Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Poetry Evening

Last night a group of local poets had a poetry reading at the Barnes & Noble in Mandeville. It was sponsored by the Northshore Literary Society. Eve Brouwer, who is also a member of my NorthShore writing group, did the hard work of herding a bunch of flighty poets into some semblance of order and getting everything to run smoothly, including MCing the whole affair. She even baked cookies. Just to show you what Eve was up against, even I was late sending my poems in to her. I am not usually late on my responsibilities and was very ashamed, but she seems to have forgiven me. I guess we’ll see when she gets her chance to critique my next piece at the writing group.

I enjoy poetry readings, although I don’t go as often as I’d like. Most of the time it seems I have to keep my nose to the grindstone, but I did go last night and even read a few haiku from my collection Wanting the Mouth of a Lover. I much enjoyed the whole event. Some of the talented poets reading included Laurie Astoria, Pat Currie, Richard Boyd, David Cook, Sheila Delacroix, Mignon Fahr, D’Wanna Hanes, Kenny Mathews, Susan Newton, Mary Louise Guste Nix, and Eve herself. Our youngest poet was Evan Ross Cherry, who read his poem “Mardi Gras Day.” We also heard poems by two other local poets who were unable to be there, Gary Hanes and Jean Lutz. There were many good pieces worthy of discussion, too many to cover individually. We heard funny poems, dramatic poems, nature poems, spiritual poems, family poems, odes. A wide selection. There were also quite a few folks in the audience who came just to hear the readers, so it wasn’t just poets listening to other poets.

Sometimes we writers complain about the dearth of readers, or about the lack of interest that the world seems to take in literary matters, but in fact there are a lot of readers out there, and a lot of people with literary interests. You just need to look around a little. They, like the Northshore Literary Society, are quietly going about the business of creating and talking about stories, poetry, and books. While some of us complain, they are sponsoring poetry readings, and inviting authors to speak, and getting the word out about “words.”

Thanks to the Northshore literary society and to all the poets who read last night at Barnes & Noble. You gave me an enjoyable evening and I appreciate it.
-----
-----

39 comments:

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks. I need to get out more...

Sidney said...

Any gathering of creative folk is always inspiring to me.

Deka Black said...

Ug, poetry reading. You will kill me forthsi, Charles, but make me remember an old joke.

A masked man enters a shop holding a gun and a book. then sout: "HOLD IT! This is a poetry reading!"

David J. West said...

Sounds good, wish I could have been there.

Ocean Girl said...

I see this blog world as the hanging out place for the young, restless and creative!

David Cranmer said...

I went to two local gatherings of writers and poets and was presently surprised at the large number of folks that turned out.

Charles, when will MIDNIGHT IN ROSARY be available on Kindle?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you went and enjoyed the evening!

Chris said...

I go to readings when I can. Tonight, despite the food coma I'm in after taking my wife out for her birthday dinner, I am going to stay awake long enough to go see my kid's metal band play. I feel I'm taking one for the team tonight, but that's what dads (and aging rockers!) have to step up and do sometimes!

Charles Gramlich said...

Ron, I do too for these kinds of things.

Sidney, definitely.

Deka, lol. there was a time when I didn't care for poetry. I like it a lot these days, and interacting with poets.

David J. West, it was pretty cool.

Ocean girl, thanks, by the way I don't know if you've gotten my message about being unable to comment on your blog lately. It won't let me comment.

David Cranmer, I was surprised at the turnout too. Pleasantly so. I'm not sure on Midnight in Rosary, but probably pretty soon.

Alex, me too.

Chris, I like quite a lot of the heavy stuff, although I'm not really into the grunt/screaming as much. Kind of like to be able to make out what is being said. thanks for dropping by.

M. M. Fahren said...

It was sure fun having you and the Vamps there, Gramlich.
I enjoyed the company, mouthy and all.

Chris said...

Charles, these guys sound like they stepped out of the Bay Area circa 1982-83. Exodus, early Metallica, etc., and they do it very well.

Merisi said...

I love poetry. I miss evenings like the one you attended. I miss hearing the language.

Charles Gramlich said...

M.M., everybody read wonderfully. Was a lot of fun.

Chris, I like that stuff a lot. Death Angel was from that time and place, too I think. I've got all the early metallica.

Merisi, I want to start attending more of these.

the walking man said...

*shrug* If you know where to look you could go to a different reading every evening of the week. I am still discovering new ones. Last Tuesday in particular was the best in a while, not only poets and literary types mixed with fair talent acoustic musicians but card tricks and by god even a bit of beautiful 19th century architecture for a setting.

Friday was the one I peed all over GAHHHHHHH!!!!

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, Not being in the big city I don't know if we have one every evening but certainly every weekend.

Shrinky said...

I am one of those "readers", although I rarely write poetry I love to attend readings. It's something I miss since leaving London, gorgeous as this tiny isle may be, culture is hardly one of it's strong points..!

Travis Cody said...

There was a coffee shop near my place in southern California that used to hold poetry readings. Although I never contributed any of my work, I did attend a few readings and enjoyed them.

I haven't gone looking for any places here in Washington. Perhaps I should, and perhaps I can screw up the courage to contribute.

Cloudia said...

Well said (and I imagine: 'well read' as well!)


I often think of things you have posted, when I think about 'Writing.'



Warm Aloha from Honolulu


Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>


><}}(°>

<°)}}><

Carole said...

I need to go to a poetry reading sometime. Never have gone. Always felt it was just for poets.

laughingwolf said...

what, no beer, charles? :O lol

Gaston Studio said...

The only literary complaint you'll hear from me is that my favorite authors don't write fast enough!

Charles Gramlich said...

Shrinky, where I grew up was very rural and I don't think anyone read or wrote poetry, or much else for that matter. I imagine it's changed a bit since then. Thanks for dropping by.

Travis Cody, I was actually surprisingly nervous. Even though I speak in front of students all the time, I've only done a very few readings. I managed to get through it OK though.

Cloudia, that brightens my day. Thanks.

Carole, We had a number of people there who weren't poets or at least who didn't share that night.

laughingwolf, they did have coffee! They have these occassionally at a local place that does serve beer. I need to go to one of those.

Charles Gramlich said...

Gaston, I wish I could write faster for sure!

Lana Gramlich said...

I'm glad you had a good time, baby. Wish I could've been there!

Erik Donald France said...

". . .the hard work of herding a bunch of flighty poets into some semblance of order . . ." cracks me up, because it's so true :->

Herding a bunch of faculty in similar fashion is exactly the same. Especially when some of them are poets. Ha!

Sounds like a wonderful time. And it's truly great when creative people can get together in 3D spaces, face to face.

Drizel said...

Sounds awesome:)

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, it wasn't good timing for you.

Erik, oh yes, academics are even worse. They want to know why they are being herded and will say it is iinfringing on their academic freedom to be herded.

Drizel, t'was indeed.

laughingwolf said...

a pub crawl after sounds good, too ;)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Most of the writers in my writing group write poetry. I love hearing them read.

The Golden Eagle said...

Poetry readings sound like a great opportunity to listen to what people are writing.

Elaine Ash said...

"Wanting the Mouth of a Lover" is the best title I've read all year. WOW, Charles, who knew you were so...romantic???

Steve Malley said...

Pretty cool! :)

sage said...

I haven't been to a poetry reading in a while--I should change that.

ivan said...

Charles,

Like Deka Black, I wish I'd been there for the poetry readings.

Canadian writer Chris Benjamin sometimes has at least one really good slam poet or two during his book signings.
I have been attending "Benjibopper"s book signings. Loved the poetry, but like a piggybacking ass, managed to sell one or two of my own novels during Chris' booksignings.
What a bastard, eh?

Myself, I haven't written a poem in years. It's that damn TV.

I think I've reached a final stage of dementia. Watching too much Jersey Shore. I think Snooki is hot! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Charles, I've tried for three days now to comment on Ocean Girl's site - if you get through, let her know I'm trying! She doesn't have an email or Twitter that I could find...

X. Dell said...

Sounds like a fun time--and with cookies.

Charles Gramlich said...

laughingwolf, the Psych dept is planning a pub crawl at the end of finals. Want to join us? :)

pattinase, about half our group does but not everyone. I do but not too often,

The Golden Eagle, I try to get my group NOT to read them outloud when we're critiquing because the editors of magazines won't have that luxury, but I do enjoy hearing them in other situations.

Elaine Ash, lol. I do kind of like that title. It's a title to a story I used a long time ago and I ended up stealing it from myself for my poetry collection.

Steve Malley, thankee man.

sage, I'm excited about going to more now.

Ivan, if you think Snooki is hot you are indeed watching too much, man. Get thee to a poetry reading. Check out the hot lady poets. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh, I got through one day but the next day it was back to the same. she seems to be aware there is a problem.

X. Dell, trust you to notice the cookies, man. :)

jennifer said...

I like Sidney's comment - a gathering of creative people can be quite nice.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jennifer, yes, it's fun to feel all that energy in the room