Deborah P Kolodji (dkolodji) wrote,
Deborah P Kolodji

Reading One's Own Poems to a Crowd

I went to a different poetry reading tonight. This one meets on the second Tuesday of every month at the Barnes and Nobles in Long Beach at the Marina Pacifica shopping center. The bookstore has a nice meeting room downstairs that sits right on the water on one of the Marina channels. Wendy, one of my friends from my haiku group, met me there and we had dinner together afterwards.

The poetry was a slightly different mix than what I hear at my usual venue. There was more performance poetry, a guy that did slam poetry, and an excellent Asian poet (I'm guessing Vietnamese but am not sure) who read so softly that an obnoxious person in the crowd asked for someone else to read for him. This made me angry because I feel that learning to read one's poetry is part of the open mic experience and truthfully I think this woman only made a fuss because of his heavy accent. I think he felt it too because after the moderator started reading his poems for him, the poet sat in front of me with his shoulders slumped in failure. There were plenty of empty seats in the front row that this person could have moved to in order to hear the poet better.

There was also this young woman (high school?) who read a dark fantasy poem in a soft voice. She was nervous but read it beautifully. Afterwards I talked to her about the SFPA and complimented her poem.

As for myself, I read a cinquain about Hiroshima, a longer poem about the Middle East and my "Life Blooms" grouping of haiku. I did not, unfortunately, manage to work a sf poem into this particular mix. Maybe next time. I do plan to go back next month. The audience seemed to respond well to my work and being able to meet up with Wendy and talk haiku afterwards was a big plus.
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