Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ghost Reading

First of all, let me say, I believe that this might be the first time I have ever posted something to the blog of my own volition, without our "Blog Mistress," Signe, encouraging me to offer some words on a given topic.

Signe is very good at this. She knows when it is a good moment to promote something or give it a little extra boost. I am usually not thinking in such an organized fashion. I am generally lost in some cloud of thought, feeling, or plan for the future.

So, what is my point?

I want to share what an interesting process it has been to gather and dispatch the army of "Ghost Readers" who are going to help out at the Stoneboat reading on April 21, 7:00 p.m. at Paradigm. "Army" might be too strong a word. So far, I have only four of them, along with the four editors. We are currently an army of eight. Not bad, though. Not bad at all.

As I mentioned in my previous blog entry (which was encouraged by the aforementioned "Mistress Of All Things Bloggish," Signe, and which I'm sure all of you out there read with great interest) most of the contributors to Stoneboat 1.2 live outside Sheboygan. Thus, in order to have a celebratory reading of the issue, we had to get creative. Lacking the actual writers who could read their prose or poems, we put out the call for stand-ins.

I have taken to calling these benevolent souls "Ghost Readers." Like "ghost writers," they stand in for the real, flesh and blood individual. They are not spooky. They are friendly ghosts. They are as fine as mist and as strong as black coffee on a cold winter morning.

I have been enjoying matching what I know of the particular person with the piece of writing that I am assigning. Only one of the ghosts is someone I have never met. But, based on his age and his diligence in finding us, I was easily able to pick a poem or two that I thought might appeal to him.

I should clarify that the ghosts get some say in what they will read. They get to choose between two poems, the one that they feel suits them best. (To be completely honest--because I am really a very bossy person underneath my sunny disposition--I informed each editor what they would be reading. No choices for them. Well, except for Signe. She had already put dibs on one piece. The Queen Blogger can do that. That is what queens do. But, I told the boys what they would be reading. Jim balked at this ever-so-slightly. But, when he could see I meant business, he got with the program quickly enough and even suggested he might supply props to go with the prose piece he will read. So, we shall see.) As for our Editor-in-Chief, Rob, he has not replied. But he usually does what I tell him to do, and always with a smile.

All this is to say that we are still looking for ghosts to help us read. If you are a ghost, or if you know of a ghost, please contact us through the blog. We will find something for you to do at the reading. And, remember, the ghosts get this bonus reward: after standing in for someone else, they will be allowed to stand in for themselves and share their own work.

Thus, I say unto you, come to Paradigm on April 21 and hear the ghosts read! It is sure to be an evening of other-worldly Stoneboat voices raised in ephemeral surprise.


Sandy Kleven said...

More commentary from Alaska. In the same vein as having ghosts represent missing poets, next Wednesday, here on the UAA campus, I've organized a sort of play, where Theodore Roethke's former students (U of Wash) talk about him. Ted has been dead since 1963,his students are also unavailable for various reasons, so ghost readers are filling in as Louise Bogan, James Wright, David Wagoner, Richard Hugo, Tess Gallagher and Carolyn Kizer. The idea of having others represent those not present... might have other creative applications.

Lisa Vihos said...

Hi Sandy, this sounds postively awesome. I adore Theodore Roethke and I would so love to be there to see what you are up to. Sometime, I will show you a poem I wrote (if you are interested) that pays homage to I Knew a Woman, but it is called I Knew a Man...if you would like to see it. I look forward to meeting you on Skype on Thursday! Best regards, Lisa