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Your Poems Do Matter & Why It's Important To Read Your Poems in Public: A Memoir

Emmett Wheatfall, Kelli Russell Agodon, & John Sibley Williams at Birdhouse Books, Vancouver, Washington.  Last night I drove a very long way to give a poetry reading. While I was doing this, the thought crossed my mind, Why am I driving 4-hours to go to a small bookstore to read poetry? I thought, will anyone even be there? Why do I say yes to readings that aren't close to home? I said yes to this reading because I am huge fans of the poets I'm reading with-- John Sibley Williams & Emmett Wheatfall l. So I reminded myself, if no one shows up, at least you've hear some great poems. I arrive to Birdhouse Books which is the coolest bookstore run by the nicest people Sara and Lucas. They have artwork of poets all over the store by poet (and artist) Scott Poole . The bookstore was a full-house of engaged audience members and packed. We decide to do a "braided" reading or what I call a "living anthology" where one poet reads, the second follows, th

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