March 31, Contemporary Arts Forum: David Starkey recognizes that many in the audience have been to recent readings, and so reads “from the B-side” of his book. Starkey admits, “I think my best poems are edgy and a little distasteful, and I don’t want to come across like that as a person you know.” Though Cecilia Woloch fusses about her reading glasses and asks us if we know where the Carpathians are, her poems are downright sexy. From a villanelle: “His eyes are Hindu blue and when he smiles / I taste the way he’d kiss me, hot and mild.”
April 3, City Hall: In a City Council chambers packed with firefighters, city workers, and poets, Perie Longo is invested as S.B.’s new poet laureate by Mayor Marty Blum. Longo accepts a laurel wreath offered to her by outgoing poet laureate Barry Spacks, and wears it with aplomb while reading a poem to the assembled councilmembers.
April 4, Good Cup: An open-mike miracle occurs: Everything is wonderful; not a single poem makes anybody cringe. Several emerging poets are heard in public for the first time including Nancy Lee, Hope Slaughter, and Lisa Merkel.
By Paul Wellman