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Archive for November 19th, 2013

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

Ava enjoys paella at the Spanish Festival.

Ava enjoys paella at the Spanish Festival.

I am having a hard time putting into words this feeling. This good, fulfilled feeling after a successful Fall Poetry Night. I think magic happens when a poem is read aloud, the words shared become everyone’s words. Your life becomes theirs, and theirs yours. We become a community.

On Saturday, I hosted our state poet laureate, Ava Leavell Haymon. (See a previous post here featuring her poetry.) She came into town in time to have paella downtown at the second annual Spanish Festival. Ava laughs at her new title. She said it has a certain amount of celebrity to it, but in the same way a rare boa constrictor might; Everyone comes to see what it is.

I don’t think that was the case for our audience Saturday night. I had been getting messages on Facebook from a variety of people who wanted to read. I wouldn’t dare say no to anyone who has the courage to read his own poetry aloud. So we had 4 featured authors and 5 readers in open mic. Good thing the food truck man was coming, and a number of friends had brought treats.

Ava took notes as each poet read, and she made a point of speaking to each one with specific comments about their writing. What a gift! When she read her own poetry, she instructed us as well on the forms of her poems. The teacher in her is natural. All weekend we shared stories of teaching poetry. I look forward to trying some of her ideas with my students. (And sharing them here.)

Ava reading at A&E Gallery.

Ava reading at A&E Gallery.

I entertained an angel this weekend, an angel who taught me about opening my ears and my heart to all poets. Ava was still smiling Sunday morning. She told me after all of the traveling and many activities of her new position, the energy of Saturday night had rejuvenated her. I felt she did the same for me and for all who attended and participated in the Fall Poetry Night.

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