This weekend, my writer’s soul was nourished and fed. I gave a poetry reading at our local artsy coffee house, the Poulsbohemian, with two other poets—author and teacher Bob McAllister and Bill Mawhinney who runs the Northwind Reading Series in Port Townsend.
I was honored to read with these two prolific and treasured poets and they’re part of the reason I had such a great experience this weekend. But there was another reason the night stood out for me as the best reading I’ve ever given—the audience.
When I read, I like to take turns reading from my pages and glancing around the room at the faces in the crowd. My intent is to tune into their energy and take them for a ride with me. My goal is to entertain and move my audience.
Last night, I have to admit I was a bit tired when I arrived. But as soon as I started reading, I could literally feel the audience’s intent—they leaned forward, their eyes were open, they followed my words and wanted more. It felt as if they had all dialed into the same static-free channel at the same time. I’ve given readings before but this was the first time I felt the audience was really hungry. Read more