November 17, 2010

BookMarks: The Memoir Project Reading Series, November 15

This was the second in a series of upcoming readings through April 1, 2011. Last month I hosted the first, & this month's theme was "Struggling Against the Dark Side" hosted by Sandi Gelles-Cole. It was a mixed bag, as it should be, of prose, poetry, & that inter-zone of poetic prose, true, not-true, who cares, it's all art.

Tracey Krulcik's piece "Tight Rope" was an extended metaphor, where many of us have been before. Her short bio said she was "an aspiring writer" but once you do it you write, are a writer, you are no longer aspiring except to greatness.

Linda Elovitz Marshall's memoir "Call Me This & Call Me That" was about the cruel taunts that kids can so be so creative about, very much the topic of the day.

Leslie B. Neustadt read a selection of poems dealing with LSD ("Brush with Madness, Circa 1970"), molestation ("Carry on Baggage"), & cancer ("Death's Seduction" & "The Waiting Room") & "Triangle of Unfinished Business."

This was Deb Livingston Picker's first reading, which she did well, beginning both of her pieces with Yiddish proverbs -- "Chewing the Fat with Oprah Winfrey" & "Support Group" (for writers).

Carolee Sherwood is a regular at local poetry open mics & began with a poem about the Iceland volcanos, then "Solstice Manual: You'll Have To Be Sick to Survive" & "The Gardener, Pruning, Helps Night Fall."

Some of the poems of Jill Crammond Wickham, another regular at local poetry open mics, have titles longer than some poets' poems. Tonight they explored what June Cleaver does after dark, "Mother Walking Home Alone," "Behind the Scene at Dick & Jane's," "The Lonely Housewife Calls to Inquire on the Status of Her Ad, Discovers Her Personal Was Buried in the Obituaries" (which is like a haiku unto itself), & "The Husband Recalls a Recent Holiday, the Feast that Nearly Followed."

Melora Wolff described her pieces as "prose poems," perfect for tonight where we couldn't hear the line-breaks; "Mad River" took us back to her 5th grade, while "Migrations" was conversations with her mother & birds (of course).

Sandi Gelles-Cole ended the night with a reading from Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents of "Daughter" by Christine Allen-Yazza & of "Blue Flowers On Grandmother's White China Cup" by Marsha Mathews.

Again, like the last session, all the presenters were women, but hey, maybe the guys have got their brains fried & don't do memoir because we just make the shit up. Whatever, it was a crisp night of crisp writing. Too bad none of the other curators were there, since this series continues on until April. Check it out at the Arts Center website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Therese L. Broderick -- Likewise, the last 6 or so presidents/co-presidents of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild have been women. It's time for a male president of HVWG...