Tonight I participated in a poetry reading put on by a woman who also runs a reading at one of my favorite bookstores, Upstart Crow. The reading was held at the new downtown public library in the auditorium. There were 4 featured poets, then 7 spotlight poets. I was one of the spotlights. It was done in alpha order, so I was last.
While many of the poets are friends, and I admire their work, the event dragged. The features had 10 minutes each and the spotlights had 5 minutes. Between starting late, the stories and the changeover lag, the last 4 poets to read could really only do 2 poems each. It’s irritating that the others, or the hostess, either didn’t consider the timing or didn’t care. Two of the poets I really wanted to hear were in that last group of 4. When it was my turn, people had been sitting there more than 2 hours with no break. Every woman had gone up on stage behind this huge podium. The stage was poorly lit, the podium had a small light and that’s how they saw what they were reading, but you could barely see them. So I didn’t go on stage. I stood at the front of the room and projected. I brought performance and energy. It’s not that my poetry was better, but the experience was different. It felt more natural for me anyway, and I felt so good about it, even if I did only get to read 2 poems. Several people commented that they enjoyed it. Of course, there was no real time to hang out because, again, the event was running long and they had told us that the parking garage would close at 9 pm. So everyone rushed out of there.
Still I got to hug Una a couple times. She is in her 80s and I’ve known here about 18 years! We were in the OB Poets Circle together back in the day. I chatted with Lizz, who is super cool, and got to meet Rae, who I’d heard about but had never met. Plus my friend, Lindsay, came with her girlfriend.
Looking forward to my solo Saturday!