GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

February 7, 2013

Poetry and play readings on tap

Around Cape Ann
Gail McCarthy

---- — The Gloucester Writers Center is hosting two reading events this weekend: one with three Lowell poets and another of 10-minute plays by Cape Ann talent.

Ryan Gallagher, Chuck Levenstein and Paul Marion, all of Lowell, will read from their works Saturday, Feb. 9, at 1 p.m.

Gallagher is the author of “Plum Smash and Other Flashbulbs,” and has translated “The Complete Works of Catullus” from Latin. He curated “Young Angel Midnight, An Emerging Generation in the Arts in Lowell” (Bootstrap 2011). He is co-founder of Bootstrap Press and teaches literature and journalism at Malden High School.

Levenstein is the author of “Lost Baggage” and two other poetry collections. He was a contributing editor to the now-defunct Zurich-based electronic poetry magazine, Poems Niederngasse. His poems have been widely published in e-zines. He is professor emeritus of Work Environment Policy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Marion is the author of several collections of poetry, including his most recent, “What Is The City?,” and editor of Jack Kerouac’s early writings. He works at UMass Lowell as executive director of community and cultural affairs. He is also the publisher of Loom Press.

On Sunday, Feb. 10, beginning at 7:30 p.m., the Writers Center will host readings from its 10-Minute Playwriting Workshop. Cape Ann talent will read 10 original 10-minute plays penned by local playwrights from M. Lynda Robinson’s workshop. The final step for a new play is to have directors put actors and the play on stage in front of an audience for their feedback. A reception will follow.

The Gloucester Writers Center is located in the late poet Vincent Ferrini’s home, at 126 East Main St. in Gloucester. Parking is across the street. For more information, visit gloucesterwriters.org.

Valentine’s Day at the library

On Valentine’s Day, the Mari Martin Trio, featuring Mark Retallack and Ken Steiner, will perform songs of love and romance on the main floor at Sawyer Free Library. The program, “To Have and to Hold: Songs of Love for Everyone,” runs from 7 to 8 p.m. Along with the music, homemade refreshments will be served.

Martin, a Rockport native, returned to Cape Ann from the West Coast three years ago, and works at the library. Her voice has graced the stage at Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles for the Obie Awards, the Majestic Ventura Concert Theater, and Santa Barbara’s Lobero and Granada Theatres. She has performed at hundreds of weddings and venues from Massachusetts to California. Martin’s singing may be heard at www.marimartinmusic.com.

Martin has been singing and songwriting since she was 6 years old. At 18, she moved to western Massachusetts where she studied with the renowned Horace Boyer, a University of Massachusetts Amherst jazz professor. She spent 15 years in California perfecting her art. She was a founding member of Area 51, an eight-piece 1970s funk band that remains a popular Santa Barbara dance band. She has shared the stage with names such as Tower of Power, the Average White Band and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. She also has sung for Kenny Loggins.

Free concert

A free cello and piano recital takes place Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport.

The program includes music spanning the centuries from classic to contemporary, from Beethoven (1770-1827) and Debussy (1862-1918) to music by the teenage performers. This concert is recommended by Rockport Music’s Stephanie Woolf, whose choice of performers has been commended by audiences for years. Many of the young performers she brings to Rockport Music go on to earn Grammy awards and even play for the U.S. president.

The performers are Lev Mamuya, cello, and Christopher Staknys, piano. Mamuya is a junior at Roxbury Latin School. He studies cello with Michael Reynolds and composition with Howard Frazin. He is an alumnus of the PBS radio show “From the Top,” was second-place winner in the Sphinx competition in 2012 and last summer performed with the Boston Pops.

Staknys is a senior at Falmouth High School in Maine and a student in the Preparatory Department of the New England Conservatory, where he studies piano with Roberto Poli and composition with Howard Frazin. He has won numerous competitions, including NEC Prep Concerto, MNEA Composers, Steinway Piano, and Music Without Limits in Lithuania. In 2011, his composition “Congo” was premiered by the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

The Shalin Liu Performance Center is at 35 Main St. in Rockport.

New winter show

Central Street Gallery presents a new show, “Warm Your Heart With Art,” with a reception at the Manchester gallery on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 5 to 9 p.m. with an assortment of chocolates and Prosecco.

All purchases that evening will receive a 10 percent discount because Valentine’s Day has a rich history of gift giving, noted Alison Rowel, the gallery director. “It is a gift that lasts for a lifetime,” she said of art. For more information, visit centralstreetgallery.com.

Second Berry show

Since local favorite singer-songwriter Chelsea Berry sold out her concert on Saturday, Feb. 9, Rockport Music has added a second night on Friday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m., by popular demand. She has opened for artists such as Livingston Taylor, Roger McGuinn, and Chris Isaak. The Dejas open the concert. Tickets start at $19. For information, visit www.rockportmusic.org.

Film about two locals

A benefit screening for the documentary “The Love Part of This,” about Grace Schrafft and Grace Moceri, will take place at Cape Ann Community Cinema on Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The film, by Lya Guerra, has been screened at a couple of festivals in Europe. Tickets are $14 and proceeds will go to the North Shore Health Project. The Rev. Wendy Fitting, who appears in the film, will introduce it. To view the trailer, visit http://thelovepartofthis.com/?p=home. For more information, visit www.CapeAnnCinema.com.

Travelogues unveiled

Two Cape Ann residents will present their recent travels in a program to be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockport at 4 Cleaves St. in Rockport, on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 4 p.m.

Mary Ann Camp of Rockport, a nurse, will talk about her latest trip to Haiti with Partners in Development. Heidi Wakeman of Gloucester and a Rockport Middle School Spanish teacher was part of a group of 40 educators who visited five cities in the Dominican Republic to learn about such issues as Haitian-Dominican citizenship, union rights and the Fair Trade Zone (as opposed to the Free Trade Zone).

Both speakers will share images and stories.

Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-283-7000 x3445, or gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.