Thursday, January 17, 2008


Michael Juster
for the third time!! Way to go, Michael.

Interestingly enough, I met Mike for the first time last Sunday. We had dinner together, along with Leesburg poet Claudia Gary Annis and her son.

Michael is a delightful man as well as a wonderful poet and the thrice-earned honor is well-deserved.

After dinner, the four of us went next door to Iota, in Arlington, Va., where Wordworks holds monthly poetry readings on the second Sunday of each month which are followed by an open mic period.

The readings are run by Miles David Moore and I highly recommmend the time and place to anyone in the area who's at all interested in poetry. There was a fair-sized crowd present, all of them friendly and polite, and the poetry was well-performed and equally well-received. Most of it was free verse, but a few people did get up and read some strictly formal verse and those poems were welcomed every bit as warmly as their unmetered and less constrained cousins were.

I even read!! Egged on by Michael and Claudia I somehow agreed to let Claudia list me for the open mic. It's an experience I plan to never repeat, but I am glad I did it the once. It gives new meaning to the words "grace" and "courage" - and it was a fairly safe way for me to discover that I am sadly lacking in both qualities.

In other words, I was scared to death and it showed. My legs shook, my arms shook, my hands shook, and worse of all, my voice shook. Badly. Very Badly.

I'll leave the "spoken word" to others from now on and be content to simply write the stuff without attempting to inflict it on others while confined to an enclosed space.

Without a doubt, though, I'll go back to listen.

Next month, February 10th, at 6PM. Be there!!

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