Friday, April 27, 2007

National Poetry Month - A Recap

I haven't been posting much.  National Poetry Month has been sideswiped me, has put me into a spin. 
I've said this before--every poetry related event does not need to be scheduled in April.  It's sort of like smoking a hundred cigarettes in a row to stop liking cigarettes.  I'm not saying, I don't like poetry or poetry events anymore, what I'm saying is I need a breath of air, this room has become a little smoky...
However, with that said, these are the events I truly enjoyed this month:
April 12th-- Went to Port Townsend to hear Annette Spaulding-Convy & Susan Rich read.  These are two of my favorite poets.  Both of them come prepared and are quite polished.  There is no sifting through pages or binders for poems.  They have thought about the audience beforehand and are ready. 

Annette read poems from her wonderful chapbook IN THE CONVENT WE BECOME CLOUDS, the winner of the 2006 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook prize.  These poems are always enjoyable to listen to and were inspired by Annette's experience as a Roman Catholic nun in her 20's. 

Susan read from CURES INCLUDE TRAVEL, her new book published by White Pine Press.  These poems share Susan's experience as a world travel and activist.  They are very moving and precise.
I highly recommend both of these books.
APRIL 13th (Friday the 13th)--

Secret Writers Meeting-- Because it's secret, I can't give out too much information.  And when I say secret, maybe I mean private.  And when I say "meeting," maybe I mean celebration.  There were chocolate ├ęclairs.  Candle wax dripped across bamboo hardwood floors (not intentional dripping and the floors were fine.)  There were giant orange rings.  At at one point we were at the beach.  There was a message in a bottle.  There were strong winds.  There were petals of magnolias.  A new beginning and a goodbye. 
APRIL 22nd--
Peter Pereira & Alice Derry reading in Poulsbo--
Alice Derry was a treat to hear read because she doesn't read often.  I was most moved by her poems about her relationship with her daughter.  I arrived about 5-10 minutes late and missed her first couple poems, but the others offered so much.
Peter read second.  He always delivers such wonderful readings!  He read from his new book WHAT'S WRITTEN ON THE BODY (Copper Canyon), another book I highly recommend.  He read a couple poems from each of the sections.  Truly, an enjoyable day.
I must say, it was the most unusual reading during the open mic as one of the readers became so nervous that he almost passed out. I at first thought he was moving into performance poetry as I thought he was going down on one knee to be dramatic, but then realized he wasn't well.  Thankfully, Peter (yes, there's a doctor in the house) was able to step up and help him (the rest of the audience looked on like cardboard people not knowing what to do).  He ended up being fine, just a little stage fright it seems and we all got the chance to see poet as hero, (as if we didn't know we're all superheroes behind our books).
After the reading, I went to another poets house to do some writing exercises.  I got a good start to a poem that ends with the image of Buddha's hand (the fruit). We'll see where it goes.
I received the newest issue of 32 POEMS!  It's pretty fantastic.  It's one of my favorite journals and another on my list of "Journals You Should Have a Subscription To." 
Another on that list of "Journals You Should Have a Subscription To" is RHINO.  I just received my issue and love it.  There's a fabulous poem in there by Martha Silano, if you get a chance to check it out.
So, that's my poetry month in a handful.  It doesn't seem like much, but there were a lot of readings I had wanted to go to and missed-- like Jeannine Hall Gailey & Natasha Moni at the Seattle Poetry Festival.  And maybe that the problem with this year's National Poetry Month, I ended up feeling guilty not going to events I wanted to because there were stacked one on top of the other.  I missed this year's San Carlo reading to see Peter.  I will miss Burning Word tomorrow to teach at the Field's End writing conference.  I will see Billy Collins on Sunday in a gymnasium.  I will roll out of poetry month with smoke burning from my fingers and I will roll into May ready to relax.

1 comment:

  1. I like visiting blogs that discuss poets from the West Coast, or poets popular in different corners of the world. Thank you for the recap!

    And I've been reading your book, picking it up at different points in the day. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Also, I agree--not all poetry events have to happen in April because they end up competing for time. But it is nice to have access to so many choices.


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