"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage

Saturday, June 11, 2016

This Is: Why There Are Words Reading Series

I drove back from Sausalito late Thursday night into Friday morning returning from the Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series curated by writer and community-builder Peg Alford Pursell at the beautiful clear space within Studio 333.  I was energized by a literary high after meeting such a welcoming crowd of literary lovers and reading with six fellow writers.  We are surrounded by so many great reading series now, and I love reading at them, the opportunity to share my work, but this one stands out in particular as welcoming.

A good reader is one who knows how to read with inflection, to perform the words as if they are happening right there and then. And an engaging reading is better with a good audience. I fell into a trance myself at the microphone Thursday night because the people listening were so generous with their attention and their care.  I felt the audience hang on each line as I read the horrible things that Tamsen Donner meant to do with her husband - some of you know that poem in my chapbook Bite and Blood.
Connecting with other writers and readers feeds the creativity of artists.  Ruth Thompson's voice mesmerized me; I felt she was channeling her home of Hilo, HA.  Jayne Benjamin read poems evocative of Western Massachusetts, places I'm familiar with.  Alyssa essayed us with her essays of questions.  Mark Ciabattari made us wonder what we would do about a suicidal mermaid in our bathroom.  Leora Fridman talked politics.  And no one wanted Joe Clifford to stop his narration - we'll have to read his novel.  You can connect here with info on all these writers.

If you are in Sausalito the Second Thursday of each month, check out Peg's reading series! I'm grateful to have participated in such an uplifting gathering of talented writers and compassionate listeners.