Saturday, June 20, 2009

...And The Reading?

The reading went very well. I read for about forty minutes, starting with a poem from A Path Between Houses and cycling through Figured Dark, and then a poem from Tropical Landscape with Ten Hummingbirds, and ending with the poem "Discontinuous Narrative," which is concerned with the Bayeux Tapestry and other things. The audience seemed receptive, and had many good questions for me afterwards.

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.

My bad.


Blogger Leslie said...

Jane Mean and Lucia Perillo. Totally jealous.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Hey, I ain't no star.

It was a fun reading! I'm glad you got home okay. I feel a little foolish about it, seeing how I don't have a book or anything, but I'd be happy to do some kind of reading before I leave for P-Town.

I don't know if you have my it is: mreges at gmail dot com.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Cindy Hunter Morgan said...

I'm disappointed I couldn't listen in....I was computerless in the original "wireless" sort of internet connection at all. I'm glad the reading went well and I enjoyed seeing your pictures.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Collin Kelley said...

Sounds like a great reading, and I enjoyed the photos from the trip, too.

2:11 PM  
Blogger david dodd lee said...

I'm editing a section of Passages
North, and there will appear in
those pages two poems by Jane Mead.
Just fyi . . .

2:46 PM  

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