October 2012 Open Mic

Dear Writers,
October’s open mic was spooky good, frankly.

image from the dabbler.co.uk

Being born on Halloween, I was uniquely qualified to emcee this particular open mic. A few witches showed up to help me cast a spell that called for some eye of newt and toe of frog as well as some scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, gall of goat and a tiger’s chaudron. All of this they stirred into a cauldron. If you haven’t guessed who they were by now, you need to go read your classics.

Harvey Schwartz provided a wonderful opening to our evening with his image-laden poems, including “String of Pearls” and a piece based on a waitress in Omaha entitled “Sarah.” Angela Belcaster followed with two poems, and I quote her: “One new poem and one reworked older thing.” (I related to the latter.) She read “Tattooist”—a poem as beautiful as the art it describes—and “Copper Sheets.”

Dick Harris shared his inspiring visit to see the poetry pole. He also let us know he’s been writing about his 10-day cruise, which also required 10 days to recover from, so we should expect some water stories. No mention of an albatross so far from what I know.

Shannon Laws dared us to redefine our personal definition of erotic poetry. That is, she submitted these poems and was invited to read at Erotic Poetry Night at the Underground Coffee House. Along with Shannon, we weren’t sure if there was actually an x-rating in “Tossed Salad” and “Tongue in Ink,” but we enjoyed fantasizing about it.

Wanda George brought her intimate knowledge of Kenya to perform a character study for a secondary character who will feature in a longer work she’s developing. I’ve read bits of Wanda’s writing about Kenya off and on for a few years now and am eager to see her complete this terrific project. Go Wanda!

Here’s an interesting new twist on an old tale. Writer Adam Brown introduced himself and his ambitious project to our open mic. Adam recently completed the script for a one-actor show based on Melville’s Moby Dick. He will be looking for an actor to help him polish the script. Monday night Henry Cross, a regular at open mic with his own work, performed the opening monologue from The Great Whale, Moby Dick.

Vince Landi came along to read a few family pieces and soon had us in stitches with “Cut Out,” an oh-too-true depiction of table conversation between man and wife. And Deanna Hawkins took us with her on a beautifully funny reminiscent piece about her one-time (that she admitted to) walk on the wild side.

Everyone was really great, and I’m sorry for any of you who missed this night! But I have to confess that the true highlight of the evening for me personally was being presented with Susan Campbell Cross’s chapbook Where the Rail Tracks Bend Along the Bay and then hearing her read a poem from it that is a tribute to my late sister, Terri McAllister Hatanelas. Susan has long been a student of mine, and I was excited to learn she was publishing some of her poems, including “Sisters.” Susan, congratulations on this project and thank you for such a wonderful gift to my kid sis and me. Anyone who is interested in purchasing a copy of Susan’s chapbook for $5.50 can contact her at suezq698@hotmail.com.

Terri the teen

I know, I know, I still owe you the recap for September! I’m stretched a little thin on several awesome projects right now, including Easy Peasy Japanesey!, a fabulous cookbook concept developed by Amy Kimoto-Kahn.

  • As always, send me your writing-related event notices so I can help spread the word via this blog! Pretty please, tell someone else about this blog.
  • 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!
  • Read more from me at Dogpatch Writers Collective.

The next open mic is Monday, November 26 at 7 PM in the Readings Gallery at Village Books. Bring your latest writing to celebrate National Novel Writing Month! 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.Write on!

xo Laurel Leigh

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