I attended a terrific reading today
at the Bowery Poetry Club given by
two of my all-time favorite poets,
Lynne Dreyer and Steve McCaffery.
Lynne is from DC and Steve is from
Toronto (teaches at York U) and both
read great new work. Bob Holman,the
owner and master poetry impresario
met me at the door with a kind reference
to my continued presence here in blogland.
Lynne read first, introduced by Nada Gordon,
and these exciting readings would have been
worth going to just to listen to Nada's introduction.
Nada must be a great teacher because she is so
easy to listen to at a podium (maybe a few of you
old time bloggers remember the phrase
"kick the podium" and what that signifiies).
She had great things to say about Lynne's work
but I don't remember most of them because
I was unfortunately too busy being jealous of how
relaxed she is onstage, and thinking how I wish
I could be like that when I read- especially
since I will be standing in exactly the same spot
there in two weeks (please come if you can.) I do
remember that she mentioned that Lynne
hasn't published much since her Roof book
*White Museum* that came out in 1986. Lynne
read truly moving, great new work, including a piece
that dealt sensitively and lyrically with her feelings
about her hiatus from writing and how she felt about
writing now (excited and gratified, I think).
My bet is that her piece "Keeper" will show up
in print sometime soon.
Steve McCaffery read a number of hilarious and
brilliantly witty works including one that he said
dealt with his feelings about entering into
male menopause. The piece was riotously funny,
and kept the packed audience laughing throughout.
It included the unforgettable line
(afterwards he admitted to me it was one of his
own favorites): "I'm too nervous to die."Another
favorite line:"A pocket quide to architecture
or an architectural guide to pockets." There was
another line I won't quote now because I'm saving
it to use when I begin my reading in two weeks.
At this point I want to mention that
Maryann Shaneen was sitting next to me
for part of the reading and I noticed her
taking lots of notes. I assumed she would
blog those notes or I would have copied out more
of Lynne's lines. I have read Lynne's books
and *Lamplights Used To Feed The Deer* literally dozens of
times, (collected in her Roof Book *The White Museum*).
Her books are still the most likely writing I would turn
to in a time of personal stress.
Does this mean a comeback for
Let's hope so, because Maryann is a fine writer and
Froth is a great blog. I'm seriously hoping to see a report
on this reading by Maryann tomorrow morning on
I miss Maryann in Blogland and I know I'm not the only one.
Audience members included Lytle Shaw, Emilie Clarke,
Jackson Mac Low, Douglas Rothschild, Laura Willey (!),
Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein, Sally Silvers,
Liz Fodaski, Cori Copp (who was present when
outside at the break Mitch Highfill asked me
what I would be reading at the BPC in two weeks
and when I mentioned that I would start with
my new haikus, her mouth dropped- I tried to
explain that they weren't *typical* haikus, but
I'm not sure that helped), Ann Tardos,
Alex Trimble Young (!), Rob Fitterman, Kim Rosenfeld,
Drew Gardner (!), Sam Truitt, Abigail Child, Miles Champion,
Michael Coffey, Brian Kim Stefans, Ulla Dydo, Cole Heinowitz
and, no doubt, at least two dozen luminaries
I have not yet met, but hope to soon!
As always, the BPC was on a tight schedule,
and as we left, Keith Waldop was on his way
in to read some translations in the following BPC event.
Next week's reading, October 11, again curated by
Nada Gordon (!) and Gary Sullivan(!),
is titled "In Others' Words: Parody and Pastiche" and will include
Charles Bernstein, Jack Kimball, Brendan Lorber, Michael Magee,
Brandon Downing, and Benjamin Friedlander.
And the BPC beat goes on...