Today the monthly Street Beat reading is celebrating their twelfth anniversary with features by Jonathan Blake and Bill O’Connell. Featured poets are always preceded by an open mic and a break to enjoy homemade baked goods and coffee.WCPA Headquarters at Vasa Hall (1 Ekman Street, 1st Floor Performance Space, Worcester) 7:oopm.
I remember when the reading was bitty and took place in the front of CC Lowell – do you? Anne Marie Lucci started this baby up and kept it going, always keeping an inviting space, and always a safe place to land. Join us today at the reading, and help make merry!
Street Beat Salutes 12th Anniversary
by Taylor Nunez
Story Created: Jul 03, Story Updated: Jul 03
Call it a poet’s haven. Since its inception 12 years ago, Street Beat has welcomed poets of all ages with promised readings from seasoned poets and open mic for the brave souls willing to take the floor and maybe give new material a whirl. Celebrating its 12th anniversary, founder Anne Marie Lucci will be hosting a special Street Beat 12th Anniversary Poetry Event, featuring teachers and friends, Jonathan Blake and Bill O’Connell.
Lucci, a published poet herself in journals such as The Syracuse Review and Worcester Magazine, was working as a publicist for Donna and Dave Vayo of the Highland Artist Group gallery when an opportunity took her by surprise. “Donna said, ‘I want to have a fun gallery with poetry readings.’ When she asked me to think of how to run it, I didn’t think of hosting it myself—I was going to refer her to Eve Rifkah who was already hosting the Poetry Oasis, a very successful venue,” explains Lucci.
It was the confidence that the Vayos instilled within the poet in Lucci that encouraged her to pursue the scene beyond her usual rounds at other venues and poetry events. Street Beat’s name came naturally to Lucci as she saw a way to pay homage to her Highland Street home of over a decade. The creation that came from this befalling taught Lucci a lesson, “The message I take from running Street Beat is that opportunities to do good, to make a difference, can sometimes be right in front of your face, and you don’t know it.”
Street Beat is among dozens of poetry associations in the continuously growing arts scene in Worcester, and for years, Lucci routinely made her rounds from venue to venue. “My schedule centered firstly on the poetry events—the old Java Hut, the Poets Parlor, the Poetry Oasis—all of them vibrant and emerging into their own.” As Lucci felt pulled in different directions and a compulsion for full-time employment, her schedule became less flexible and her journeys around the city slowed.
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