Saturday, November 5, 2011
At the Stoneboat Reading
We had a really nice event at Paradigm this afternoon, an open mic reading highlighting the third issue of Stoneboat, issue 2.1. I can't believe that one short year ago, we introduced our little boat. Look how far we have come.
It was great to have contributors who came from some distance to join us today: Richard Merelman from Madison, Ralph Murre from Door County, and Maryann Hurtt from Elkhart Lake (which is really not so far away, honestly, but it is always a treat to hear Maryann read her poems).
What also made today so fun was the help of our ghost readers: Jon Spader, who has a lovely baritone voice, really strong and emotive; Karen Howland, who always brings a spirit of playfulness and inclusion to everything she does; and Kelly Quick who has a biting wit that makes everything she turns her attention to quite compelling.
In addition, Sharon Auberle from Door County participated in the open mic, reading/singing a very lovely poem (she claims she was nervous, but really, she pulled it off beautifully). We also had a new poet, Denise Kautzer, read some short poems that played with rhyme and repetition. And our dear friend from Arkansas, Lynnie Bat-Abba, shared the inspiration and wonderment she experienced this past week at the Great Lakes Writers Festival in a workshop taught by nonfiction writer Joyce Dyer, whose essay "Funeral Home" is a highlight of the current issue (you can read an excerpt on our website).
I hope this gives you a taste of what transpired this afternoon. Jim took photos, Rob provided spiritual ballast (and both of them served as ghost readers as well), and Signe read her poignant piece about Alaska from issue 1.1, "Look Sideways." I had a great time serving as the Mistress of Ceremonies. It is always an honor to be in company of people who love words and know the power they elicit.
As Karen said, there are poems all around us, everywhere, all the time. And, Lynnie reminded us of the words of Joyce Dyer: "Tell the truth. Tell YOUR truth." I, too, participated in one of Joyce's workshops this past week, and all I can say is, the urgency of her message made me wake up in the middle of the night last night to jot some things down. Maybe there is a memoir in me yet. I certainly hope so. There is a lot to be written. So let's get to work, people! There are stoneboats out in the fields, waiting for your stones. Deliver them unto us! The deadline for the next issue is January 15, 2012. And, with the holiday season coming on, remember that a subscription to Stoneboat would make a wonderful gift!