Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A LOT OF SALVATION.
That's how I felt, tonight. It's always a bit dice-y to prattle on about how fabulous I can feel after a Poetry Reading(whether I'm in the audience, or reading).It's the same feeling I get when I'm at the Theatre--whether you are onstage, or participating by being an audience member, the exchange, the communion is very real.
Such was tonight, at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. Ruth Windham always does a fabulous job of putting together a great evening, and I was honored to be included as a featured reader, alongside literary giant, Judson("The Sweet Everlasting") Mitcham.
First, big thank-you's to Collin Kelley, Carole Madan, Danny Morrison, Yolanda Asher, Professor Karen Head, Rupert Fike, my honey Hansoo, and my Mom,Demetra.In addition, I saw other wonderful professors from Georgia Tech., including Editor of The Atlanta Review, Dan Veach and Professor Bob Wood, and his daughter Elizabeth....All these folks helped make the reading successful, as these are the people you really really want with you--folks who are extremely literate, and committed to the written word...
"A Little Salvation:Poems Old and New" is the title of the book that Mr. Mitcham read from, and he was such a joy to listen to!You may find Judson Mitcham at georgiaencyclopedia.com.
I'm settling into bed with his collection of poems, later tonight.
Something that Mr. Mitcham discussed really resonated with me: that the subject of death is always there(informing the art we make, I suppose).
I had mentioned during my reading, that "We write what we don't talk about."I think the taboo of death is a great example, but I think Mr. Mitcham also meant that it is "present" in poetry--good poetry demands we search out meaning...And it is an absolute, if the poem is dealing with a harsh reality--like for example, the photograph(a real one, depicting a bride and groom, from the New York Times' pages) Mr. Mitcham referred to, which showed a groom --a deeply facially disfigured groom outfitted in his "dress military uniform", and his young bride looking up at him, at their wedding.Mr. Mitcham carried it around, and eventually, was able to write about that photo.
In this case, his words painted a thousand pictures, as there was an immediate sense of ache, of loss. Of futility.
Lucky for us, even when we feel decimated by the raw hurt implicit in his poems, we get to be redeemed--saved, if you will--by Mr. Mitcham's formidable wit, which was evident in the stories about past workshops and friends from Callanwolde, and other poems he shared!
Fun night, and one I'll always treasure.
That's some big salvation.

3 comments:

Collin said...

It was a great evening. Definitely worth missing American Idol. :)

Lisa Allender said...

Hi Coll, appreciate the shout-out at your blog, too!

Lisa Allender said...

Memories such good memories of times with Collin Kelley. He's awesome.