Sitting at Bound to Be Read Books surrounded by all these wonderful people, I had to struggle to maintain my stiff upper lip. Hearing them read my work and talk about the connections and friendships that have been formed was very moving. The fact that they also opened their wallets and donated more than $600 (with a few hundred more on the way) was humbling.
Julie Bloemeke, Kodac Harrison, Manning Harris, Dan Veach, Franklin Abbott, Lisa Allender, Christine Swint and Robert Wood picked some of my poems to read, and there were also inspiring words about London from E.M. Forster (read by Rupert Fike) and Virgina Woolf (from Jessica Handler). My friend of 20 years, Merci Howe, drove 65 miles to be there last night and good friends Karen Garrabrant, Dan Morrison, Patty Constantino and Richard Funderburke were in the audience. Colin Potts took some wonderful photos (including some of the ones you see here) and provided us with an authentic British accent and Union Jack bunting. Jeff McCord and Jef Blocker of Bound to Be Read Books not only provided the space for the benefit, but are such incredible friends and supporters, not only of my work, but the entire literary community in Atlanta.
|Julie Bloemeke and Lisa Allender|
I wish I had more poetic words, but in this case the well-worn, but still meaningful, "thank you from the bottom of my heart" is the most appropriate. I cherish each one of you, my friends.
This trip to London is going to be very special. Being asked to read at the Polari series at Southbank Centre is a dream come true. You can find out more at this link and buy tickets if you happen to be in London on June 11. Details about my other readings in London coming soon.
|Me with Lisa and Karen|