Hush, hush...keep it down now...

Ayodele Heath
Saturday night was the seventh annual Voices Carry reading presented by Poetry Atlanta. For the second year in a row, we held the reading at Sycamore Place Gallery in Decatur owned by the great poet and artist Sylvia Cross. We had a packed house there in 2009, but on Saturday it was literally standing room only. We had to bring in chairs and a bench from outside!

I played host and read new – and relatively new – poems before introducing our stellar line up starting with Natasha Trethewey. The audience was treated to new poems and poems in progress. That's right, folks, we heard 'em first! I'm looking forward to reading her new nonfiction book, Beyond Katrina, which I've heard nothing but good things about.

Many thanks to Tania Rochelle for introducing me to the work of Patrick Donnelly, who read from his collection The Charge, and had the audience laughing with his short, sharp poems. I was really pleased that Ayodele Heath is back on the poetry scene and agreed to read this year. His first collection, Otherness, is out next month and judging by what he read and performed, it's going to be brilliant.

Cecilia Woloch
We closed the evening with Cecilia Woloch reading all love poems from her various collections. Cecilia has the most amazing reading voice. She enunciates beautifully, knows exactly when to pause, to find the spoken rhythm and musicality in her poetry.

Yesterday, I got up at the crack of dawn and drove my parents to North Carolina to "look at the leaves," which is code for the Harrah's casino in Cherokee. I watched my parents shovel my inheritance into the slot machines for three hours, drank some nasty punch and was shocked to find they allow people to smoke on the gaming floor. I've never liked casinos, so maybe that's why Las Vegas is just below North Korea on my bucket list. I won $149, but gambled all of it away except $40. Oh, well, at least I came out ahead and my gambling addict mom got her fix.


christine said…
Collin, Voices Carry sounds like it was an amazing event. I met up with my GSU poetry buddies and we ended up drinking wine until past 9:30, so I missed the reading! What a thrill for you to be a part of the line up–they were in good company.

I love the "seeing the leaves" euphemism. At least it gave you more stuff to write about...

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