Spirits in the Air, on April 19, is part of National Poetry Month | Photo: Courtesy

Get a shot of verse when cocktails and poetry come together in a loving embrace at the ninth annual “Spirits in the Air: Potent Potable Poetry” reading on April 19. Hosted by Indy writer George Yatchisin, this always-entertaining event comes to The Good Lion (1212 State St.) at 5:30 p.m.

George Yatchisin | Photo: Courtesy

What initially inspired the now must-attend event for fans of lyrical libations? “My hope was to create something a bit different and lively for National Poetry Month. I know poetry can be intimidating to some people, so I hoped that by not only having it at a bar where the audience could tipple, but also by making the very heart of the poems the drinking life, we might be able to find a larger audience for a reading,” said Yatchisin. “Plus, as you know, food and wine and drink are three of my things, so I wanted to celebrate that. And I’ve got a lot of cocktail poems,” he added.

Featured readers include Christopher Buckley, Michelle Detorie, Rebecca Horrigan (Independent writer), Diana Raab, Linda Saccoccio, David Starkey (Independent writer and Santa Barbara Poet Laureate III), Emma Trelles (Santa Barbara Poet Laureate IX), Jace Turner, and Chryss Yost (Santa Barbara Poet Laureate V). 

“I am proud it has taken on an almost decade-long life at this point, even making it through the pandemic with virtual readings,” said Yatchisin. “The Good Lion has always been such a receptive partner, which makes the event easy to do. And I’m proud to bring some people who don’t read all the time in Santa Barbara to the mic — like when we featured the cowboy poet from Alisal Ranch, Chris Henrich; or Robert Krut, who lives in L.A. but teaches at UCSB; or the first public poetry reading from Theo Stephan, who runs Global Gardens. I anticipated fun, definitely, and we have lots of that.”

Poetry meeting cocktails at Spirits in the Air, on April 19 | Photo: Courtesy

Yatchisin, who is the author of poetry volumes Feast Days and The First Night We Thought the World Would End, added, “From Bacchus to Berryman, from Li Po to Dorothy Parker, drink and lyric flights have danced a long, sometimes loving, sometimes leery waltz. This event will attest to the multi-faceted ways poets have found inspiration, solace, and yes, sometimes sickness in the bottle. Now in its ninth year, this event makes clear just how fun poetry can be, and we all look forward to getting to celebrate Poetry Month together, with a delicious drink in hand.

Spirits in the Air: Potent Potable Poetry, is on Wednesday, April 19, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at The Good Lion, 1212 State St., goodlioncocktails.com. Free admission, no-host bar. 


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