Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Weekend of Poetry, Prose, and Memories of Saipan

I attended two poetry readings and open mics this weekend-- Patuxent Arts Bridge's event on Saturday at Arts in the Glen in Glenwood, MD, and the Town Square series in Hampden, Baltimore on Sunday.  Both were well-attended events.  Patric Pepper, Jenny Keith, and Barrett Warner were the featured readers at Patuxent Arts Bridge's reading.  Patric read a few poems from his collection Zoned Industrial, which tends to focus on the lives and work of blue collar workers, as well as a few from an as yet unpublished collection.  Jenny's poems took on a variety of subjects, but all in a strong voice, images, and wonderful choice of words.  Barrett read a new autofiction piece based out of his recent experience recovering from tuberculosis.  It was, in a word, incredible.  Okay, three words:  incredible, magnificent, enthralling. 

I read two pieces during the open mic:  Jessup and Thoughts While Sitting Along the Lower Potomac.

At Town Square on Sunday, the featured readers were Arin Greenwood and Timmy Reed.  Arin read an excerpt from her novel Save the Enemy.  Timmy read a few poems and an interesting piece about holes, written in an objective, academic style, as if prepared by an anthropologist from another world who is trying to make sense of why people dig holes.  Arin, as it turns out, spent 5 1/2 years on Saipan.  We shared a few memories of Saipan (I was there for four days in June 2007).  I bought her novel Tropical Depression which is set partly on an island modeled after Saipan. 

I read three poems during the open mic:  Four Geographers Find the Quintessential Baltimore Rowhouse, Walking Along U Street, and Potomac River:  Sunday Morning.  Arin really liked Walking Along U Street and offered to pitch it to the editors of the Huffington Post DC blog even though they don't include poetry on the blog (she's an editor for Huffington Post DC).  Alas, the editors of the blog said no. 

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