(Left to right: Mignon Ariel King, Charles Coe, Sam Cornish, and Beatrice Green)
Each poet honored another black poet; I chose Cornelius Eady. I was extremely nervous reading the poetry of a living poet—and one I respect so highly. But I chose well, I think. I read Cornelius’s poem "Gratitude"—and if you know the poem, it’s not easy to read because of the line breaks. It's one of those "in-case-of-emergency-break-glass" kinds of poem for me.
On Sunday, after a good five inches of snow, I drove to Cape Cod for the Calliope Poetry Series to read with Dzvinia Orlowsky and Jadene Felina Stevens. Special thanks to Alice Kociemba and Jarita Davis for setting it up. (Forgot to take pictures after the reading, Drat!)
Both events were put together by people dedicated to the idea of creating community. Good literary citizens. It reminds me that much of the poetry happening today goes on with little attention or support from arts organizations. And yet, poetry seems to be flourishing.
I felt I gave two of my strongest readings in a while. I am very critical of myself as a reader, so much so that my desire to not flub a line gets in the way of enjoying the moment. At both readings, I read new poems from my second manuscript, and of course I stumbled over the new work—haven’t found the music yet. But it will come.