Hot Springs Village poet, author featured tonight during WNP

Hot Springs Village poet, author and former hotel management professional Dan Costello will be featured at Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee+Tea, 110 Central Ave.

The regular open mic session for all poets, musicians, and storytellers will begin at 6:30 pm today. Costello will begin his feature set at 7:15 pm, followed by another round of open mic. Admission is free and open to all ages. All are welcome.

Born in Maryland with a Navy father, Costello was raised most memorably in Wyoming. “I grew up outside Yellowstone on what used to be a Japanese internment camp. I moved to Arkansas because it was the last place in my almanac that I, or my husband, had already X’d off,” Costello said in a news release . “I am married. Three kids. Four dogs. Three cats. Occasional foster animals. Also some woodpeckers out back.”

Costello worked toward a degree in English Literature, but has learned more lessons from life in general. “I almost had a bachelor’s in English Lit. I was more interested in Anthropology and History, so I gave myself a semester off in New Orleans to decide. Never went back. Hotel management money is way better than high school English teacher money. I work hospitalityservice industry.I’ve opened and operated four diamond hotels from New Orleans to Yellowstone.I’ve also worked in (adults only) stores on Bourbon street and once was the guy who had to open the mail at a Planned Parenthood during the whole ‘we mail you anthrax’ thing. There were goggles involved. … “he said.

As far as being published, Costello says, “Yes. The rest is a bit complicated. I’ve been a published poet since I was 11. I just sort of hid it from most people for a long time. I have pseudonyms and nom de plumes for days.’Zine culture was (and still remains) awesome — I was the guy with a necktie/office job collecting and editing screeds, then sneaking them into the copy room to get 20 copies we would sneak into coffee shops. RESIST!

“The first poem I remember writing is the first one published. I was around 11. It had something to do with the differences between being wild or being free and how you can’t be both,” he said.

Costello describes his writing as “sensual and cynical, profane and reverent. These are the lonely and bruised fruits of my efforts.”

“Joining Wednesday Night Poetry a few months ago has re-lit some huge creativity in him,” the release said.

“Seriously Kai. You are saving a thing I thought dead-ish. Since seeing the WNP sign flashing at the fountain a bit farther down Central, I am on fire. Thank you. I’m not sure if there is a way to do this, but I’d like to donate all proceeds of my book sales (in case anyone cares enough to buy it) as well as whatever is collected in the hat to the Trevor Project in the name of Wednesday Night Poetry.”

“I am thrilled to feature Dan this week, at the start of Pride month. Since joining WNP, he has really become quite the fascinating addition to our lineup of poets. Dan has had such a richly experienced life, and has struggled through many traumas , but it is clear that writing has been a source of release and healing for him.I will never forget his vivid poems about managing a hotel during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the scenes and aftermath which he describes with such haunting and visceral clarity. I know that this feature will be one for the books,” WNP Host Kai Coggin said in the release.

This week marks 1,740 consecutive Wednesdays of open mic poetry in downtown Hot Springs since Feb. 1, 1989. “WNP is the longest-running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country, now recently in partnership with Arkansas Learning Through the Arts, to share in the mission to spread arts awareness in our local community,” the release said.

E-mail [email protected] for more information.

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