The Smoking Poet’s Fifth Anniversary Celebratory Authors’
Can it be?
Has our little cigar pup grown up to a be a big healthy dog, cigar firmly in muzzle, cap pulled low? Swaggering on all fours
and reciting fine poetry between puffs of fiction?
It can and
it is: The Smoking Poet will be celebrating our fifth anniversary in 2011. Preparations are already under way. What better
way to celebrate but to gather together some of our best and brightest and smokiest!
the lounge you imagined—dusky and dim, with velvety chocolate brown couches between gold-threaded veils hanging from
a high ceiling, candlelight flickering in a wine glass or a scotch glass, jazz playing in the shadows, and one great writer
after another taking the mike to read words to float you away on a dream.
Come join us.
The first part of the evening will be a line-up of writers from the past five years of The Smoking Poet issues. After the
authors read, a step-up-to-the-mic will be available for anyone in the audience who would like to read, too.
If you simply
want to witness The Smoking Poet come to life off the page, come sit with us, sip a little, nibble a bit, relax and enjoy
the good words and music.
The Wine Loft
161 East Michigan Ave.
of books by authors you’ve enjoyed reading in TSP will be available for purchase by Dean Hauck of Michigan News Agency.
Put on the
dog! Come celebrate the Big Five with The Smoking Poet.
Friends of Poetry, Inc., and The Wine Loft - with special thanks to Amy Newday, Lynn Pattison, and Erica Vitkin.
|Our pup on The Wine Loft's doors: Welcome!
Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Authors Reading at The Wine Loft
Lori A. May
Watch for an
update on this page about the event, with photos, following April 28 ....
The event is what Aistars had in mind for her dream lounge — almost. There will be no smoking.
“But (cigar bar) Winston’s is right across the street,” she pointed out.
When she started it in 2006, Aistars hoped the Web magazine would grow and graduate into a print
edition. Digital publishing has grown to overshadow print, however.
“Over the past five years, we’ve watched bookstores close their doors, and they say
there are more digital books being sold than hard-print,” Aistars said. “Frankly, that gave me a phase of identity
crisis as a writer.”
Aistars figured she should adapt to progress, like it or not. And there is a plus side.
“If you have an online magazine, you certainly have a lot more reach,” she said. “If
I’d gone to print, I’d still be struggling to find an audience in Kalamazoo.”
Online: Zinta Aistars took her dream of
a smoking/poetry lounge to the Web.
Aistars said the website gets hits from around the world. Its first issues published writers from
Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and other countries, “which was thrilling.”
She was international, “and I shrank back to Kalamazoo; I came back home” with a “Kalamazoo
and Beyond” section.
“We have an incredible number of talented literary stars right in our neighborhood,”
The Smoking Poet features Kalamazoo and other American writers, and still includes some writers
of the world. Aistars, who is of Latvian descent, publishes and translates pieces by her music editor, Andris Silis, who lives
But it’s the page of cigar reviews and commentary that makes the online magazine even more
unique, Aistars believes, even though she worried it might seem like “a gimmick.”
“Every once in a while, I’ll still light up a stogie,” she said. “I do
like that meditative mood that it brings about. That’s when the creative thoughts come to mind.”