Smiths Tavern, the poets' corner...
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Smith's Tavern, poets' corner, home of the laureate

"Any Wednesday afternoon you will find poets from the famed Third Saturday Poesy Café gathered to talk about anything" ...


Smith's Tavern, poets' corner, music and relaxation for all


The Poets' Corner's own Voorheesville native, Dennis Sullivan

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The Poets’ Corner at Smith’ s Tavern

There are three great Poets’ Corners in the world: that located in the South Transept of Westminster Abbey, London; the chiseled stones at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York City; and the corner-that-is-no-corner in Smith’s Tavern, Voorheesville, New York.

Any Wednesday afternoon you will find poets from the famed Third Saturday Poesy Café gathered to talk about anything from Marianne Moore to recent cancer tests. And every other Thursday night, after the meeting of Albany regional poets at the Voorheesville Public Library, a host of bards head to the POETS’ CORNER, so marked, to celebrate the Muse and toast the poet of the month whose work hangs upon the wall. Like we like to say: we go from Shakespeare to cold beer.

And toward the end of every April, Smitty’s hosts the Smith Tavern’s Poet Laureate Contest held in the back room up the stairs. To this august event gather some of the best poets in the Capital Region and beyond come to have their best work assessed by a panel of poet judges. As Homer and Hesiod competed in ancient days.

Atop a hutch near the bar sits a tall bronze statue of Billy Shakespeare—Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman were not available in appropriate sizes—with the names of the contest’s Laureate, Second Place finisher, and Honorable Mention poet engraved. At times The Bard is passed around the bar for review by Smitty’s patrons who can be found at times arguing over the etymology of words like “rill.”

If you've got work to read before your peers and wish to enter the contest—or just want to stop by and see good poets read fine work—contact Dennis Sullivan dsullivan6@nycap.rr.com for annual deadlines and rules. Participation is limited to 25. And, if you have a poem you would like to submit to become Poet of the Month, contact Dennis for the appropriate specs.

The POETS' CORNER is for all poets, which means everyone, for are we not all poets at heart? If you come in for a pizza and pitcher of beer and would like to sit a spell and dream what would it be like to be the next Laureate, pull up a chair and Carol, Audrey, Millette, Kathy, Shelley, or Gabby will be ready to help you dream.

By the way, there are cash prizes for the winners of the contest offered by Jon and John. You can see why conviviality over food and drink is what Smitty’s is known for whether you show up with your poems or not.

Smitty’s is the future alive in days gone by—now!

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