Poetically Speaking with Kalli

poeticallyspeaking1Kalliopi Mathios is a librarian and poet. She curates Blackmail Series, a monthly literary event at Mellow Pages Library, and is the Executive Editor of CCM White Rabbit, a new children’s indie imprint. Follow her on Twitter @kalliopiiiii.

Kalli is here today to talk about her experiences curating a poetry series.


WHO: My name is Kalliopi Mathios.  I’m a poet, librarian, editor, relaxation enthusiast, and Taurus.  I started Blackmail last year, and I curate each reading by inviting poets, writers, and artists to share their work.  I tend to find authors through social media, book reviews, and at reading events.  It helps to be an avid reader and librarian, so I feel as though I have a pulse on what people are reading, and prefer to hear at readings.  Previous readers include Niina Pollari, Alina Gregorian, Edward Shenk, Eric Nelson, Matt Nelson, Jacob Perkins, Chris Hosea, Mattie Hillock, Ben Fama, Bunny Rogers, Michael Hessel-Mial, Carla Gannis, Hallie Newton, Sophia Le Fraga, Monica McClure, Justin Petropoulos, Anna Kamerer, and others.  For a full roster of readers, visit our Facebook page.

WHAT: a reading event. each reader has about 10-15 minutes to perform.  Some writers stand and read, some sit, some bring a cello accompanist, some read from a phone, some read from printed pages, some turn off the lights, some bring a projector and show visualizations, some bring baked goods, some play music from a computer, some bring books to sell. Our audience is made up of former readers, friends, family, and lit lovers.  Blackmail has hosted readers at both Popsickle and the New York City Poetry Festival.

WHEN: Once a month, but has also been bi-monthly when I need more time to select readers.

WHERE: Mellow Pages Library is an independent library located at 56 Bogart in Bushwick, Brooklyn.  It’s a great place to find titles from indie presses and smaller publishing houses.  A haven for those who strictly read independent press work, or have a vested interest in small house presses, zines, and chapbooks. Mellow Pages, led by Matt Nelson and Jacob Perkins, has built one of the most inclusive, welcoming writing communities I’ve had the pleasure to experience firsthand.

WHY:  A lot of people ask me how and why I named the series Blackmail.  It’s a tongue and cheek reference to how I often felt blackmailed into performing, or that in order to perform I’d have to do a favor for someone; I set out to create a series that isn’t exclusive or elite, simply a place for those who love to share and participate in a creative community of like-minded lovely human beings.

Join us for our next event on February 17th at 7:30pm, featuring Chloe Rossetti, Lora Li, Corley Miller, and Jacob Steinberg.

Thank you to Kalli for this great post!

If you want to find out more about Kalli, be sure to look her up on Twitter or check out her website: http://kalliopimathios.com

You can find out more about Blackmail here: https://www.facebook.com/blackmail.series