Out & About: American Blasphemies at the Barrel Factory

Last Saturday, May 6, poet Megan Kemple celebrated the release of her chapbook American Blasphemies with a fully staged interpretation of the book in the expansive event space at the Barrel Factory. The show featured poets Misty Khan-Becerra, Jennifer Skelton, Skyler Jaye Rutkowski, Megan Specksgoor, and Eve Williams reading their respective work, followed by a reading of American Blasphemies by Megan and Maura Nolan. The book’s words set the soundtrack for dancers Anna Bystran, Jennifer Skelton, Kelsey Anderson, and the troupe Femme Noire, as did singer Taylor Santomauro, whose voice created interludes between poems.

“Dance is the physical form of poetry, and I have always done both, plus I have a B.F.A. in theatre, so this project was really me using all parts of myself to create a show from the ground up,” Megan said of the show. “I have written plays before, but this is the first time I have presented myself fully without the mask of fiction. The show is really just an exercise in complete honesty in both body and word.”

Megan was the runner-up to represent Buffalo at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2017, recently qualified for Pure Ink Poetry‘s 2017 Nationals Team, toured New York state and Toronto last year with the Whistle Stop Tour, and recently opened for Neil Hilborn. — KMM