Friday, May 20, 2011

I Did It!

I gave - and survived - and enjoyed! - my first-ever poetry reading last night at the wonderful Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe here in Boulder.

Innisfree is one of only three poetry-only bookstores in the entire U.S. of A., and, amazingly, it has already almost tripled in size since its grand opening in January, expanding into the retail space next to it to extend its cafe and provide a lovely area for scheduled poetry readings and open mic nights. They host anybody who is brave enough to sign up to read, as well as poets of national reputation.

And last night they hosted me!

Five dear friends showed up to swell the audience, but the biggest surprise for me was that people showed up who didn't even know me. I'm so used to author events where nobody comes except my own hand-picked audience, and the kindly bookstore gentleman or lady. But strangers appeared! Poetry-loving strangers! And stayed for the whole reading! Just because they love poetry and want to support it!

I read for about 45 minutes, even sharing some of my juvenalia, my Dick Thistle love poems from junior high and high school, which I have to say aren't all that different in subject, voice, and level of poetic mastery from what I write now. I started out as a poet, took a forty-year break from it, and then returned to poetry four years ago, and it was like coming home to an old friend, or to my old self, or to my true self. The poems I read last night were confessional, filled with some heartbreak but also some humor. And yes, as promised, there were a few little erotic bits, too - that is the biggest difference between my recent poems and my high school efforts.

So I was brave, and I did it, and it was most satisfying. I'd do it again. Thank you, thank you, Innisfree!!


  1. "Please share a poem or two on your blog," one of her invisible blog friends humbly asked. :)

  2. "Confessional, heartbreak, humor, with erotic bits poetry would be perfect," she continuted after she had thought about it awhile.

  3. Because you'd like to make us smile, and we didn't get to go to Cabo.

  4. Denece, because my blog is linked to my children's book website, I don't want to put up anything that would be "inappropriate" but I'll email you some poems privately!

  5. Oh, dear poetry buddy, I wish could have been there! I do love your poetry and I do love your Dick Thistle story et al!

  6. My daughter Claire (7) is now reading Lizzie at Last... poetry-loving Lizzie - and the dedication is so beautiful: "to the girl I used to be". Austin (10) declines to believe one can dedicate a book to one's former self. BOSH of course.