March 15, 2013

BookMarks: Are You Experienced?, March 11

David Wolcott
BookMarks is the Memoir Project Reading Series at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. This night's reading, "curated" by David Wolcott, was devoted to writings about drug experiences, which ranged from the expected stories of getting high on illegal drugs to experiences with clinical & prescription drugs.

Carol Derfner's "Kitchen Witches" was about her experiences in college with pot & pot-head friends.

Darby Penney wrote about a religious experience while under Nitrous Oxide in the dentist chair ("Wisdom Tooth").

D. Penney, J. Lomoe, C. Derfner, K. Appleman
Leslie Neustadt's poem "Brush with Madness, Circa 1970" was about a vision of herself as Medusa in a near-deadly combination of a man, LSD & depression.

"Jim and Mescaline" by Bonnie Cook described a hippy summer escape from New York City & the appearance of a toddler while tripping -- was the baby there, or not?

Jill Rafferty-Weinisch was instrumental in getting the Memoir Project started (among other wonderful things) when she worked here at the Arts Center. Her piece "Ace Frehley Tried to Kill Me" was about attending an Iron Maiden concert back in 1988.

B. Cook, L. Neustadt, B. Engelman, J. Rafferty-Weinisch
"My Encounter with Gentleman Jimi" by Julie Lomoe was about her 2 meetings with Jimi Hendrix, & about smoking pot, taking mescaline.

Bonnie Engelman wrote about her teen-age experience with acid as a high school student in New Jersey in "Smashing Sunshine."

Ken Appleman's "When She Died She Left a Houseful of Drugs" was a tender extended metaphor on grieving, carefully using the leftovers.

Each of the readings were carefully timed, as were the question & answer periods after each reader, & the variety of styles & subject matter within the theme, not to mention the excellent quality of the writing, made for a most enjoyable evening. Check the Arts Center website for information on the remaining readings in the BookMarks series.

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