Bardroom co-founder, David Hill, sent word to us that he is collaborating with Hungarian conductor, Gregory Vajda, on a work entitled ‘Gulliver in Faremido’. Gregory Vajda is currently conducting the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. Our esteemed colleague, David Hill wrote the text, while actor David Loftus serves as narrator. Click for further details and an interview. Congratulations, David!

We’re not so organized as to actually bring a camera, which is why the Bardroom photo archive is hit and miss. This time around, singer / songwriter / guitarist Rachel Hammond was able to help out. Or rather, her boyfriend / handler / photographer / support team. Thank you, Balázs!

Marisa Beahm Klein pleased us with poetry.

Rachel Hammond soothed us with song.

Aubrey Ramage-Lay marched us toward the gates of Hell.

Arlo took an open mic slot and rattled off three poems from memory. Just like that.

Bardroom hosts, Kálmán Faragó and Steven Carlson, waxed eloquent.

A good time was had by all last night at the Bardroom. Congratulations to Arlo from Massachusetts for his winning entry in the evenings poetry competition. Just goes to show that humor is always a crowd pleaser:

When I felt his Santa claws,

grabbing at my Xmas balls;

Of my eggnog I took a sip,

and crossed him off my Xmas list

Marisa Beahm KleinMarisa Beahm Klein has been writing poetry since elementary school when she released her first book of ‘pomes.’ Since then, she’s improved her spelling and has continued to explore the medium, tackling themes such as religion and travel through imagist pieces. Marisa grew up in Colorado and attended the University of Colorado-Boulder where she hosted weekly open-mics and competed for her school’s slam poetry team. After she earned a degree in journalism and cut her teeth as a daily news reporter, she moved to Budapest with her husband and continues to work as a journalist. Marisa will be reading selected poems her recently-published poetry collection, Opened Aperture.

1. What was your first (poem / piece of writing), and how bad was it?

“It was a poem written for an elementary school exercise, and it was pretty atrocious. Of course it contained the most rudimentary rhymes –  ‘there was a dog named bog that got lost in the fog …’ –  that only a Dr. Suess or Shel Silverstein could pull off with any grace. But, given that I composed it at the age of eight, I give myself some credit.”

2. What’s the last thing you read that made your hair stand up on end?

“‘What Big Girls Are Made Of’ by Marge Piercy. This whole poetry collection evokes modern feminism in a startlingly brave, sharp way. She can tackle any subject – from sexual harassment and religion to a simple butterfly – in an accessible way that’s both poignant and wry. I am totally smitten with her.”

3. What’s the last piece of literature that made you cry?

“Technically, it wasn’t literature since it’s a spoken-word poem, but it was Andrea Gibson’s ‘Say Yes.’ This Colorado poet is one of the most talented performers I’ve ever seen live, and this is a hugely passionate poem – it provokes the inspired-with-goose bumps kind of tears.”

4. What’s the worst thing about writing a book?
“Knowing when it’s finished. I could edit my writing forever, so I have to call a moratorium on tweaking and finally call it a day.”

5. Does poetry matter anymore?

“Since I am not a nihilist, I have to say yes. Does any writer say no to this?”

Aubrey Ramage-LayAubrey Ramage-Lay is a graduate of the Eugene Lang College of the New School University. He has also attended many other excellent universities such as University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Massachusetts College of Art. Currently he is making fine art as well as writing and exploring life around the globe. He currently resides in Budapest, Hungary.

Aubrey’s first book, Walking as Saints, was published in 2009. The book is about the chains of perfection; how free will is impossible if you cannot make the wrong choices. It is about Lucifer’s struggle to break free of the perfection of God, from the inevitability of the Plan. The book also ask the question which came first, the Planner or the Plan.

1. Are you currently working on anything, and why’s it taking so long?

“I am currently writing a novel about a pair of foreigners who come to Budapest and have their identities broken down and rebuilt. It is about how travel changes you. It is taking so long because I am so lazy.”

2. Do you actually have moments of inspiration or is writing just a process of slogging day in and day out?

“I am occasionally inspired to write but mostly it is just a question of slogging, again, I am very lazy.”

3. What’s the last thing you read that made your hair stand up on end?

“No question, it was Haunting by Chuck Palahunik. Hair raising for any writer I would think.  It’s a ghost story about the creative process!”

4. What would you have been if you hadn’t become a writer?

“I am also an artist so I guess that’s what I would be doing, I have also done just about every job anyone has ever thought of. I never want to work in an office again that’s for sure though.”

5. What’s the worst thing about writing a book?

“All the typing.”

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