Friday, July 16, 2010

Poets House reading

I am lucky to have poet friends who write delightfully well. Maybe, and I admit this is a prejudice, I cannot be a supportive fan of dreck. For instance, when Jim and I met for a first date we both brought examples of our writing, no point in pursing a kiss if the prose was a miss. Or in our cases, poetry and lyrics...

Last night I attended one of the readings held in honor of the annual show of poetry books published in the previous year and, er, donated to the library at Poets House. Included in the line-up of readers was my friend Estha Weiner, who is finally having multiple books and chapbooks published after too long a wait. She is a delight as a teacher, writer and reader (her other life was as an actress). Baron Wormser said of her book, Transfiguration Begins at Home, "a blend of Beckett and Dorothy Parker." Most true. You can buy it here.

I looked around the somewhat too small room for readings and enjoyed the array of 2009 books on the shelves. Happily several of my cover designs were presented face out. I designed many of the Marsh Hawk Press books as well as the cover for Gardner McFall's Russian Tortoise. Missing was Benu Press because they are new and most likely just didn't know about contributing to this annual show. I will make sure next year's poetry books are submitted.

Spoke with Martin Mitchell, Sarah White, Rachel Hadas (told her I'd just finished my first kid's novel!), Jeanne Marie Beaumont, and other friends of poetry and Estha at the reception. 

The new lower Manhattan space for Poets House is lovely, despite the too smallness of the performance room on the ground floor. I adore the long reading gallery upstairs with its ample chairs, tables, and couches, and above all the astounding glass wall views of the harbor with light that bounces off the Hudson River and the ribbon of comforting green public space that now frames so much of this island. But...change is hard. I miss the cosy lived-in feel of the SoHo loft. Maybe I miss the location, it was easier to drop in after work, free lectures (at Noble Desktop), Alimentum readings at the Housing Works cafe, and museums such as MoCCA which were so close by...

But in time, the new becomes lived in, gains a personality that comes from being occupied by the passions of it's tenants and tenents.

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