I had a fabulous reading at Book Passage April 4th. I wanted to launch my book there because that was where I took some of my first writing classes with Margaret Kaufman. I am an admirer of how the Petrocellis have built a community around their book store, keeping it afloat against a tide of chains and also raising the cultural bar for their competitors. I think it is one of the main factors behind the richness of literature in Marin County: author events and readings almost every night of the week, conferences and classes on writing of all sorts. The bookstore had set out about 30 chairs and quickly began bringing out more and more and pushing back the sale tables and bringing out more chairs all the while repeating "we never get crowds like this for poetry". We filled the area pushing into the children's section with a standing crowd. Dr Flanigan read from several books--poems of medicine, grandparents,love, nature. The crowd was too large to see the lovely art that accompanied the poems. By the time I read the adrenaline was flowing and it gave a little oomph to the reading. There is nothing like the sound of sighs in unison from a large, friendly crowd to let you know you have connected. Sales of books were brisk--they sold everything they had, all that I had brought and even my reading copy. My handwriting was getting fairly loopy by the end (and I am notorious for having a legible signature --for a doctor unusual). I took more books by Monday for the waiting list. Altogether a most satisfying beginning! Next challenge is to see how well I can extend the energy out of the area to places where I don't have a built-in fan base of friends, patients and colleagues.
Causes Catharine Clark-Sayles Supports
Tebot Bach Press, Alzheimers Association, Marin Poetry Center, California Poets in the Schools, Santa Sabina Retreat Center