By Jasmine Willis
DANSVILLE — The culture of city life is captivating the historic downtown with music, poetry, and some Bubble Tea.
Long Island residents, George and Denise Guida are the new owners of Macfadden Coffee Co on 211 Main Street. The Guida’s have been part of the Dansville community for years, and plan on being full-term by July.
Macfadden Coffee Co. reopened its doors on Nov. 30 with a warm welcome. The old traditional favorites are still available at the café. The newest involve vegan and gluten free options. Denise has a brand-new waffle maker that makes fluffy Belgium Waffles on Saturdays. She makes fresh treats like rum cake, muffins, brownies, and spinach and feta puffs. For certain events she will have local wines and beer.
On Jan. 17 the café came alive with the first Performing Arts Night. Joseph Fasano, of Manhattan, shared some of his latest poems and songs with the community. Fasano is a poet, songwriter, and novelist. Fasano read from his latest book “The Crossing” and sang some of his original songs.
George Guida and Fasano have known each other in the poet community for a few years. Guida read some of his latest poems at the event too.
Fasano described poems and songwriting as a different process. He began them both several years ago.
“Songs are a different form of expression. They are a different art form. There is something you can express in a song that is not found in a poem,” he said. “Poetry has its own language. I find it has its own rhythm and music. When I finish my poems, they have their own tone. There is some eternal music found in poetry.”
Fasano said poetry choses you and not the other way around.
“Once you start writing poetry there is no stopping,” he said. “I have been writing most of my life. I have been published since my early 20s.”
Fasano won the Rattle Prize in California for “Mahler in NY” in 2008. He won the Cider Press Book Review Award for “Fugue for Other Hands” in 2013.
Fasano has written his first fiction novel “The Dark Heart of Every Wild Thing” which will come out July 28. It is a story about emotional and physical survival. He praises his English publishers, Platypus Press, for all of their support over this endeavor. Fasano will be doing a major book tour in August. Platypus Press is known for the “Wildness Journal” which is an online literary arts journal. Fasano teaches at Columbia University and Manhattanville College.
“The most inspirational place I have ever been so far is Granada, Spain. One of my favorite poets, Lorca, was from there. I gave a reading there once and was able to meet his niece. It was amazing to walk where he walked. The people and sights there are wonderful,” he said. “I really love to travel. I have traveled all over America and several parts of Europe. I still want to go to the South of France.”
“Poetry opens the door for others. I feel like my poems and songs are frames around a mystery for the reader or listener to gaze deeply into,” Fasano continued. “We are in a diverse land. I feel like there are many different Americas as I travel around this country. I think my southern readers connect more strongly to my work.”
Fasano’s music is an American Blues and Roots type art form. You can listen to him on Youtube.
Guida said he is pleased with the first performance night. They are welcomed into the community with open arms. The traditional foods and drinks are still at the café. Guida said they will be serving soups, sandwiches, breakfast, and deserts.
“We hope to be able to do more events like this one and be open at nights,” he said. “We are open to all kinds of performance events. We are open to civic, book, and school groups meeting here. We hope to have wedding and baby showers here.”
Guida said he and his wife want to serve the community in many different ways at the café.
Denise said she is happy to be part of the community in this way.
“We want to be part of the community, and we have a lot of ideas to bring to Dansville. People have been very nice and welcoming so far. They really missed having this spot and comfortable atmosphere,” she said.
Other performances included; George Guida, Luna Lambing, Abby Morsch, Cindy Blair, Sky Hinrich, and Katie Morsch and Family.
In March the Guida’s plan on having another Performing Arts Night with Gerry LaFemina as the guest poet.
Fasano has written four books of poems “Fugue for Other Hands”, “Inheritance”, “Vincent” and “The Crossing” available where books are sold. His music can be heard live on Youtube.
You can follow him on Twitter at Joseph_Fasano_ or visit his website at http://josephfasano.net for more information.
Macfadden Coffee Co is located at 211 Main Street They are open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. They are closed Sunday. They can be reached at 585-204-4230.