Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up

Saturday, I read at the second annual Century of Black Voices reading in Cambridge. A very fine selection of black poets honoring the works of other black poets. Mignon Ariel King hosted the event and did a fantastic job putting it together. There had to be more than 60 people in attendance.

(Left to right: Mignon Ariel King, Charles Coe, Sam Cornish, and Beatrice Green)

Mignon in her fabulous hat!

Afaa Weaver reading Sterling Brown

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.


erica said...

Absolutely wonderful reading at West Falmouth Library. It was the first time I attended a Calliope reading- what a surprise and treat to hear a poet of your caliber!

January said...

Why, thank you, Erica. It was a pleasure reading at the library. You are very kind.

Lynne said...

Anyone who can combine being a mom andbeing a poet getws my vote of admiration. This is a wonderful blog!


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