Greetings! It's been so long since I posted here, I almost feel like I need someone's permission to do it. : )
This is just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed participating in the 6th Annual Welcome to Boog City Poetry and Music Festival yesterday! It was sweltering -- not quite miserable, but sticky to the nth degree -- but the poetry was hot in an entirely different way. I want to thank David Kirschenbaum and everyone else who helped organize the Festival; merci to Unnameable Books for hosting our Sunday morning set; and gracias to Dorothy Lasky and Thom Donovan for emceeing with charm in excess of anything the temperature would seem to permit.
It is a fabulous thing, a gift, to be able to settle into an event where one or two poets read their work in long-ish stretches of 20 minutes or more, so you can really get a sense of the range of their aesthetics and preoccupations and tones. I love readings like that. But I want to sing a note of praise for the long line-up, the marathon event with a whole smorgasboard of readers/ singers/performers, like the set I read in yesterday. Getting a nice taste of a number of different voices has its own rhythms and its own pleasures.
I was delighted to be reading with old friends, like Bakar Wilson (who read from a couple of amazing and quirky sequences, one of which riffs on paint-store names for paint colors, and the other of which was titled "The Asshole Monologues") and Yerra Sugarman (whose poems unfold their gorgeous images at this really regal pace). It was also lovely to hear poets whose work I knew less well or not at all before yesterday, like Krystal Languell (who read her fantastic "Romeo + Juliet Poem"), Laura Henriksen (whose reading style is almost the perfect balance between flat and manic), and Dottie Lasky (who read a new poem, the pages of which had blown from her lap to flutter around my feet during my reading, which seemed like a nice thing for someone's poem to do -- a choreography of quiet collaboration). : ) There was a musical interlude by two women performing as Rayvon Browne -- nice stuff, especially the first song, which I hope to dig up on the internet somewhere. Extra goodness: I got to sit with the fabulous R. Erica Doyle, who had read at the Festival herself on Friday night, and giggled with her in the pauses between performances. The only downside of the morning was that the set got started late, so I couldn't even catch the beginning of the panel Brenda Ijiima put together on Occupy activism before I had to leave . . . .
Here's hoping there will be a 7th Annual Welcome to Boog City!