Cadence Collective 2nd Monday Poetry Party


Photos by Paul Christian.

Cadence Collective, founded in 2013 by local poet Sarah Thursday, author of All the Tiny Anchors (Sadie Girl Press, 2014), is a site that features poets from Long Beach and the surrounding area, and reliably turns out stunning poetry and visual work by local artists.

In addition, Thursday edits annual anthologies, bringing Cadence Collective’s carefully curated online presence into an expertly-made physical form. Along with these lively poetry projects, Cadence Collective also runs monthly readings the second Monday of every month at Fox Coffeehouse.

From arrival, Sarah Thursday roamed the room, welcoming and encouraging all in attendance to share their work. Vegan fare and coffee cups in hand, people continued to pack into the cozy room to the extent that we spilled over into a second, necessitating the creation of an ad hoc second seating area. Thursday and her co-host G. Murray Thomas, author of Cows on the Freeway (iUniverse, 2000) and My Kidney Just Arrived (Tebot Bach, 2011), commented on the slew of new faces in the audience.


The night’s featured writers were Keayva Mitchell of The Poetry Lab in Long Beach, and Chad Sweeney, author of Wolf’s Milk (Forklift Books, 2012), Parable of Hide and Seek (Alice James Books, 2010), and Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga Press, 2009) among others. Both read with polish, verve, and jaw-dropping dexterity.

Mitchell took fast hold of her audience with her bodied, lyrical poetry, full of fleshy familial knots. Sweeney followed, with a fluid, confident style of reading. Sweeney’s poems dwelt in a more figurative realm than Mitchell’s, yet were equally evocative.

A spirit of encouragement continued throughout the evening. The readings ranged from new writers still finding their stage legs, to experienced readers fully aware of how to command a crowd. This was not a shy audience in the best way possible, offering enthusiastic praise and support.


Cadence Collective meets the second Monday of the month at Fox Coffeehouse, 437 West Willow Street.

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This story was updated at 2:49PM with the correct address of Fox Coffeehouse. 

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