Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wonderful Poetry Reading at Lakeland Last Evening

We had our 15th annual Poetry Month reading at Lakeland Community College last evening, Kathy Fink was emcee, and the featured readers were Bill French, me, Alynn Mahle, and Tobin Terry. Open microphone readers included Bob Speer, Joy Christianson, Robin Crawford, Christopher Franke, Suzanne Ondrus, and others. The open mic readers are all accomplished poets in their own right and could easily have been featured. I read the following poems:

  • "Still Life, With Grand Babies" [a poem for Linda]
  • "Thanksgiving for Companions" [a poem especially for Kathy Flora and my St. Mary's friends]
  • "Dream Haiku in Three Languages" [in English, Irish, and German, for Linda]
  • "Short Memory Needed in Lake and Geauga Counties" [about our late-late snows in Ohio's snowbelt]
  • "Klara im Zwielicht" [a poem in German--for an old friend]
  • "Blood Root" [a poem set in the spring rain at Holden Arboretum, with thanks to K.O.]
  • "Lucky (Stones) at Mentor Headlands (1964)"
In "Lucky Stones" I got to sing a bit of the Everly Brothers' song "Cathy's Clown," which is mentioned in the poem.

So many wonderful poems. I particularly loved Tobin's brilliant "Nursery Crimes," in which he sings, quite a bit, the somewhat twisted songs he learned at his mother's knee (a mother I would like to meet!). Alynn's final poem, which is about poetry and the writing of poetry, is flat-out brilliant. Bob Speer, one of the elder statesmen of the night, was exceptional with his narrative and dialect poems. Joy Christianson had wonderful linked haiku poems. Christopher Franke is one of a kind--he is very good and often wickedly funny. And Suzanne Ondrus read us a beautiful and sexy short poem from her new book, Passion Seeds. She will do a featured reading and book signing in a couple weeks--can't wait! Thanks to Kathy Fink for organizing and emceeing this wonderful event!

Kathy Fink

Bill French
Alynn Mahle
Tobin Terry

Bob Speer
Robin Crawford
Christopher Franke
Suzanne Ondrus
Bob Coughlin, Bill French, Alynn Mahle, Tobin Terry


alynn mahle said...

Thanks for the write up about the reading, Bob, and your kind words about my tribute to poetry, "Shaped by River Run." It was a wonderful evening with lots of great words.

View from the North Coast said...

You are welcome, Alynn. It's a wonderful poem.