November 17, 2003

Joe Sherman

Joe Sherman writes mainly about environmental issues, blending journalism, history, and personal experience. He read from the manuscript of GASP: The Book of Air, which he is presently finishing. It will be published in late 2004.

His other books include In the Rings of Saturn, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction, and Fast Lane on a Dirt Road, a contemporary history of Vermont now considered a modern classic. Sherman has written for G.Q., Smithsonian, Audubon, and other magazines.

His backturner projects include "The Great Ride," an around-the-world story in progress in which he and his son retrace the routes taken by a forebear, the first guy to drive around the world in a car (check out web site,, and In Pursuit of Dracula Land, a collaboration with Dorel Teseru, to make weird sense out of a Disney-like theme park being built in Romania.

Environmentalist Sherman pleads guilty for polluting the skies regularly flying from Vermont, where he has cabin, to Prague, where he has a wife, the poet Jeri Theriault (featured at Alchemy in 2002).

November 3, 2003

Barry Wallenstein

Barry Wallenstein is the author of five collections of poetry, Beast Is a Wolf With Brown Fire, (BOA Editions, 1977), Roller Coaster Kid (T.Y. Crowell, 1982), Love and Crush (Persea Books, 1991), The Short Life of the Five Minute Dancer (Ridgeway Press, 1993), A Measure of Conduct (Ridgeway Press, 1999).
His poetry has appeared in over 100 journals in the U.S. and abroad, in such places as Transatlantic Review, The Nation, Centennial Review, and American Poetry Review.

A group of new poems has recently been translated into Chinese by Professor Wan Ning, for the magazine Contemporary Foreign Literature, 2001, an anthology of post-beat poetry.He is a Professor of literature and creative writing at the City University of New York and is also an editor of the journal, American Book Review. A special interest is his involvement in the performance of jazz and poetry together. He has made four recordings of his poetry with jazz collaboration, the most recent being Tony's Blues, on Cadence Jazz Records [CJR 1124, 2001].

For the past 30 years he has been the coordinator of the city-wide Annual Spring Poetry Festival at City College which includes poets as young as second graders and goes up through the ages. The publication, Poetry in Performance, comes out of this event. Currently he is the Director of City College's Poetry Outreach Center. In August, 2001 he was in Cape Town, South Africa, where he met with the administration of the creative writing faculty to help establish an outreach program similar to the one that exists at City College. In June 2002 he was a featured guest poet at the Bear River Writer's Conference in upper Michigan, and in March he traveled to the south of France to conduct poetry workshops in schools, and present readings with French and African musicians.

In 1995 he received a fellowship to The Macdowell Colony, and in 1996 and then again in 1999 he visited Paris and London where he presented workshops and readings from his poetry. In June 1999 he was a resident fellow at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland. His 1971 book Visions & Revisions: The Poets' Practice [T.Y. Crowell] was reissued in a new and expanded edition by Broadview Press [2002]

October 20, 2003


Patrick Seguin at the mic and Jan Horkl on a guitar ... and we were drifting...

When you close your eyes and listen to Drift, you become their passenger. Transported to worlds where ravens take out porn queens, skulls get cracked out of arcane love, and kittens trot the globe for heartbreaking kicks, you wonder how the hell you got there and hope that you’ll be allowed to stay.

Consisting of Chris Parsons on guitar and Patrick Seguin on the mike, Drift provokes strong, unapologetic images while maintaining a subtlety in both their anger and humour.

The cool, controlled delivery of the lyrics, coupled with the steady, hypnotic rhythm of the acoustic guitar provide a limitless space where one can lose themselves easily and endlessly. Part-time member Martin Drews contributes a steady foundation of beats that simultaneously ground and expand the sound.

October 6, 2003

The Cafe Irreal - International Imagination

G.S. Evans has read a sampling of the stories that have been published in The Cafe Irreal, of which he is a coeditor. The Cafe Irreal is an internet journal that has been online since June 1998. Presenting Kafkaesque fiction, it was born in and inspired by Prague and has attempted to provide a venue for irreal literature.

It has featured a variety of established authors who have written in this style, including Istvan Orkeny, Rafael Pérez Estrada, Anne Maria Shua, and Norman Lock, as well many less established writers. In addition, it has published numerous Czech authors in translation, including Jana Moracova, Marian Palla, and Ewald Murrer. Writer’s Digest named it one of the top five online markets in their June 2003 issue, and it is a member of the New York-based Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

G.S. Evans is a writer and translator who has been dividing his time between The Czech Republic and the United States since 1993.

July 7, 2003

Corey Frost

Corey Frost is a writer and performer, rooted in Montreal but currently living in New York City, where he is at the CUNY Graduate Center conducting a scholarly study of spoken word, its evolution and its theory.
He has performed his own writing across Canada and the Northeast U.S.A., and in 2003 he will appear in six European cities, distributing stories (accompanied by music and images) that speak to such topics as ethical undecidability, the collusion of joy and disappointment, the pathos of utopian dreams, nebulous aspirations, love, politics, the universal desire for the power of flight, and fruit, to name just a few.

In 2001 he was named Best Spoken Word Artist in Montreal by the Montreal Mirror. He is also known for his chapbook-publishing activities throughout the 1990's. His writing has been published in journals and anthologies around North America, including Short Fuse: A Global Anthology of Fusion Poetry. His recent book My Own Devices (Conundrum Press, 2002) is a collection of travel/untravel stories set in Asia, Europe, North and South America. It was recently shortlisted for Canada's Relit Award for Fiction. Originally from Prince Edward Island, Canada's smallest province, Corey Frost has also lived in Japan and Brazil. He is currently 185 cm tall and has never been to Prague - before Alchemy, that is!

June 16, 2003

Alan Levy

Alan Levy is the editor-in-chief of The Prague Post, has read and regaled the crowd with accounts of his many journalistic experiences. Alan Levy is the author of several books, including "So Many Heroes", his account of the events of the 1968 Prague Spring. This evening he read from the 3dr edition of his "Nazi Hunter: The Wiesenthal File" which recently came out.

May 19, 2003

Budapest's Bardroom Poetry Series

It was our pleasure to welcome readers from our Hungarian counterpart - the Bardroom Reading and Performance Series. Canadian poet, Heather Hermant, Hungarian poet, Kalman Farago and British poet, David Hill are three of Budapest's active poetry performers.

April 23, 2003

Resurrection Reading

The theme of the night: Rise up and read! Come one, come all - an all open reading night. This doesn't mean we didn't find a guest for that night. The All Night Open Mic was a true feature on its own, celebrating a wide variety of local voices. The list of readers was as full as ever, but this time - they all made the cut. from left to right: top row: Ken Nash, unknown, Willie Watson; bottom row: Alison, Lisa

March 17, 2003

Myla Goldberg

Myla Goldberg, author of the novel, Bee Season. Bee Season was a Notable Book by the New York Times and is being translated into eight languages. She is currently at work on a new novel, Wickett's Remedy. Myla lived in Prague in 1993-1994 and now resides in Brooklyn with her husband, cartoonist Jason Little.

March 3, 2003

Gwendolyn Albert

Gwendolyn Albert is a native of Oakland, California. Albert studied linguistics at UC Berkeley and was a Fulbright scholar at Charles University in Prague during the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which she participated in as a translator for Vaclav Havel's Civic Forum organization. She has been living in the Czech Republic since 1994, where she is an activiist in refugee issues, police reform, and Roma rights. Her translation of Eva Svankmajerova's surrealist novella "Baradla Cave" was published by Twisted Spoon Press (Prague 2000). She edited the expatriate section of "Ten Years After the Velvet Revolution: Voices from the Czech Republic," a special issue of the New Orleans Review (Spring/Summer 2000)and was Editrix of JEJUNE: america eats its young magazine from 1993 until issue 9 in 2000. Her work has recently been anthologized in "Short Fuse" "the global anthology of new fusion poetry" (Rattapallax Press, NY 2002).

Also performing at this Alchemy - Jeremy Saxon on a short visit from San Francisco

February 17, 2003

Lucien Zell

Poet and singer Lucien Zell was born in California, dropped out of Theater school, and has travelled in Europe for the past nine years. He is the proud father of three children: Eden, Julian, and Jakub. His first collection of poetry, The Sad Cliffs of Light, was published in Prague by the Czech publisher, Dharmagaia, in the Fall of 1999 and a Czech translation was released in the winter of 2001. He is also a singer and is currently set to release his first album. Lucien performed along with musical accompaniment.

February 3, 2003

Gene Deitch

Gene Deitch the author of "For the Love of Prague", his spicy, funny memoir - the true love story of the only free American in Prague during 30 years of communism. If you think you've been here too long, that it's impossible to get anything done here, that the only way to survive in Prague is teaching English, think of Gene Deitch! Gene was here during the Stalinist years, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the euphoria of 1968's Prague Spring, the Velvet Revolution and through the changes that followed. While living in this "Absurdistan" with his Czech wife Zdenka, he developed a sucessful career directing animated films, one of which won an Oscar. You can see that he has a lot to tell ...

January 20, 2003

Ryan Mergen

Ryan Mergen, a 26 year old performance poet from California. Originally bred to be a supercomputing dot-communist, he short circuited when he discovered performance poetry. He has performed his work at poetry venues across the U.S. He was the San Jose Grand Slam Champion of 2001, and has competed at the National Poetry Slam. Currently, he lives in Prague and hosts Poetry in the Twilight, an English language poetry and music showcase. This show celebrated the release of his third self-published Chapbook, "Rhymes Per Minute".