Patriots & Politics: July 2013 Open Mic
July was a hot month! I’m talking about more than the weather. If you were at July’s Open Mic at Village Books in beautiful Fairhaven WA, then you know of what I speak. If you missed it, my condolences, and here’s the recap:
Masterful poet Harvey Schwartz launched this night with an account of adventurous life in a 1960s commune. Part an examination of trust and part examination of the art of hitchhiking, this tale was a wonderful trip back to the Woodstock era.
Angela Belcaster came next with an excerpt from her gorgeous story “Mindcraft,” forthcoming in Tampa Review, and a perceptive study of a younger brother who experiences the world differently than many of us. Nicely done, Angela!
Dobbie Reese Norris joined our group—welcome, Dobbie!—and shared his mesmerizing poems, including “Water Closet Intimates,” “The King Has Clothes,” which he wrote after crossing Bellingham Bay, and also “B-Flat Blues.”
Vince Landi came to read “Saguaro,” a short story on its way to becoming a play and likely to be another “serial” of our open mic, Vince told us. Great, because I’m already hooked. Plus he brought visuals of the different type of cacti on view in this story.
Congratulations to Richard Lee “Dick” Harris on his newest poetry collection, Selected Poems: Alaska and Northwest, from which he shared selections, including “Academician.” The stunning cover is an image of a painting by Dick’s wife.
Jim Milstead read “Peer Counselor,” a short story inspired by a past work endeavor. Props to Jim for this great character study of a complex character who shows his guile.
The talented Nancy Canyon captivated us reading “Struck,” from her memoir in progress, Lookout. You can join a writing workshop taught by Nancy: Place to Place: Writing the Environment starts October 3.
The author of Madrona Grove and radio host of Boosie’s Playhouse, Shannon Laws fired up her computer to read “The Mist,” from a book-length manuscript she’s developing.
Blogger/editor/teacher/writer Cate Perry shared “In Between Days,” part of a short story she has been working on “for too long,” she said. Well Cate, what we heard certainly had our attention, exploring a family’s reaction to a child’s disappearance.
Linda Mercy, who has read recently at our open mic nights, shared an excerpt from her project My Mom’s Magic Scissors, a sincerely offered portrayal of emotional and physical betrayal.
And the lovely Janet Oakley, who has been extremely busy racking up the awards for her novel Tree Soldier, brought the evening to a wonderful close reading from her latest novel in process.
Thanks to everyone who read and came to listen for another spectacular evening!
♦ Find pics from other open mics here!
♦ Read more from me at Dogpatch Writers Collective.
♦ If you have or know someone who has a daughter age 12 to teens who loves to write, then I hope you will tell them about the Little Novelist Workshop, a writing class I’ll teach especially for a parent and daughter team, on Saturday, November 2, at Whatcom Community College.
♦ Autumn Inspirations is the optional theme of the next open mic on Monday, September 30 at 7 p.m. in the Readings Gallery at Village Books. 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