memorial for a brilliant woman

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Poetry festival was fun, sort of, sort of not. I always enjoy the people.

Two speakers on Friday were subs (Claudia Emerson's brother died so she was not with us, the other scheduled speaker also had a death in the family) but Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda and Sophia Starnes, both Virginia poets, did a great job of filling in- the third speaker, a poetry professor (I will not name) and frequent speaker was strangely aloof and gave a 'free' lecture (his words) and read hardly any poetry. He was kind of full of attitude.

The last event was a dreadful horrible 'poetry play' about Jamestown and the 400th year celebration. I'm not even sure- it was painful, except for one part in the middle where a woman (well-known around here) did her thing poetry-wise. Guitar, clarinet, drum, and 3 speakers. HORRIBLE!!!! I only hope people in Virginia don't see this thing and think that's what poetry is supposed to be. My teeth still hurt.

Friday night party in my room was GREAT! Saturday, with readings and meetings, and a few more tedious sessions before the Slam was bearable. the slam was hot.

Was it worth $140 bucks??? (meals, hotel, registration) Not so much, but then again, I'm low on cash this year because of the job thing.

They would have talked about me if I hadn't gone.

1 comment:

T.S. said...

I second the sentiment on the "poetry play." It was more of a cold table reading and not a performance... and the fact that we had to sit through the opinions of the "author" of this train wreck for almost 40 minutes while he waited for his cast members to show up didn't help. I hate it when poets get that full of themselves.

Coming from the world of poetry slams, I find that most champions, no matter what they say or do on stage, are the most humble human beings. They enjoy the competition, but more enjoy being a part of the mutual inspiration... it's the energy that drives them, like an addiction. People who self-congratulate like this could learn a lot from poetry slams.

I hate it when a person fancies themself a poet just because sometime in the past they might've written a poem. When this individual was introduced, he was credited as writing 20 books. I once interviewed a writer who claimed to have written over one million words, and all I was thinking was 'yeah, but you've never went back and read a single one.' Anyone who can remind me of that person DURING THEIR INTRODUCTION is probably going to suck; if you've written 20 books, have any won awards? That would've been a credible way of establishing oneself as an accomplished poet. I've written 100-plus poems in the last year, and would safely guess that more than half of them range from "needs work" to "stinks on ice."

I hate to think that way. I really like to be encouraging, but this person was pompous and thought he was the best poet in the room... all the while, I was struck with awe by some of the on-the-spot poetry we did in workshops previous.

As for the other presenters, there were just too many of them. And readings lasting more than 30 minutes are too much. Give me your best, then get off the stage and maybe do Q&A.

Overall, it was great meeting the PSV folks. They are a very talented bunch, and I left there inspired.