Thursday, June 7, 2012

Writing about Reading

 I began reading my poetry (out loud and to other people, that is) fairly early in my life as a poet. After I started writing poetry in 2007, it took me about two years to start to write regularly. Shortly after that happened, I decided I should attend an open mic. I saw a notice about an open mic called the Salon at The Writers Place and decided I would give it a try.

The Salon is affectionately referred to as 4th Monday because that is when it is held. Sharon Eiker hosts this event, welcomes everyone and encourages the sharing of artistic works of all genres. I was so terrified that first 4th Monday that I could barely tell Sharon my name. If I could actually remember reading, I would say the words came out pretty shaky; but they did come out.

Readings have introduced me to new people and new places. Recently, I wrote a poem about some of the places in Kansas City at which I have read a particular poem. This was my theme poem for a very special reading. The Crystal Field Scholarship Reading is an annual event in Kansas City and raises money for the scholarship, which is awarded to a creative writing student at the Unversity of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC). The 2012 theme was Journey.

Traveling Companions

My poem is a traveler,
a midnight reveler.
It's been out on Halloween
and marveled at the party scene.
It has found the neon lights
and the city's famous sites.
It went to the building, Bloch,
when Romare's prints hung on the walls
and echoed through the halls.
It wandered down to 18th and Vine,
stopped at the Blue Room
and had a great time.
My poem is a traveler,
but fortunately,
it never goes anywhere.
without me.

I welcome any stories you want to share about doing readings or why you don't do them.

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  1. Oh Michelle, I remember the shakes at my first open mike. And I remember trying to tell myself to cut it out, there were 20something kids up there as cool as can be! Don’t you just love open mike though, a great chance to share with like-minded people. Love the traveling poem, so, so very true.

    1. Thanks, Veronica. Sharing is the best part of reading! Don't you love it when someone comes up to you afterwards and shares a story that was elicited by one of your poems?

  2. great ending to that poem! i think you're brave to do open mics. so not one to do that! :)

    1. Thanks, Bolton. I didn't feel too brave in the beginning. I still like to go early in the line-up. I'll go first anytime! Do you like to go to readings and listen?