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.