Here are three of my favorite photos (2 taken by Susan Rich & one by my husband) from my Open Books reading in Seattle yesterday. Susan also took another incredible photo of my daughter and me that I just treasure.
From an emotional level, the reading was magical. I was ridiculously stressed before it began, way more than normal, but the positive is that much of that nervousness allowed me to work to create a reading I felt the audience would enjoy. I came prepared and I was glad about that.
I did have a few things for the audience--a vintage key attached to a small section of a poem with ribbon, chocolate, and the recipe for Emily D's Black Forest Cake.
Looking back, the only thing I'd do differently is to tell the audience that after the reading I'd be by the podium signing books as I know a number of people I didn't know bought books, but left without getting it signed. I think I could have made sure people knew I was available and happy to do that. I know readers/poets/writers can be shy about such things, and if you were in the back, it was quite a crowded narrow path to get to me.
But if that's the only thing I'd change, then I guess I feel the reading went well, which is good to say because Open Books is my all-time favorite bookstore and is owned by two of the most wonderful people and poetry-lovers around.
As I've said, Susan Rich has a great rundown on her blog about the reading if you're interested. I'm just going to enjoy the feeling I have right now of finishing it and just enjoying the space I'm in. Ahhhhh. Poetry.