Stories & Poetry @ Riley’s Pour House:
A Stellar Finish to 2015

January 3rd, 2016

Riley's Photos blogOnce again, the power of story transformed Riley’s Pour House, changing it from a boisterous music venue to a storytelling forum.

Over the course of two hours on Tuesday, December 29, fourteen storytellers, poets, and spoken word performers proved that the scop still has a place in this media-saturated world.

If you were there, you know what I’m talking about. If you weren’t, I’ll do my best to fill you in (although it will certainly take more than one post to cover the highlights).

The collection of pictures at the top of this post gives a sense of the variety on hand. From top-to-bottom and left-to-right we have The 21st-Century Scop,  Larry Ivkovich, Owen Kilbane, Joe Coluccio, Anna Voelker, Liam Macik, Michael McBurney. Sean Sears, Patrick Connor, Hazel Leroy, Doug Claytor, and Jim Riley (without whom the last 20 months of Story Night never would have been possible).

Anna V compressedAt the end of the night, Anna Voelker (pictured at right) won top honors as the 2015 All-Star Champ for her performance of the poem “Cosmic Curiosity.” Check out the video at the end of this post to see why.

Also featured were a couple of surprise guests–Jack Haygarty and George Dumane–whose debut performances helped round out the evening and proved that on All-Star Night there’s always room for a few more stars.

The event was recorded, leaving me with two hours or audio to be edited and mastered. I’ll post some highlights soon, though it may take a few days, as other projects are vying for my attention. Among them are the new book (which continues to go well) and an upcoming reunion performance with members of The Laughrey Connolly Band (details forthcoming).

I’m also looking forward to sharing more news about Nightmare Cinema, which is due to go into production soon.

Owen Trophy (225x340)In all, 2016 is looking to be an exciting year, but one in which I’ll need to cut back on some projects to allow more time for others. For this reason (as announced at All-Star Night) I’ll be stepping down as MC of Storytelling @ Riley’s for a while. The December installment was my big drop-the-mike event. I wanted to go out on a high note, and the people who turned out to grace the stage and pack the house certainly made that happen.

Story Nights will continue with a slightly new format 2016, with Owen Kilbane taking the reins starting in January. (That’s Owen pictured at left, holding his trophy from 2014’s All-Star Night, where he shared the honors with Stephanie Wytovich.)

The new format for Story Night will have stories starting later in the evening and will feature a broader range of tales, one that will likely highlight the comedic elements of Owen’s performances.

The video below, starring our 2015 All-Star Champ Anna Voelker at the June storytelling event, features a performances of the poem “Cosmic Curiosity”–the same poem she performed last week. I’d like to thank Anna for bringing it back to help us close out the year, and to everyone else who came out to make the past 20 months of Story Night so successful.

Be sure to stop back here for more All-Star Night podcasts and video highlights, as well as news of upcoming events and projects. Until then . . . scop on!

Anna Voelker – “Cosmic Curiosity” from Lawrence Connolly on Vimeo.


  1. This entry was posted on Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 at 4:47 pm and is filed under 21st-Century Scop. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply