Frank Messina

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Frank Messina: "Some of the greatest poetry has been born out of failure and the depths of adversity in the human experience."

Frank Messina (born c. 1968) is an American poet, author and performance artist.

Among his four published works, Messina is the author of "Full Count: The Book of Mets Poetry", a 2009 work that focused on baseball fanaticism.[1] His 2002 book, Disorderly Conduct, focused on reactions to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and is based on his experience as a volunteer for three days at Liberty State Park assisting rescue workers at Ground Zero.[2] He has performed on stage with musicians such as members of Phish, the Spin Doctors and Sun Ra Arkestra and composer David Amram.[3] On September 11, 2011, Messina performed his poem, "Bicycle", at Symphony Space in New York City to mark the tenth anniversary of the attacks, and was accompanied by Amram on piano.[4]

Messina, a die-hard fan and season ticket holder of the New York Mets, attends games wearing a replica team jersey emblazoned with The Poet on the back.[5] He has performed his poetry at Shea Stadium, though he has no official role with the team. A recital of his poem Leaping Gazelle, a tribute to the athletic abilities of outfielder Endy Chávez, was recorded on Shea's outfield grass in June 2007. Messina's poetry has been featured on several occasions on Mets Weekly, shown on SportsNet New York and read on the air on WFAN, a New York-area sports radio station.[6] In August 2006, SportsNet New York filmed Messina at Shea and at several of his performances around New York City, which were broadcast in segments later that year.[7] Fans refer to him as "The Mets Poet".[8]

Messina for years has brought poetry to large audiences and it's not uncommon for him to be seen reading his work in theaters, stadiums and at public forums. [9]

Messina grew up in Norwood, New Jersey, with a father who had been a fan of the New York Giants. Several members of the New York Yankees resided in Norwood during Messina's youth — including Ron Guidry, Catfish Hunter and Graig Nettles — and he played Little League Baseball with some of their sons.[10] He attended Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan and is an alumnus of St. Thomas Aquinas College.[11] He is currently a resident of Jersey City.[10]

Messina was awarded the Woolrich Poetry Award and Fellowship of Columbia University in 1993, and was nominated for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award in 1995.[12][13] In 2013, his original hand-written journal of 9/11-related poetry was accessioned into the permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arts Desk, PBS Newshour. "Weekly Poems: a Double From the 'Mets Poet'", November 2, 2009
  2. ^ Beckerman, Jim. "Finding poetry amid tragedy", The Record (Bergen County), July 14, 2002. Accessed October 7, 2007.
  3. ^ University of Central Florida. "'Mets Poet' to Perform Poetry Reading in UCF's Library", April 6, 2011
  4. ^ Kozinn, Allan. "MUSIC IN REVIEW; New York Chamber Music Festival", The New York Times, September 12, 2011
  5. ^ The Poet gets happy. Accessed October 7, 2007.
  6. ^ Kilgannon, Corey. "A Poet of the Mets Versifies of Gloom", The New York Times, September 29, 2007. Accessed October 7, 2007.
  7. ^ Messina / Mets and Everything Poetry!, SportsNet New York. Accessed October 12, 2007.
  8. ^ "Frank Messina @ Slugger Museum. Archived 2013-01-28 at, Leo Weekly Tuesday, July 14, 2009
  9. ^ Redazione "Frank Messina si racconta", Ravello Magazine, February 27, 2014
  10. ^ a b Beckerman, Jim. "Beckerman: Putting the worst in verse will be tough for him", The Record (Bergen County), October 7, 2007. Accessed October 7, 2007.
  11. ^ a b Limnios, Michalis. "New York poet Frank Messina talks about David Amram, Gil Scott-Heron, and his Spoke n' Roll memories", Keeping the Blues Alive, February 7, 2013
  12. ^ Frank Messina biography, Billboard (magazine). Accessed October 11, 2007.
  13. ^ Frank Messina Biography, Accessed October 11, 2007.

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