Friday, February 09, 2007

Valentine Coffeehouse

Last night Abigail Greene and I read poetry at the Valentine Coffeehouse at Cecil Community College. Unfortunately, Denis Garrison was not able to attend due to medical reasons. Our reading was jointly sponsored by the Veterans Memorial Library and Alpha Alpha Theta, the honor society.

Decorations and food were lovely. Beads and hearts and electric candles were used. Food was a chocolate fountain with fruit for dipping, along with vegetables, hummus, candy and cupcakes. Coffee was served. Bouquets of fresh roses decorated the buffet. It was quite lovely; they really made the poets feel valued.

Turnout was light. There was no reporter from the local paper, although I tried to get one. We did appear in the 'Accent' section of the paper on two days though. Although small, the audience was appreciative and intimate. None of the people there had previously been familiar with tanka but came because of my affiliation with the college. They enjoyed it, and some have become very interested.

I began by speaking a little bit about tanka and its history and form, then Abigail and I took turns reading poems from the book, both our own and other poets, some from each of the seasons. Occasionally we spoke a little about the poems. Upon reflection, we should have spoken more, which would have 'cleared the palate' so to speak between poems. Live and learn.

Afterwards audience members asked questions about tanka and particular poems. We enjoyed refreshments and had small group discussions. There was an openly gay man in the audience, so I pointed out some of the poems in the book that I thought would appeal to him.

One of the college organizers was very interested in my description of my forthcoming book, Heron Sea, Short Poems of the Chesapeake Bay. Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of the two year college, has selected environmentalism as the current study topic. They asked me if I would be willing to participate in some sort of 'green' event with the book. Of course I said yes.

Heron Sea has been taking a back seat to many other things, but I have now given myself a deadline of Earth Day to get it finished and in print. I have been working on it off and on, so it is moving forward, but I find it much harder to edit myself than others. When completed, it will be available along side 'Fire Pearls' at

No comments:

Post a Comment