Gretl Claggett - Tuesday 25th May

On Tuesday 25th May we have an open mic evening at The Punter, headlined by featured guest poet Gretl Claggett. Doors open 7.30; arrive before readings start at 8pm if you want to sign up for a 2-minute open mic slot.

Gretl Claggett is originally from Hannibal, Missouri. She holds an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, an MFA in nonfiction from Goucher College, and an MFA in theater from Western Illinois University. After an acting career On- and Off-Broadway, then a stint as a corporate video/show producer, she worked for a decade as an account executive at an incentive-marketing agency. Her poetry and prose have appeared in The Atlanta Review, BigCityLit, The Greensboro Review, Heliotrope, Lumina, New Millennium Writings, Mangrove, Rattapallax and The Same, and have been anthologized in Chance of a Ghost, Helicon Nine Editions, 2005, and Submerged: Tales from the Basin, StepSister Press, 2008. She is a 2008 Pushcart Prize nominee.

"Searing stuff. The poet's people are identified at what seem defining times of their lives. The poems have huge compulsive moments, and are real page-turners. The reader has to know what happens next in these vivid dramas." – Robert Minhinnick


Often you’ll see a solitary shoe
in an alley. Sometimes, a solitary
man—there’s seldom proof
he’s connected to that shoe.
A rye seed in his tooth,
he says: “There’s nothing
out there.” You notice a stain
on his shirt. He keeps his head
down. Like you, he’s no stranger
to the loneliest road, the road
Christ chose: its pavement cracked,
a whorehouse on every corner.
“Does it lead to the desert?” “It’s
all desert,” he replies. You ask
his name. “Dwight.” He asks
yours. For a moment, you don’t
remember: “There’s nothing
in here.” You are the solitary
shoe, the alley, the shirt stain,
the cracked pavement, the whore-
house, the desert, yes, you are the head
down, the Christ, the rye seed
stuck in His tooth.

Gretl Claggett