poetry through art again

Posted by Daniela Elza on Aug 20 2009

Yesterday at the art gallery in the Jewish Community Center we gathered to launch the 6th Annual Summer Dream Literary Arts Festival. The feature poets who wrote to the art were Natasha Boskic, Christy Hill, Maureen Egan, Mary Duffy, Steve Duncan, Bonnie Nish and myself. We read poetry inspired by artist Linda Frimer’s visual work. It is a powerful and overwhelming exhibit and, at first, I was not sure where to begin, since so much was remembered and evoked from my past and my own European heritage. Usually, when we get together to write beforehand I walk away with something already well in the works. This time I gathered my impressions and my numerous notes, and I had to sit with it. It felt like when I used to sift flour for my mom. You keep sifting and sifting until you are left with the stuff you want to throw out, but in this case instead of throwing what was left out, that was where I began.

So with audience of about 25 people in the small space of the gallery we read what we had managed to sift through. Always an exciting event because it shows poetry in its making, in its mixing, kneading, rising, baking.

In the spirit of these events, incorporating Bonnie and Sita’s WordWhips flavour, the audience too was given time and encouraged to write to the exhibit and to share their words during the open mic portion of the evening. Yet, again I was surprised at what people can write on the spot. Particularly, Robin Susanto‘s, and Diane Tucker’s poems. I quite enjoyed Jess Hill’s music with which the evening began.
And thank you to those who bought books, and found time to come and talk to me and/or give me feedback. A reader’s/listener’s excitement for what I have written or read are invaluable moments for me of true connecting.

The main event of the festival happens this Saturday, the 22nd of August. A lot of work goes into these kind of events and it is volunteer work. Come and support this effort that brings local writing and performing groups that have events all year round town. This festival celebrates them. Check out their schedule here. There are three stages (one of which is a children’s stage), panel discussions (I will be on one of them: Has Poetry lost its audience? with moderator George McWhirter). There will be music, open mike, feature readers, and a contest. So yes, bring something to read, to submit, and enjoy a day in the park. See you there.

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