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Poets Respond to TV at Berl’s Poetry Store

P-rhyme time! Poets pen pieces about ‘Full House’ and ‘Mad Men’

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Roses are red, violets are blue, television can inspire high-brow art, too.

On Sep. 6, Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop in Dumbo will host a night mixing poetry with pop culture, with poets performing verse inspired by reality TV, sitcom laugh tracks, and late-night binge watching. One participating poet has even penned a piece about the now-forgotten time when TV programming actually ended each night.

“When it was the end of television before the next day, when TV would go out — that space,” said Tracie Morris, a lifelong Brooklynite who lives in Carroll Garden. “It is this odd space where you’re looking for something but there is nothing to see.”

Morris said her poem is reminiscent of the limbo after “The Late Late Show,” when the wee hours of the night were filled with static screens or sometimes, nothing at all — at least for a few hours. It was a very lonely time for night owls such as herself, Morris said.

“It used to be a very strange period, especially if you couldn’t sleep,” said Morris. “After that, you’d just be stuck.”

Other poets appearing on the night will focus on specific shows. Leigh Stein will keep it real with poems inspired by “The Bachelorette” and “Real Housewives.” Leah Umansky, who has written a “Mad Men” inspired chapbook titled “Don Dreams and I Dream,” will read a piece based on the hit AMC series. And have mercy — Dan Magers will cut his inspiration out from the ’90s sitcom “Full House.”

And with traditional television steadily losing eyeballs to online streaming services, the static memories of the past may even influence the next generation of poets, Morris said.

“A lot of people are beginning to move away from TV again,” she said. “We might end up going to back to those days where there is less on television.”

Vast Wasteland: Poets Respond to TV at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop [126A Front St. between Pearl and Jay streets in Dumbo, (347) 687–2375, www.berlspoetry.com]. Sept. 6 at 7 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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