April 29, 2010

The Delmar Writers, April 24

If I thought the previous WordFest weekend was busy with poetry I hadn't looked into my crystal ball to this weekend's 4 poetry events. It started off in a relaxed way at the Bethlehem Public Library for this reading by members of a writing group that meets on the 1st Friday of the month in the Board Room of the Library at 1:00PM. But there are apparently sub-groups; all genres are represented, as most were in this reading.

The introductions were by Marion Menna & there were pleasant guitar interludes by Catherine Norr. I had a moment of panic when Marion began with a poem about her dog, thinking I'd be trapped here all afternoon with dead pet poems, but that didn't happen. She read some poems from her chapbook An Unknown Country (Finishing Line Press), & others, including a recent one about the earthquake in Chile. Linda Sonia Miller read 3 poems from different points in her life, & one, "3:33AM," that "transcends all eras."

Susan Morse's personal essay, "Merry Catmas" was an hysterical account of misunderstanding "cats" for "hats" -- she even brought a hat.  Faith Swingle Green read a series of short poems, including haiku & a song lyric. In past years Sharon Stenson would come to open mics from time to time but I haven't seen her in a while; the fine poems she read today, including the well-crafted "Divorce Sestina," reminded me what we've been missing. More humor & dogs in Julie Cushine-Rigg's personal essay, "My Dog Has What?" (it was tonsillitis).

After a break, Marlene Newman read from fictionalized family letters from the early part of the 20th century up to World War II. Catherine Norr read 3 poems from her series called "Deflections of Characters." Phyllis Hillinger read an excerpt from her short story "Lonesome Cowpoke," with a character named Starry Bush, I kid you not.

Haiku poets usually read their tiny gems twice, they go by so fast; unfortunately Dave Nyhan went thru his "baker's dozen" of modern-life haiku too fast & they were gone. I admit to a particular affection for the poetry of Mimi Moriarty & of course enjoyed her selection of poems, some from War Psalms (Finishing Line Press), & others, particularly "The Shenanigans of Women as They Age."

An enjoyable afternoon of listening to good writing; it would be great if some of these folks would brave it out to some of the area's open mics & share their work with a wider audience.

There are individual photos at my Flickr site, where you can leave comments as well if you are inclined that way.


Jason Crane said...

I love Susan Morse. We're fellow Rotarians (not a typo!) and I love hearing her read.

Anonymous said...

An excellent mixed bag of prose and poetry. All of the readers prepared well, and it showed. The whole event was well thought out and polished. It was a pleasure.

Paul A.