New York Report

Let me start by saying the flight up here was possibly the most easy, stress-free airplane experience I've had in 10 years. I parked at the Atlanta airport and the shuttle driver recited poetry to me; one of the guards at the security check stopped me and said, "You're Collin Kelley!" because she had been to one of my readings; and there were only 17 people on the flight, which means everyone got their own row! A quick flight, no hassle at Laguardia and a quick trip into Manhattan had me sitting at the Cornelia Street Cafe bar with a glass of wine in my hand just before 5 p.m.

Host and good friend Jackie Sheeler arrived about 5:30 followed seconds later by Vanessa Daou, one of my musical/poetry inspirations. I've kept it on the qt that Vanessa and I have been talking lately, but I think it's okay to mention now that we've become pals and I'm actually interviewing her later today for a magazine profile. She has a brilliant new album coming out next month called Joe Sent Me. If you've never heard Vanessa's music and poetry, go to and immerse yourself in this work. Her words and music have been part of my soundtrack since 1995 and Zipless, so to meet and have a conversation with her after all these years is a treat and an honor.

Vijay Seshadri was supposed to read with me and Dennis Nurkse, but had to cancel at the last mintue. NY poet George Wallace filled in and he was fantastic. Dennis read from his latest book, The Border Kingdom, and it was very moving, elegiac work about New York. Laure-Anne Bosselaar came out to hear me, which was a lovely surprise. She's a total sweetheart. Got to get her back down to read in Atlanta soon. Sarah "Minus Five" Coffman also schlepped in from Brooklyn to see me and took some photos. Thank, you MF!

I read a couple of new poems and then a handful from After the Poison. There's something about Cornelia Street Cafe that just makes you feel more "on," so I felt like it was pretty strong reading and the audience connected. Having friends and like-minded people in the room helps, too!


Emily A. Benton said…
Collin, you're a celebrity! I totally would stop you in the street if I saw you.
Lisa Allender said…
That's so cool that you were recognized...and a driver recited poetry to you?!
How lovely Laure-Anne dropped in!
Can't wait to hear the music from Ms. Daou....
jaxx said…
thanks for coming down, reading, hanging out -- and turning me on to vanessa and her music.

i agree that you are a so-far-unsung celebrity. can i have an autograph before you go home?


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