Friday, January 27, 2012
--WHY IS THAT SO IMPORTANT TO YOU?
…Last night I went to "Cheap Wine and Poetry" at the Hugo House in Seattle.
The wine was mediocre but just $1.00 a glass.
The poetry was exceptional, as were the performances. I say performances, because there really is an art to reading one's work in a way that both captivates and engages the audience. I'm still learning about this.
Greg Bem, one of the featured poets, walked to the podium after his introduction, said only, "I have fifteen minutes," set his phone alarm, grabbed a candle and swept through the room the entire time, reading and sometimes shouting out some really fabulous beats.
Next up was Peter Pereia, Greg's opposite in content and outlandishness. He was soft spoken. His poems were stories. They were sweet and lovely. He was brilliant.
And then there was Amber Flame (real name?). She is a playwright, has won poetry slam contests, teaches drama to preschoolers, and sure knows how to own a room. She was swearing and gesturing, cracking jokes and many times reciting her poems from memory, emphatically, poignantly, venemously. She was outstanding.
So three different presentation styles, three completely different writing styles. It's a good reminder that one should just be oneself. No need for copy cats. Just do your thing--whatever it is--and do it to your very best.
…AWP sold out in record time. 9,300 people are attending. It seems a bitter irony that there are more writers than ever when readership is at an all time low.
…I spent two days writing a story. I never do that--put so much time into a single piece.
But this one was longer (appx. 3,000 words) and I plan on entering it in the Pacific Northwest Writer's Association contest. They get hundreds and hundreds of stories. They pick a winner and runner-up and name those at the conference here in Seattle this July.
You never know. Somebody has to win.
I like the story. I wish I could say I love it. On a scale of 1-10 I'd give it an 8.5.
…I like these things today:
"He is the longed-for, and the one who long; he is
the arsonist--and he is the scorched." Ovid
"In the middle of the journey of our lives,
I found myself upon a dark path."
"...the hill has not yet lifted its face to heaven that perseverance
will not gain the summit of at last." Charles Dickens
"The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you
lost all your money." Bernard Meltzer