Biography of Andrea Pacione
Pacione is a poet and artist who has been writing poetry for nearly two decades and reading her impassioned work throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond since 1995.
She was a founding member of the peripatetic poetry ensemble Omniscient Omnibus from 1995 to 1997 and served as a co-host of the poetry series at Beatnik Hollow Cafe in Wappingers Falls in 1995 and 1996.
Pacione has performed at libraries, cafes and schools all over New York and beyond, including the Bowery and the Nuyorican. More recently, she has read her work at the Florida Public Library, Rutger's University, UpFront Exhibition Space in Port Jervis, the Jubilee Dance Studio in Warwick and at Noble Coffee Roasters in Campbell Hall, New York.
She notes Edgar Allan Poe, Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Blake, e.e. cummings, Charles Bukowski, R.W. Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Jim Morrison, and Maya Angelou among her influences. In her poetry, drawings, and paintings, Pacione’s enthusiasm and originality continue to inspire younger poets seeking their voices.
Omniscient Omnibus was a radical poetry group, centering on public readings throughout the Hudson Valley, NY, and hosting of a poetry reading open mic, at the former Beatnik Hollow, a small tavern once located on Rt.9 in the Village of Wappingers Falls, NY in Duchess County.
Omniscient Omnibus, was founded by Hudson Valley poets: Robert Milby, Nicolas Finkle, Andrea Pacione, and Michael D’Arrigo, late July,1995 in Orange County, NY.
Milby had been active in the Hudson Valley, reading his poetry throughout the region, commencing in March,1995 at the long-standing Poetry on the Loose poetry series, which was located, at the time, at the Orange County Arts Council gallery on West Main St. in Middletown, NY. He met D’Arrigo when they’d worked together as shipping clerks at the USMA Post Exchange, West Point, NY in late Summer,1993, and found that D’Arrigo wrote poetry.
Milby read regularly at the Poetry on the Loose series, and continued to do so upon its relocation to Middletown’s Unitarian Church, on East Main St. in July,1995. Here, on July 15th he met 19 year old Nick Finkle, and 16 year old Andrea Pacione— a burgeoning artist who had written poetry since adolescence. Finkle was a drama major at the local Orange County Community College and like Pacione, was firmly ensconced in artistic expression, favouring a radical impetus.
The three later convened at a local diner, and thus a friendship, however odd, was formed, soon to include D’Arrigo. Milby had been exploring a large number of open mics for poetry and both poetry and music in addition to challenging contemporary ideas of poetry and its public recitation, and with Finkle, Pacione, and D’Arrigo, and various eccentric friends, began to explore additional venues for poetry readings. The group would meet at Middletown’s Forum Diner and the Finkle or Pacione residences in Orange County to plot new adventures and discoveries of often quiet local poetry scenes and how best to invade and impress. The group even read outdoors in woods, back yards, and fields and cars en route to readings.
The 4 friends through numerous meetings and bizarre, spirited, intellectual musings voted on a variety of possible names to dub the touring group, and settled on the most outrageous, pretentious, artistic, and intellectual of all: Omniscient Omnibus(O2) suggested by Nick Finkle. With a name, a high collective IQ and passion, liberally seasoned with originality, youthful angst, and idealism (the oldest member of the Omnibus was 25 and the youngest was a mere 16) , the group approached the owners of Beatnik Hollow Tavern with a proposition to host an eclectic poetry open mic, in addition to their strange travels from home base Middletown, to points typically Northeast. The first night was nerve-wracking, unpredictable, but with the group’s passion, a hand-drawn flyer announcing the group, with caricatures of each member and a bold statement featuring William Wordsworth’s poems and a different famous poet each week followed by an open mic for all poetry expression—the opening night was a success! Milby handled most of the hosting with assistance by Pacione from the first to last nights of the series, while Finkle and D’Arrigo sat at the bar, and in the audience to encourage and challenge participants; to plug future readings and create excitement for the group’s efforts.
The group’s members changed sometime in August of 1996, due to changing tastes, responsibilities and ideas (including a near fatal car accident suffered by Milby in November,1995, en-route to carpooling with group members to Beatnik Hollow) but the impetus of the ensemble remained the same, Omniscient Omnibus—Oxygen for the brain! Bold, new ideas and fearless public performances of spoken word and poetry. The antics of O2, were legendary and attracted new members such as young local poets: Amy Ouzoonian, Joanne Deiudigibus, George Wallace, Jim Vikos, Brandon Hasty, Russell Chaney, and toward the end of the Omniscient Omnibus, Alexandra Zimmerman, for a final group featured reading with Ouzoonian, Chaney, Zimmerman, and the only remaining founding member, Milby, at the much revered Poetry on the Loose, in March,1997 in Middletown, NY—where it was born. Associated with O2 were: poets Skip Leon, Arthur Joseph Kushner, Kerry Bowersox, Mike Reiss, and performance icon and artist Carl Welden. The group attempted a publication twice, but it never materialized.
Each founding member, neo-symbolist, social, and radical poet, Milby, dramatic, eccentric, actor-poet Finkle, idealistic, artist-poet Pacione, gothic, traditionalist, esoteric poet, D’Arrigo, created a new, youthful avant-garde approach to modern poetry and despite expected problems with transportation, scheduling, ideas, the group coalesced from the very onslaught of their passion to bring the Hudson Valley, NY a legendary performance poetry troupe often compared to the 1960’s Merry Pranksters, but certainly never rivaled in the history of Hudson Valley poetry from Poetry on the Loose, Beatnik Hollow, New Paltz’s Creation’s Café, Sleeping Turtle Coffeehouse, Painted Word, to numerous other readings including the Village Inn in Lennox, MA and sites in New Brunswick, NJ, as stated each time upon arriving at the open mics they’d dominated or hosted: “Omniscient Omnibus HAS arrived! ”
- Robert Milby, Hudson Valley Poet.2007.
The coming dawn is empty,
Void as the breast of Spring,
Dismal in Her gift of plenty,
Amorous morning, gloried thing.
Failed to pierce true,
His ferocious arrows,
Though the tittered song of sparrows
spurs me on with hope anew-