Monday, March 12, 2007
The Scoop --Peter Pereira's reading in Seattle
WHAT’S WRITTEN ON THE BODY, by PETER PEREIRA
I spent yesterday at Peter's book release reading with Jeannine and her husband. When we arrived , it was as if we’d walked into one of those wild Christmas shopping scenes where cashiers are quickly ringing up sales and gift and gift are being handed over people’s heads, but in this case there was only one thing selling—Peter’s book and they were quickly selling out (again!)
The bookstore was packed, all fifty-something chairs were taken, people stood in the back, outside on the sidewalk, behind the register, we were our own fire hazard and happy because of it. There were many rain-blessed poets in the audience: Martha Silano, Kathleen Flenniken, Susan Rich, Molly Tenenbaum, Erin Malone, and Madeline DeFrees who arrived after taking two busses and Peter kindly found her a seat in front so she didn’t have to stand.
Peter was incredible. He began by thanking his friends, family, and audience for attending. One thing that makes Peter a great reader is that he let us know what he was going to do today—read a couple poems from each of the four sections from his book. As an audience member, especially a standing audience member, it’s always a good feeling to know what “the plan” is.
His poems were wonderful and the audience was engrossed! Each poem offered so much and his words before the poems were just enough to invite us in before he read. And his poems did something for me that poems have not being doing lately—they inspired me to write. Peter’s poems were the kind that as a reader, you fall in love with.
Some other poets I’ve been reading lately have completely turned me off. I’ve felt as if the poet is yapping away, showing us his degrees and his certificates, rumbling around in the back of his closet to show off his Stradivarius then slapping me across the face and kicking me out into the street. Peter’s work is complete opposite of these poems. I don’t feel abused by his poems, but taken care of.
His book is beautiful both inside and out, and I highly recommend you have your own copy to gush over. Truly, a wonderful reading, a wonderful reception, and a new gift of poems to the world.
Written by Kelli Russell Agodon