July 2012 Open Mic
Our midsummer ensemble at the July open mic at Village Books was a hit! Thanks to Village Books for providing us with a great venue and for its regular support and nurturing of local writers. Here’s the July recap:
Nancy Lou Canyon treated us to a short piece “Jeannie Ann” from her e-book Dark Forest. Her quietly moving prose evoked a past that heavily informs the future. Kudos to Nancy as well for having her beautiful art adorn the walls at Village Books. Rae Ellen Lee, who we all look to for hilarious guidance on spotting geezers, tonight showed us a beautifully different style with a vignette from her childhood, published in Sea of Voices, Isle of Story (TripleTree Publishing 2003). Sporting a Periodic Table of the Elements t-shirt, Jim Milstead amused our group with his clever response to e.e. cummings, but then also turned wonderfully reflective, reading “Appointment.” Dick Harris read from “Midstream,” his blogged work, and not to be outdone on t-shirt night, Dick had on his shirt from the 2000 Iowa Summer Writing Festival, where he is an eleven-time alum!
Sylvia Crosby took a writing teacher’s experience to task in a scene teachers would appreciate, including a bit about how a student appeared to be staring up her teacher’s nose. With her unique wit, Sylvia added an interesting twist to this hilarious moment. Shannon Hager shared “Mr. Pudge,” about an intense and unforgettable experience at Louisiana State Penitentiary testing inmates for tuberculosis. Welcome to our midst, Shannon!
David Drummond took us wonderfully out of doors reading his poetry about the Olympic Peninsula and other magnificent sites he frequents. Denise du Maurier gave us “Daylight Saving” and “Standard Time,” also offering a clever nod to Walt Whitman. Stephanie Renée dos Santos told a moving story with her poem “Red Clay Woman” and brought her multi-continental perspective to her historical adventure in process, Cut from the Earth.
And, Wanda George offered a character study set in Kenya, where she lived for several years, turning her adept writer’s eye on the ironic juxtaposition of pleasure and pain she encountered in East African society:
Ha, the joke at my age I need money. Coin money—not cow money. All my cows loaned out for interest repayment in calves, all my children, all my wives are nothing against this need for coin. Kenyatta Bills. And oddly, they who are supposed to be my wealth, they are my cost.
Now, as an elder, dignified as I am, without a bright red shuka, without plaited and ochred hair, without paint markings, without beads, with my blanket, my wives, my children, my cattle, my sheep and goats. I who have survived wars and droughts and floods, decimation of my herds, lion charges and complaining wives, am now here offering myself for hire to protect these mzungus. These whites with no survival skill but coin. I will protect them from that which they do not know enough to fear—snakes, puff adders, vipers and mambas; lion, buffalo, elephant, baboon, hyena, as well. These vegetable and tuber eaters have no sense. But they have coin.
from “Samburu Man” by Wanda George
- As always, send me your writing-related event notices so I can help spread the word! If you feel like it, tell a couple people about this blog. For more details about upcoming events, visit the About Town page at LaurelLeighWriter.com. From local events to workshops in France, there is a lot of cool stuff coming up for writers.
- Check out the open mic “regulars” page. If you’d like to be added you must have read within the last three months. Send me your site link, too, so I can include it!
- Dick, Nancy, and anyone, please correct me on the titles of the piece you read if I didn’t note it correctly and I’ll amend.
The next open mic is Monday, September 24 at 7 PM in the Readings Gallery at Village Books. (I will shortly post the August recap.) Bring your written words discussing the fall season—or any creative work in progress. The rosters fill early so be sure to sign up ahead of time at the main counter on the first floor or call (360)-671-2626.
xo Laurel Leigh