Subterranean Poetry Festival 2016: The Word Itself

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The 26th Annual Subterranean Poetry Festival: The Word Itself, curated by Century House Board of Trustees member Cheryl A. Rice, will take place in the Widow Jane Mine as a benefit for The Century House Historical Society at the Snyder Estate. For directions please visit CHHS’s website at

Tickets are $5 at the door. Bring a folding chair. Rain or shine!

Other environmental notes:

-The temperature of the Widow Jane Mine is substantially cooler than the surrounding area. A light jacket is recommended.
-The limestone floors of the Mine can be slippery. Sneakers or other non-skid shoes are strongly recommended.

Poetry organizations from around the Hudson Valley and Northeastern U.S. will include: Albany Poets, Calling All Poets, Post Traumatic Press, Reality Beach, and Voices of Poetry. Legendary New York City poet Janet Hamill and her band will also be featured midway through the afternoon. A strong proponent of the spoken word, Hamill has read widely at such well known venues as The Poetry Project at St. Marks Church, the Bowery Poetry Club, the Knitting Factory, CBGB’s Gallery, the Nuyorican Café, and Patti Smith’s Meltdown Festival in London. Her latest collection of poems, Knock, was recently published by Spuyten Duyvil Press.

The Subterranean Poetry Festival, now in its 26th year, began in the early 1990s and, with a few weather-related exceptions, has continued ever since. As Dietrich Werner, late Board President of the Century House Historical Society, wrote in 2007 “It all started when a group of Rosendale area folks, interested in providing a venue for poets to read and folks to listen and interact with them, formed what was called the Creative Space Co-op in the late 1980s… The Space Co-op eventually lost the space in the knish factory [on Main Street in Rosendale] and in 1991 presented the first series of poetry readings in the Widow Jane Mine.”

The Widow Jane Mine is located within the 32-square-mile seam of limestone between High Falls and Kingston, NY. An example of the “room and pillar” method of mining, the Mine is one of the few in the Rosendale area that is relatively horizontal. Most mines followed the seam of limestone at angles that approached 90 degrees!

Century House Historical Society presents and preserves information about the local cement industry, the related D&H Canal and railroads, Hudson Valley and Rosendale, NY history, geological information, and much more! The site is open 7 days a week, from Sunrise to Sunset, and the Museum is open Sundays from 1-4:00 p.m. from May 10 to Sept. 5. It will be open during the Festival as well.