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Poetry in Motion • Brooklyn Paper

Poetry in Motion

Wordplay: Samantha Thornhill has performed her poems on the Q train and now she’s headed for Fort Greene’s Greenlight bookstore.
Courtesy of Jonathan Weiskopf

A Williamsburg poet has performed everywhere from Africa to Europe — but she’s never had stage-fright the way she did when she gave an impromptu reading on the Q train.

“I was relieved they didn’t throw things at me,” said Thornhill, who will bring her emotionally charged slam poetry to Greenlight Bookstore on April 25.

Thornhill is a part of the fittingly named movement “Poetry in Unexpected Places,” which has brought flowery language to off-the-beaten-path venues like subway trains.

And while a Fort Greene bookstore is a more traditional setting, playing in a real Brooklyn venue has its perks (acoustics notwithstanding).

“Certain places have that thing,” Thornhill said. “I felt it in South Africa, a place where you go to make s— happen, and New York is one of those places, too.”

The Brooklyn poetry scene has energy, but that doesn’t mean this is the best place for aspiring poets, according to Patrick Rosal, who will share the stage with Thornhill as well as acclaimed poet Patricia Smith of “Def Poetry Jam” fame.

“There was a time when New York wasn’t so precious – it could really accommodate its outsiders,” Rosal said. “If you’re a freak artist without a lot of dough, it’s impossible for you.”

They have different views of their hometown, but they’ve got a similar taste in homes.

By chance, the two poets ended up sharing a single Williamsburg room, when Thornhill subleased her apartment to Rosal while she went abroad to Europe.

“Poets I admire and have shared my space,” said Thornhill.

“It’s an honor for me to be sharing the stage with them.”

Patricia Smith, Patrick Rosal, and Samantha Thornhill at Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St., (718) 246-0200] April 25, 7:30 PM. Visit www.greenlightbookstore.com

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