Could it rain any harder?
Rain is great weather for writing poetry but not so great for people to get in their cars and drive to hear poetry. Yet, the first 2017 Fourth Sunday Claremont Poetry reading was well-attended. If you aren't familiar with Claremont, it is one of those perfect college towns, streets lined with well-rooted trees, guardians of wisdom and stability; a natural welcome that assures safety. The buildings are classic, sturdy-grey stone-solid, not too ornate, but enough to ensure there is art and creativity afoot. It is not a hustle bustle campus but a pleasant stroll to and from class, quiet enough to construct new universes of thought and being. In other words, the perfect place for a poetry reading.
My older son, Marcus was visiting with me which was perfect because I forgot that I was supposed to have someone to introduce me. All poetry venues have some unique quality, it could be setting, the personality of the host, a ritual, regular readers. The Claremont Fourth Sunday has the reader bring their own, not introduction, but person to introduce them... Usually the poet has no idea what their guest introducer will say, so it is as much a treat to the reader as the audience. Who better to introduce you than your own son - and thankfully he was willing. That was the highlight as well as the pensive and empathetic facial expression that created an immediate bond. It was wonderful to see some of my students and their parents and talk with them during intermission.
I had the pleasure of reading with Karen Greenbaum, who is witty and vibrant, her poetry is a tour through literature, love, landscapes interior and exterior. Her husband introduced her and between his touching introduction and her poetry I felt as though I had been invited into their world and was able to glimpse the soul of their union... I know that sounds mushy - but it's true. I seldom - I don't remember the last time I used the word soul in anything I have written - but there it is.
The perfect way to start a new year.
Welcome to my observations on the craft of writing, venues and writing community experiences.