Why do we skip some poems at readings and leave them unread? Ali Blythe and Adrienne Gruber and I wondered about this and offered each other a chance to bring those poems out for each other. Tonight – August 19, 2016, one of Vancouver’s hottest – we gathered at Historic Joy Kogawa House in the back garden with blankets, pillows, lemonade and coconut and chocolate cakes and one of the most receptive and perceptive poetry audiences.
We had given each other a list of our unreads and each chose three to read from each other. The intimacy of the setting (no mic, people lounging on blankets, Ali and Tara’s beautiful dog snorfelling in the garden) meant we could comment and ask about the poems. Why haven’t you read this before? What was that like to hear it out loud? Answers ranged from the poems being “too personal,” “it felt too fragmented,” “these poems felt too connected,” to scores of other fascinating reasons. It was riveting to hear my poems in the mouths of these fine readers.
The night begs for more consideration – the readings are rippling through my brain. Before I write more about it, here are some photos. The charming Historic Joy Kogawa House has a foam cutout of Joy herself so she can be present at the events. BTW – it was a full moon night and the bats were dolloping over our heads. Magical.