POETRY GALORE: It's Sunday afternoon, almost 1:30, and I've only been up for half an hour or so. After two amazing nights of poetry, I am wiped out.
On Friday, I went over to Tom Lux's house for dinner with Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar and Alan Shapiro. I love all three of them, but I have to admit, it was Dorianne I most wanted to meet. We've become MySpace pals over the last few months, so we were eager to see each other. She is so funny and warm and we both discovered we are Kate Bush fans, so instant connection. I love that she's embraced MySpace, since so many poets are loath to even bother setting up a blog or website because it might seem like careerism. Check out her page here. Sadly, I didn't get to attend the Poetry At Tech reading where she and the boys were performing. I went over to Georgia State University for the release party/reading of Beth Gylys' new chapbook, Matchbook.
The Matchbook event was held in the Troy Moore Library and it was standing room only. Since each poem in the sonnet sequence is written as a personal ad, Beth cast an array of Atlanta poets to create a performance. It was a great idea and she expertly matched poem and reader. I did the poem "Drag Queen," and since I couldn't go in drag, I camped it up instead. A very fun reading and book is gorgeous! Hats off to Cheryl and La Vita Poetica Press for such beautiful work. There's rumor this show might be recreated at the big Rialto Theatre next year. I told Beth if that happens, I'll definitely put on a dress for her.
Last night was Voices Carry. I had headache all day long and thought a migraine was coming on. I think I took about four Tylenol, a couple of aspirin and some Aleve. By 8 p.m. I should have been in some type of mixed-drug coma, but it dulled the edge just enough to get through the evening. And what an evening it was! It was standing room only in the intimate Composition Gallery space. People were sitting on the floor and standing in the back. I think we counted 70 -- which is a huge for a poetry reading. Hats off to Mike Dockins, Kodac Harrison, Khadijah Queen, Megan Volpert and Cecilia Woloch for such excellent sets of poetry. And many thanks to Christeen Snell, Carolyn Whitley and those who came and spoke so eloquently about the late founder of Voices Carry, Chante Whitley-Head. It was a very emotional evening. Composition Gallery owner Ron Hughes deserves the biggest props of all for letting use his beautiful space and being such a gracious host. I hope to have some pics soon. I forgot to take my camera, so I'm depending on the kindness of strangers and friends to send a few my way.
Margaret Atwood's The Door arrived in the post yesterday from Canada (the US release has been pushed back to November and I wasn't about to wait) and I plan to spend the rest of the afternoon on the couch reading.