Poetry Reading in Long Beach

Sack Nasty - Prison Poetry by Ra Avis. A Death on Skunk Street - A Life in Poems by William S. Friday. The Erratic Sun by Michael Hansen & Matthew Blashill

Sunday I drove up to Long Beach for the On The Edge poetry reading of Ra Avis, Bill Friday & Matthew Blashill. I was nervous about going to a poetry reading, as I haven’t attended artsy hip anything in decades. As I drove through downtown Long Beach,  I felt very suburban middle-aged.
Once there, though, I was made to feel welcome. Turns out I wasn’t the only middle-aged attendee, nor was I the only attendee who lived in South Orange County. Nice to meet people in person who you have read and interacted with online.
Suffering from fried brain right now. Have accidentally posted drafts of this post at least twice. Sorry to those completely confused, wondering, “Where the hell did that post go?” I probably should have left well enough alone and simply edited the piece. Brief, but done. At least for now.


17 responses to “Poetry Reading in Long Beach”

  1. I speak loudly. Unfortunately for those who sit nearby.

  2. I have a feeling you’re like Craig in that you both enunciate and project very well when you do public speaking! I should email the library manager and (very politely, of course) ask about why the %^(&*( there wasn’t a mic.

  3. So inspiring to hear about older writers! Not very thoughtful to not use mics.

  4. Once again, I notice a parallel between us, my lovely friend.
    I used to go to all kinds of artsy events in a heartbeat.
    Yesterday I attended a library event in Scotts Valley called “Publishing 1-2-3-“. It was with a successful editor and public speaker who discussed her twenty years in the publishing business. I was anxious, but I remembered your post and you inspired me to go!
    I’m very glad you went to the poetry reading and that you were made to feel welcome. It’s also great you “titrated” the social stimulation.
    The talk I attended was totally packed, i.e. there weren’t enough handouts for folks, and it went overtime. I was one of the youngest members in the audience, and many of the older attendees had hearing challenges. A few woman behind me yelled “Speak up!” at the editor when she began, and their pleas were ignored. The rather soft-spoken editor wasn’t wearing a mic or using one at a podium, and I was really surprised they didn’t give her one. I digress…..forgive me. I write this because know you’re an awesome public speaker, and this woman could learn a thing or two from you!
    In the past I would’ve stayed until the very end, but this time I decided to leave at the official ending time because my anxiety wasn’t fading and I didn’t want to push it.
    Of course on my way out of the library, I had two situations that totally challenged my anxiety, but I’ll save that for next week’s post, heh heh. (You gave me the idea to write it! ? I’ll give you creadit & a link, of course!)

  5. Your poem was incredibly powerful. If you publish it, let me know. We each have different parenting styles. I’m open by nature. My sister is private by nature. I’ve shared my story of drug use and familial alcoholism with my son as cautionary tales. He is now 16 and knows to be careful with how he treats his brain chemistry.

  6. If it helps, I was nervous about it too. ?
    Thanks for coming out! It was nice to meet you in person, and hopefully we’ll see you out at another event soon.

  7. Wonderful memory! Thanks for sharing it.

  8. In the 80’s …oh geez, trying to remember a poetry reading by Gwendolyn Brooks. We walked up these narrow stairs in a Chicago bungalow to the second or third floor. The room was an empty room with worn, wood flooring and folding chairs in a circle. I was afraid because they had all these new age pamphlets an some were creepy. But what a neat experience listening to her. You brought that memory back for me, ty.

  9. Thank you, Bradley!

  10. I left before that. The room was hot, and I could only take so much of the heat. I guess I was “titrating” social stimulation. It was pretty low-key and casual which helped.

  11. I remember going to poetry readings in Venice, CA back in the 80s. Fun.

  12. Without a doubt.

  13. I’m happy to see you getting out and about, especially when you had some anxiety going on. Pat yourself on the back

  14. I actually get nervous just thinking about going to an event like this, so I can imagine your anxiety. I am so glad you had a wonderful time. I was able to participate in the FB live showing which was so much fun! 🙂

  15. It is not silly at all, I know I would be anxious too! I really do want to attend a poetry reading someday soon. When I read your post I thought, yep it is time 🙂

  16. Thank you! Silly that I felt anxious about it. When I was younger, I would have not had a second thought about going. Honestly, I’d love to perform spoken word.

  17. Ah this sounds so adventurous! So glad it turned out well for you 🙂

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