The Cleave Poetry Webzine [ISSN: 1758-9223]

Parachute: The Coney Island Performance Festival

In announcement on August 12, 2009 at 9:43 pm

First Annual Literary and Performance Festival

September 12th and 13th 2009

Free and Open to One and All

Two Days of poetry, prose, spoken word, performance and jelly fish in Coney Island

Free for one & all

Saturday September 12th, @ 6:30pm

Sunday September 13th@ 6:30pm

At the New York Aquarium

Alien Stingers Exhibit (after hours)

In Coney Island

Surf Avenue at West 8th Street

By Subway:

F, Q to West 8th Street stop

F, Q, N, D to Stillwell Avenue stop



Hosted by visual artist and performer, Africasso

Cara Benson

Charles Denson, author of Coney Island: Lost and Found

Jibade Khalil Huffman, author of 19 Names for our Band

Dennis Nurkse, former Brooklyn Poet Laureate

Akilah Oliver

Patricia Spears Jones


Hosted by the illustrious burlesque dancer, Angie Pontani (a.k.a. Miss Cyclone)

Edmund Berrigan, poet and member of the band, I Feel Tractor

Michael Cirelli, poet and founder of Urban Word

Eileen Myles, poet, author, ran for president as a write-in candidate.

Edwin Torres

John Ventimiglia (“Artie Bucco” from the Sopranos) reading Henry Miller’s words on Coney Island

Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival is the first of an annual literary and performance festival in historic Coney Island. It is a community based festival focusing on Brooklyn artists. The Coney Island Performance Festival takes place the second weekend in September—Saturday and Sunday, September 12th and 13th.

Since its inception, Coney Island has played host to a magnificent array of theatre, performance, poetry, dance, and literature. A naked Walt Whitman read Shakespeare to the Atlantic Ocean; Cary Grant was a stilt walker at Steeplechase Park; Woody Guthrie strummed his guitar on Mermaid Avenue; Bread and Puppet Theatre was in residence in the 1970’s and Coney Island USA has been a theatrical presence and Coney Island fixture for nearly thirty years.

The essential aspects to the Coney Island Performance Festival are a literary and performance stage, and an afternoon of free poetry workshops held at the Coney Island branch of the New York Public Library led by artists participating in the festival.  The literary stage will be located in the Aquarium, in front of the jelly fish tank.  Readings will begin at 6:30pm both nights and feature a wide array of established and up-and-coming Brooklyn based poets and writers. Highlights include performance poet, Patricia Spears Jones, John Ventimiglia from the Sopranos reading Henry Miller, post-punk poet Eileen Myles and the former Brooklyn Poet Laureate, Dennis Nurkse.

Saturday evening’s reading will be hosted by the legendary local artist, Africasso. Sunday evening’s reading will be hosted by the illustrious burlesque performer, Angie Pontani (a.k.a. Miss Cyclone.) A festival program with a map will highlight local history and architecture and draw people to local businesses.

Free poetry workshops Saturday, September 12th will be led by Urban Word, Patricia Spears Jones and Cara Benson at the Coney Island Public Library on Mermaid

Avenue and 19th Street.


Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival brings literary and theatre 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 productions. 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, see a theatre piece, eat lunch at a local restaurant, ride the Cyclone and enjoy a poetry reading.


The New York Aquarium

Coney Island Public Library (ready in late August)

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