It is nearing the year mark since the release of Dissecting the Angel. In that time, I've have the great pleasure of reading to folks in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Warren, Arkansas, and a handful of places in north Georgia. There are still some dream dates on my "Slowest Book Tour" bucket list...Austin, TX, Asheville, NC, New Orleans... Maybe for another time, another book.
In the meantime, I get to do a sort of homecoming. Next month on September 3rd, I'll be the featured reader for Athens Word of Mouth. If you are within driving range on any first Wednesday of the month, you should come. Handsome Director calls it a "mix tape of humanity," which is an apt description. Each poem is like a piece of glass in a stained glass window, each a bright small prism into human experience. Individually, beautiful, but taken as a whole, another thing entirely. Themes emerge and thread through the evening. Come play your listening ears with us some night.
There are still some seats available in "The Made Thing" if you'd like to join me and some other brave souls in the class at OCAF. I think of it not as much a class as a workshop and less a workshop in the traditional literary workshop sense and more like a woodworker's shop. A wordworkers shop. Come sling some ink!
Please share with any beginner poets or those who've drifted from poetry writing practice who would like some support and structure to get back elbow-deep in crafting poems.
Day / Dates: Thursdays, September 11 through October 23, 2014 Times: 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Length of Class: 6 Sessions / 2 Hours each Session + Open Reading for final Oct 23 session
Class Fee: OCAF Members - $120.00 Non-members - $130.00
Materials List: Bring your favorite poem to the first class and writing materials / an attitude of curiosity to all classes. This class, for beginning adult writers, is aimed at providing a place to generate poems, gather poem-making tools, and learn how to sharpen one’s work.
“Poem” means, at root, “a made thing.” This class is an introduction into the practice of crafting poetry, using language and the writer’s own experiences of the world. Together we will look at examples of different ways to trigger poems then draft, edit, share and present our “made things.”
Thanks to a generous friend, all registrants will receive a signed copy of Dissecting the Angel and Other Poems.
I was fortunate to get a return engagement in the City of Brotherly Love at the Moonstone Poetry Series at Fergie's pub. It felt very similar, physically, to the Athens Word of Mouth reading at The Globe. Both pubs, both hosting their poetry mid-week in the upstairs room.
Every reading has a personality, a palpable energy. Like music, they have different volumes and tempos. There seems to be archtypal poets that show up no matter what. I'll refrain from naming them in case that seems like parody. I only mean some poets resonate like Major Arcana; they are loaded, symbolic, essential.
The folks at Fergie's listened so hard I mistook it for not-listening it was so quiet at first. But they were hard at work. Try attending, for any length of time, to another's voice and you'll know the effort it takes.
And what a treat to read alongside Grant Clauser and Sean Webb. I hope you'll seek out and support their work. Both wrote with such clarity, wit, and intelligence and covered ground from fatherhood to sobriety to tarot cards and escape artists. I am one grateful gal to have been a part.
I also got to be a bit of a tourist. My fascination with miniatures and books was sated at The Library Company with the "Small Wonders" miniature books exhibit. Some of them were barely bigger than a thumbnail and the craftsmanship was incredible!
The Library Company also had an exhibit called "That's So Gay: Outing Early America."
Between the limericks about girls in breeches and photographs of Civil War era "companions" was a lovely edition of Leaves of Grass and dear Walt's bearded, beautiful face. A trip to the Morris Arboretum completed an entirely inspiring trip. Philly, I hope to see you again soon!
There are more photos on my Facebook page (look for MichelleCastleberryWriter) if you want to see more Philly wonderment.
Back home, the name of a road that crosses a railroad track. Here, a place to keep my verbal play-pretties and whatnot.