Amazing readings, beautiful community

“Amazing readings, beautiful community,” tweeted one of the poetry marathon attendees Saturday night. Indeed it was a good night to visit Woodland Pattern Book Center to hear poets share their work. To be exact, 150 area poets shared their work.

I participated in the 9 o’clock hour. Featured poets included: Matt Cook, Tom Erickson, Peter Burzynski, Franklin K.R. Cline, Carmen Murguia, Peter Whalen, Bob Koss, Jane Lukic, Michael Wendt. One of the highlights of that hour was to hear a Czesław Miłosz poem read in Polish.

Each poet is afforded five minutes to read. The poems I selected earlier in the day loosely fit the motif of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. They were all short poems. One of the poems was a spare two lines. So, I read it slowly. In truth, I try to read all poetry at a slow pace. It is a technique I picked up from some of my favorite poets in Western North Carolina.

After the 9 o’clock hour readings concluded, one of the event coordinators commented that she likes this part of the marathon. She said that the poets are warmed up at this point and the poetry really engages the audience. While milling around after the reading, a board member of Woodland Pattern asked me if I was a visiting professor. I smiled. It is a question I get asked a lot after a public reading.

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