11:54 a.m. — San Antonio
Okay, so I said this column (?) would be down for the summer, but I wanted to thank a couple of people and not tack it onto the roundup, or Tuesday’s Tryouts.
Many of you are aware that I spent the past weekend in Rhode Island [a wonderful state with the friendliest people], celebrating the Origami Poems Project 3rd anniversary with the two women responsible for the continuation of this unusual Press, and honouring Jack Penha, best friend, mentor, author, editor of The New Verse News, and much, much more, and Tom Chandler, Poet Laureate Emeritus of Rhode Island.
The two women who set up the event, and who take care of all of their poets as they would a family, Jan Keough and Lynnie Gobeille, deserve their own celebrating and honouring for bringing off such a successful event and for all they do to send free poetry out into the world.
Jan and Lynnie, along with all the other events they sponsor, the reading of poetry, the selecting of poets and poems, the printing of the micro chapbooks, the folding of the chapbooks and then, the disseminating of the chapbooks all over Rhode Island, have been working on this event for months, making sure everything would run perfectly and everyone be happy.
It did and we were. The venue was the Wickford Art Gallery, a small square building on the water. Inside all is light-filled and the walls covered with gorgeous photographs and paintings. In the centre, roughly forty chairs were set up, facing a lectern with a mic. Behind the chairs, stood a table serving wine and chocolate, throughout [I ask you: what could be better?]. To one side stood a table where the two honourees signed books afterwards.
Listening to seven poets read is a magical way to spend an afternoon.
Everything was wonderful, from first to last. Not a hitch, although I know Jan and Lynnie worried until the last person left. Their care of and for us and for poetry is one of the things that made the afternoon so special.
I point you in the direction of the Origami Poems Project every now and then. I will keep nudging. This is a special project. Check it out. Read some of the micro-chapbooks. They are all there, online. Learn how the chapbooks are folded from a single sheet of A4 paper. Consider submitting your own poems.
Thank you, Jan and Lynnie, for the magic.