as open, creative, wild, and outside the establishment as it's been since the days of the Beat poets and Abstract Expressionist painters.”
But as the neighborhood changes, artists and creative spaces are being displaced by rising rents and gentrification. “This is a call to arms,” says Holman, as Mr. Cannon is being threatened with eviction from his residence and Tribes as an incubator of visual and performing artists may be shuttered. To help out, contact Tribes Here.
Tribes was conceived as a venue for underexposed artists, as well as a networking center and locus for the development of new talent. The formation of Tribes was motivated by the thriving artistic community in and around the Lower East Side: poetry at The Nuyorican Poets Café; performances and plays at the Living Theater; activist art at Bullet Space; as well as hundreds of artists trying to find and develop a voice in their medium and a place in which their work might be appreciated. Housed in a historic federal house built by the founder of The Nation magazine, (Hamilton Fish), Tribes is located on East 3rd Street between Avenues C and D.
About HOWL! Festival
Founded “to lionize, preserve, and advance the art, history, culture, and counterculture unique to the East Village and Lower East Side,” the HOWL! Festival is a call to arms across time and boundaries of culture, taste, and creative expression. Named the Village Voice’s Best Outdoor Festival, HOWL! Festival is the quintessential community event celebrating the history and creativity of the EV/LES. The spirit of Allen Ginsberg comes alive as more than 350 artists, poets, and performers, including youthful new talent, transform the Park into a participatory artwork infused with the creative energy, flamboyance, and panache that’s the hallmark of the neighborhood. A three-ring circus of wonderment and amusement, HOWL! Festival is entirely FREE. Signature Events include:
• The Great HOWL! OUT LOUD Kids Carnival
• Art Around the Park and Kids Around the Park
• The group reading of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl
• Riki Colon’s Men in Skirts
• Chi Chi Valenti and Johnny Dynell’s Low Life 8
• Soap Box Poets
• The Beatification Station featuring dance and theater
• And continuous performances on the Main and Kids Stages
X X X X X
Occupy Art: An Evening of Poetry and Protest
By Angela Sloan
The Occupy Art Poetry event, which was held on Sunday, January 26, 2014, at The Bowery Poetry Club in New York City was a culmination of open-microphone performances, (which gave the event a sense of spontaneity) as well as scheduled readings. It was organized by Carla Cubit, whose Occupy Wall Street artwork also decorated the wall space behind the stage. There were many different performers; poetry and works of fiction were read aloud, and there were also slideshows and musical performances. The event was held from 8:30 to 10:30 pm and a small donation was taken at the door in lieu of a cover charge. The Emcee for the night’s festivities, Robert Galinsky, opened the show with a spoken-word piece of his own. His enthusiasm was extraordinary and contributed greatly to the pleasant and friendly energy in the room.
Jeffrey Chambers Wright, who will be celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of his publication, Cover Magazine this year, read two new pieces of poetry, one of which was inspired by his passion for preserving the public gardens of New York City’s Lower East Side. Leonard Abrams, publisher of The East Village Eye newspaper read from his new piece, “One Percent Bible.” Other performances included a comic-strip slideshow accompanied by a young woman serving as narrator, multiple musicians and drumming. The mantra of the occasion, if I may borrow a quote from one of the performers of the evening, was: “You don’t have to fuck people over to survive.”
The evening ended on a hopeful note: the pervasive idea being that the occupy movement cannot be a lost cause, and its supporters cannot lose and will not be futile in their efforts, because there are millions of us who are all in the same canoe. There was a piece entitled The Phoenix, which was especially memorable because its recitation was accompanied by a lovely musical piece played out on a conch shell. Tom Weiss, who runs the newspaper and blog Up Front News, did not recite a piece of poetry, but instead spoke about a subject that he is very passionate about, and that is the raising of awareness surrounding the unjust treatment and subsequent genocide of the people of Tibet.
Chris Flash was there to talk to the audience about his newspaper, The Shadow, which is New York City’s only underground newspaper. Their specialty, to use their own words, is “investigative journalism and in-depth reportage on important subjects that the mainstream media either under-reports, mis-reports and/or chooses to ignore.” It has been published on the Lower East Side of Manhattan since 1989, the catalyst for its birth being the distorted mainstream media coverage in the aftermath of the infamous police riot in Tompkins Square Park on the sixth and seventh days of August, 1988.
The show’s finale piece was a piano composition entitled “Occupy Love”, which was the title voted on by the audience members, and it was played very beautifully by Eric A. Dahl: it was a lovely and moving ending to an important evening of art and activism.