Saturday, September 23, 2006

“Lisa Locke: I’m All About The Lyrics.”

Doug Holder

Lisa Locke is a singer/songwriter who is all about listening to the music, but just as importantly the words. Locke, who is also a poet, has a new music CD out “In It For The Drama,” and has been anointed the new head of “The Somerville News Poetry and Reading Series” to be held at Porter Square Books in Porter Square. Locke feels the comparatively staid atmosphere of a bookstore would be a preferable venue to the often noisy bars and coffeehouses. Locke, who plans to move the series in November (first Sunday 3PM), told the News: “The types of people who walk in a bookstore are the kind who will listen closely to the words.” Locke wants to create a family atmosphere, with a decided sense of community.

Locke, who works as a financial aid officer at Lesley University, had wanted to play the guitar for a long time. After graduating from Swarthmore College she joined the Peace Corp, and did a stint in Eastern Russia. Locke said she was inspired by the culture she found there. Her job was to teach English to young people. Many of her students were asked to read poetry and sing songs in English at local venues. This inspired Locke to learn the guitar to help the kids hone their English and songwriting talents.

Since coming back to the States, Locke has performed her own work at clubs in New York, New Jersey and of course Somerville. Locke said: “I came to live in Somerville for the culture. I found myself always coming to events in Somerville. So it was natural that I wanted to move here.”

Locke said her poetic influences include: Sonia Sanchez, and Adrienne Rich. For songwriters she mentioned: Ani DiFrano and local talent Kris Delmhorst.

Locke met the outgoing series head Chiemi, at the Burren Pub music series in Davis Square, and they became fast friends. When she heard that Chiemi was having a baby and would be giving up the Somerville News Series, Locke asked and duly received.

Locke said so often audiences don’t listen to what the poet or songwriter are trying to say. Often, she feels they are trying to say something important…at least for them. Hopefully the new venue will make the crowd lend Locke their ears!

For more information about Lisa Locke go to For more info about Porter Square Books go to

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