Altmann’s In The House

Emmy award-winning actress Patricia Clarkson with the Poet and Playwright Howard Altmann at a cocktail reception hosted by Tom Healy to celebrate "In This House", Altmann’s second book of poetry published by Turtle Point Press. March 24, 2010, New York City

Last Wednesday night in one of the most stylish apartments on New York’s lower Fifth Avenue, the poet and playwright Howard Altmann’s second book of poems “In This House” was celebrated with a cocktail party hosted by Tom Healy. A few nights earlier the Emmy award-winning actress Patricia Clarkson read a selection of Altmann’s poems at Barnes & Noble and one guest at Healy’s soiree gushed that her reading was ‘warm from the soul and faithful to its fires,’ a line he later told me was quoted from the 18th century English poet, Alexander Pope. Prodded by guests to read from his new work, Altmann relented and after a witty account of how the book came to be published he opened it and read ‘Stones’

I would like to be a stone.
By the side of a road.
On a roadless island.
Of no interest to man.
Of no curiosity to animals.
Invisible to birds.
I would like to step out of my stone.
And be another stone.
On the other side of the road.
Prized by man.
Of solace to animals.
A spot for birds.
And on my stone
both stones, please.

All I could say was eat your heart out Alexander Pope. Altmann remained completely at ease among friends, fellow poets and a few newcomers to his work like the art world insider, Bettina Prentice, who was excited to discover that Altmann taught poetry at Bayview Women’s Prison in Manhattan. She discussed her own mission to empower women through Coalition for the Homeless’ First Step, a job training program for homeless and low income women that boasts a 75% success rate. Prentice is slated to co-host the 16th Annual Women Mean Business Luncheon on April 8th at the Pierre Hotel, a First Step fundraising event. Acclaimed author and nationally syndicated-columnist Arianna Huffington is this year’s keynote speaker. For further information and tickets visit: Howard Altmann’s “In This House” is published by Turtle Point Press and available at Barnes & Noble and online at:

Bettina Prentice with the celebrated New York painter, Duncan Hannah