...And The Reading?
I was introduced by the poet Jan Weissmiller, who coordinates the reading series at Prairie Lights. One of my favorite poets, Jane Mead, was also in the audience, and it was wonderful to have her there. I met Jane briefly in North Carolina in the late 90's. Lucia Perillo is a mutual friend (well, technically, Lucia was my teacher), and it was good to tell "Lucia stories" and catch up.
Jane Mead's work means a lot to me (she is on my short list of "holy writers"), and had I known beforehand that she was going to be in the audience, I might have read a few different things for her--work that might have connected a bit to what I think she is saying in her own poetry. As it was, I work steadily through my set-list, cutting things as I went along--time passes more quickly when I am reading than I think it will when I am putting a reading together.
I was very pleased by how things went, and would go back to Iowa City in a heartbeat to do it all over again. Prairie Lights Books is a great place for poets and writers, with so many wonderful books and literary journals, and a kind, helpful and knowledgeable staff.
Carlos and Liam were listening to the reading at home (via the internet "live feed") and got a kick out of hearing their disembodied father's voice reading poems.
I was happy to see some old friends from Michigan in the audience, including the poet Margaret Reges, who was raised here in Spring Lake and who just graduated (in May) from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Later this summer she will be a Fellow at Provincetown. I told her that when she comes back to Michigan, we'll put together a reading--you know, to show the townies what a star she has become.
My thanks to Jan Weissmiller and the good people at Prairie Lights.
The photograph is of the poet Jane Mead.
I meant to take some photographs at the reading itself, but got a bit overwhelmed with all that was happening.