The Food Reading: Skagit River Poetry Festival
Tim McNulty, Lorna Crozier, Matthew Dickman, & Susan Rich
This was one of my favorite readings at Skagit. The theme was food (it was called Oranges and Cabbages, Celery and Beets).
The reading started well with Matthew Dickman saying something about when he heard the title of this reading, he assumed it was a metaphor for sex. He was very engaging as a reader and I appreciated his poems ever more after hearing them read.
Lorna Crozier read some of her poems from The Sex Lives of Vegetables, which had the audience laughing intensely!
When it was Susan Rich's turn to read she said, "Some poets have fruits & vegetables and go to sex, I have fruits and vegetables and go to war." She read one of my favorite poems, a ghazal, which talks about the tomato being called "Paradise" (Paradajz) in Bosnian.
The audience really responded to these 4 poets and I liked how they read. They each read for about 15 minutes each, then each came up to do one more "encore" poem.
Afterwards, I asked Matthew Dickman to sign my copy of his book. He was the poet that was so kind and attentive when I asked.
Many times you ask a poet to sign your book and they are looking for someone else in the room--another famous poet, the cute girl in the black boots, someone more important than yourself. But Matthew didn't do this and I noticed it just wasn't for me. With whoever he was speaking with, he was fully present and gracious.
Susan and I walked back to the main hall and on our way back met a friendly cat and I photographed an old man in his garden, though the photo didn't come out.
I walked with Susan feeling inspired to create and wanting to write. This is how you know it was a good reading, when the poets inspire you to write. And they did.