In Which I Meet More Writers

I’ve been so caught up in the looming elections that I forgot to tell you about Saturday!

Saturday was the last day of the Second Annual Prairie Gate Literary Festival.  It’s funny, but I had only intended to go to one Festival event, knowing I would have a lot to accomplish over the weekend.

I ended up attending four events.

One of which happened to be the finale of Prairie Gate: the Saturday night poetry reading.

The poets were Simone Muench and Ilya Kaminsky.  Both are published, both are award-winning, and both teach classes on the side (hence, they are my new idols).

Truthfully, it was the first poetry reading I remember attending.  I wasn’t sure I would like it; I generally hate having things read aloud to me.  But I loved it, of course.  What I love about poetry is not necessarily the dissection of it, but the way it sounds.  I love the way words can trip or spill or ooze off one’s tongue.  I wanted to close my eyes and just listen without any visual distraction, but I also didn’t want the poet to think I was asleep.

When the readings were over, I immediately elbowed my way back to the book sales table, and bought both poets’ books.  Then I bashfully walked up to each poet and asked them to sign my book.

And Ilya said I have a beautiful name (thanks, Mom and Dad), and Simone, having found out I that I primarily write fiction, wrote a note saying that poetry kicks fiction’s ass.

It was heavenly.



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