Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Parachute Drops Poetry in Coney Island Soon

Saturday, October 13th  doors @ 6:30pm, readings begin @ 7pm.
Sunday, October 14th doors @ 6:30 pm, readings begin @ 7pm.

The New York Aquarium, Alien Stingers Exhibit (after hours)  
Surf Avenue and West 8th Street, Coney Island
Readings are FREE. (Reservations are recommended.)


Saturday, October 13

Tina Chang, Brooklyn's Poet Laureate 
Charles Denson, award winning author of Coney Island Lost and Found
Martin Espada, author of 17 books, most recently the Republic of Poetry. Called the "Latino poet of his generation"
Matthea Harvey, author or Modern Life and a "poetry enchantress"   
Sheila Maldonado, Coney Island native poet and author of One-Bedroom Solo
LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, author TwERK and the album, Television 

Sunday, October 14
Hosted by the illustrious burlesque dancer Angie Pontani

Emily XYZ and Myers Bartlett, celebrating 20 years of performing together!
Charles Denson, award winning author of Coney Island Lost and Found
Joanna Fuhrman, author of Freud in Brooklyn
Tracie Morris, author of Rhyme Scheme
Robert Sullivan, author of Rats, My American Revolution and "a mischievous reporter on the universe"   

Both days: Audio installation of poem by Vito Acconci

Vito Acconci Audio Installation next to the Black-Footed Penguins

Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival is delighted to have an audio installation of Vito Acconci's poem, "Antarctica" both evenings of the festival. A site-specific audio installation of Vito Acconci's poem, "Antarctica", will be situated next to the Black-footed Penguin exhibit in the NY Aquarium. Black-footed Penguins are native to Antarctica as well as many other continents. Listen and experience poetry in a small, intimate outdoor location beside these adorable creatures. A born and raised New Yorker, who began his career as an innovative poet, Acconci, is now also an established architect. His firm, Acconci Studios, was commissioned by the MTA Arts for Transit to design the West 8th street subway station. Their fluid architectural sculpture, "Wave-A-Wall," mirrors the ocean waves and roller coasters. "Wave-A-Wall" graces the subway station right across from the NY Aquarium, where the audio installation will be!

The New York Aquarium, Surf Ave and West 8th Street
Saturday and Sunday October 13th & 14th at 6:30 pm and while the main stage readings are going on. FREE

                                   Photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS
About the Festival

Established in 2009, Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival is the second of a unique literary and performance festival in historic Coney Island. It is a community based festival focusing on Brooklyn and New York writers. This year's festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th at the New York Aquarium. The first festival was a great success, with over 200 people in attendance. In addition to this event, Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival offers year-round writing workshops to the Coney Island community (currently we are working with the YWCA's teen empowerment program) and innovative literary happenings throughout the season.

Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival will feature two evenings of a literary stage and two afternoons of free poetry workshops. The main stage is located in the NY Aquarium's Alien Stingers Exhibit, in front of the Jellyfish! Doors will open at 6:30 and readings will begin at 7pm both nights. A wide array of established and up-and coming Brooklyn based poets and writers will be presented. Highlights included Brooklyn poet Laureate, Tina Chang, Tracie Morris, Martin Espada, Matthea Harvey and a terrific sound installation of a poem by Vito Acconci. In addition to the main stage reading events, there will also be surprise site-specific poetry happenings around Coney Island, which we announce on our site prior to the events.    Since its inception, Coney Island has played host to a magnificent range of theatre, performance, poetry, dance, and literature. Walt Whitman read Shakespeare to the Atlantic Ocean in the 1800's; Cary Grant was a stilt walker at Steeplechase Park; Woody Guthrie strummed his guitar on Mermaid Avenue. 
Khalil reading in 2009
Jibade Khalil Huffman reading at Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival in 2009.
D Nurkse by C
                                                                                                                           Photo ©Charles Denson
  Dennis Nurkse reading at Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival in 2009.    

Coney Island has always had a vivid exchange with writers and its shores have inspired numerous poets over the years. Coney Island's vast literary influences include American luminaries from Walt Whitman to Henry Miller to Muriel Rukeyser. Walt Whitman, an American poetry icon (many say the founder of American poetry) was a frequent visitor of Coney's shores in the 1800's.He said his favorite spots were a rock in Coney Island and a ride on an omnibus. Walt Whitman ran along Coney Island's coast shouting Homer and Shakespeare to the Atlantic surf.      

  Walt Broadside
Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival has embarked on a collaboration with printer and founder of Harsimus Press, Barbara Henry to create limited edition broadsides of Whitman's words on Coney Island. Christoper Fritton of Mohawk Press designed one- of-a kind broadsides commemorating American poet, feminist and activist Muriel Rukeyser's words on Coney Island. Muriel Rukeyser's poetry, "Coney Island, Coney Island, ... Let me see, Let me feel, Let me know what is real. Let me believe." are still relevant to Coney Island today on numerous levels. Such is the nature and longevity of poetry. Both of these broadside posters will be available for purchase the weekend of the festival with proceeds benefiting Parachute's free festival events and year-round educational programs. 

Walt Whitman Visits the Coney Island History Project

The Coney Island History Project will be open special hours October 13th and 14th in conjunction with Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival. Poet, actor, Whitmaniac, John Farrell ( will be reciting Walt Whitman at the Coney Island History Project, Sunday October 14th from 2-4pm. Mr. Farrell's one-man show "Walt Whitman: Time Traveler" premiered last year in Ireland. In New York, he has performed as Whitman at the Brooklyn Book Festival, NYC Poetry Festival and Dixon Place. 

The Coney Island History Project exhibit center will be open on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. View historic artifacts, photographs, maps, ephemera and films of Coney Island's colorful past. Exhibits on view include Abe Feinstein: 50 Years of Coney Island Photography, Inside the Shore Theater: Photographs by Charles Denson and Coney Island  
Bathhouses: A Lost Culture.  

Coney Island History Project, 3059 W 12 St, between Bowery and the Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Saturday and Sunday , October 13 and 14, 1- 5pm. FREE


Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival brings literary and performing arts to the Coney Island neighborhood that aren't otherwise accessible to residents, while also drawing an arts audience to Coney Island from the greater New York area to see exciting new performances. Participating artists will offer workshops, free of charge, to all who would like to attend. Additionally, the festival aims to highlight the history of Coney Island, while simultaneously bringing people to discover what the present Coney Island has to offer. The goal is to create something new and create a bridge over the whole neighborhood-east and west. Festival-goers can come, spend the day, walk around Coney Island in the fall breeze, eat lunch at a local restaurant, ride a landmark ride and enjoy a poetry reading.

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