Monday, November 26, 2007

Poets in Port, September 26, 2008

Poets in Port will feature Doug Swezey, Kate Kelly, and Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan reading the poetry of Jean Schmidt aka Grace Darling aka fairscape aka Jean Stainback at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 26, 2008 at Caffé Portofino, 249 Main St., Northport, opposite the theatre. Also Turtlehead will sing some songs she and Jean wrote. There will also be an Open Reading — the audience is encouraged to bring their poems and participate. For more information, contact Steven Schmidt.

Jean Schmidt was a Registered Nurse, a graduate of Queens Hospital School of Nursing. Most of her career was at Central General Hospital (now Plainview Hospital). She was a long time member of the Northport Chorale. She described herself as "a full-time poet and a part-time human being". She participated in the Long Island Poetry Collective Peer Workshop and, as Grace Darling, in Island Songwriters' Showcase. (Songs co-written with Turtlehead: Wandering Days and When We Dance)

When the Paris Cafe in Huntington went out of business, she hosted the remaining scheduled featured readers in her home under the name Fairscape [anagram]. She helped George Wallace with the Poetry Barn for a couple of years and booked the musicians. She helped with Sundays at Seven at the Northport Historical Society, where she hosted Guitar Goddesses and organized the Real and/or Surreal immediate magazine assembly. She also organized a series of readings and workshops at the Northport Library.
She had poems published, as Grace Darling, in American Atheist, Aphrodite Gone Berserk, The Aurorean, Black Cross, Lucid Moon, Mediphors, North Shore Women's Newspaper, Poetalk, and Poetyr.
Jean died of cervical cancer on May 31, 2007. Don't delay your checkups because you're taking care of other people.
More about her life can be seen on
Some of her poems can be seen on these blogs:
fairsCaPe, Evil Influences, and Poerotica.

From Jean's introduction to her reading at Peacesmiths Coffee House:

Jean Schmidt is a poet who believes there is a poet within each of us.
She is cursed with nearly unlimited patience and the ability to see problems from more than one point of view.
This makes it difficult for her to identify herself with any
specific isms or ists.
It also makes her dizzy at times.
Occasionally she is brave enough to write.
Sometimes she is bold enough to read.

above water

my ideas
are flat rocks
which I skip
across the sea
of your mind
as if your attention
alone is what is needed
to keep them visible

a lack of interest
on your part
is all that is necessary
for them to sink


I am a virtual reality

—my eyes the colour
of storm clouds
against a clear blue
Autumn sky

my hair — long — pale
begs stylists
for a good cut
—grain ready for harvest

as my time here
is to be short
and my life
I lay very small claim
to this very large planet

my atoms
scatter back
to the universe
outside my skin

when I shed
this crusty membrane
I will rejoin
all that I was

all that ever was


Blogger Cheshire Cat said...

Steve: I'm so terribly sorry to hear about Jean. My sincerest and deepest sympathies for your and your sons' loss. May the memories of happier times sustain you all.

Sunday, December 30, 2007 5:45:00 PM  

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