With over four decades of writing and travel experience he is uniquely suited as our curator and we are lucky to have him! You can read more of his work at www.jamesruggia.com
"Backroom Broadsides is"
"I've performed at open mics since the mid-nineties. I’ve seen a lot of open mic poetry nights in those 20+ years, and I can say with certainty that Backroom Broadsides is the best open mic poetry night Hudson County has seen in a long, long while. Whether you're looking to try out new work or sharpen your delivery on your classic spoken word pieces, if you’re serious about poetry, then you need to be at the Fox and Crow on the first Tuesday of every month."
“My absolute favorite stop in my 2018 reading tour in support of The Invisible Keys: New and Selected Poems,was my return to Jersey City for my old friend James Ruggia’s superb reading series at the Fox and Crow after a 30 year absence. The reading featured Jim Cohn and me, with sixteen other poets in the open mic portion of the show; this group featured old friends such as Dave Roskos, Andy Clausen, Eliot Katz, Bertha Sanchez Bello, Pamela Twining, and James Ruggia himself, but also introduced me to John de Souza’s superb work and a fine group of younger poets. Altogether, we presented a massive four hour reading to a full house in the Parlour Room, with the most attentive and enthusiastic audience of the entire year. The venue remains as a particularly favorite memory from last year’s performances.”
“Backroom Broadsides is one of the most satisfying reading series in the metro area. Always a choice selection of featured readers performing for a supportive and friendly audience in the comfortable back room of a bar with good food and drinks. Host and 21st century raconteur James Ruggia animates the proceedings with his informed intros and his own brilliant poems. An open reading with a stable of talented practitioners precedes the features. It’s an evening that enriches the intellect, sparks the senses, plus it’s fun. Get thee hence."
“I attend and feature at many literary and poetry readings every week, in New York City and in New Jersey, and beyond, and I have determined that Backroom Broadsides at Fox & Crow in Jersey City is one of the best of all, within the top two. Not only are the features consistently excellent, but the open mic each month brings out a diverse and talented group of writers and performers of all ages. The venue provides a back room, hence the name of the series, with ample seating, appreciative audiences, and delicious food and drink". — John J. Trause, librarian, poet, scholar, and author of Why Sing? (Sensitive Skin Press, 2017).
"Poetry is not just for entertainment or philosophical advice. Historically it has been a brilliant tool for bringing change to society. It has supplied the words of inspiration for the Spirit. Through the ages It has been heard and sometimes heeded. As a nation's poets are regarded so is the state of that nation. The Back Room series presents poets of knowledge, skill & illumination. It is a wonderful place to perform or listen to verse. Poets from the NewJersey-New York scenes make the open sign-up portion exciting and relevant. Pamela Twining and I have read/performed there and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. We also heard David Cope, Jim Cohn,Jim Ruggia many other dynamic poets.The space the organizers are top notch."
"Backrooms Broadsides is my favorite reading series, & James Ruggia my favorite host. His loving, admiring introductions make for a warm atmosphere, & his decades of involvement in the New York/New Jersey poetry world mean he attracts a lot of excellent poets from among his friends & colleagues to make the trek out to Jersey City."