Yesterday morning, I shared the news that I had a new story, “An Understanding,” at Tacoma’s literary site, Creative Colloquy. Last night, I was one of the four featured readers at Creative Colloquy’s monthly reading series.
I read first, followed by Dianne Bunnell, Alec Clayton, and Kristine M. Smith. Because I wanted folks to bring a little web traffic to Creative Colloquy and read my story there, I decided to read a couple of other pieces at the mic: one of the stories in my forthcoming chapbook, Where There Is Ruin; and a microfiction piece, related to a scene in Hagridden, that appeared in the Microfiction Monday Magazine Best of 2015 anthology.
Dianne Bunnell read from her fictional memoir The Protest, Alec Clayton read a charming story about a ’70s roadtrip from the Deep South to New York City, and Kristine M. Smith read from her memoir about befriending DeForest Kelley (yes, really, THE DeForest Kelley!).
During the “intermission” (alas, singer-songwriter Maddy Dullum couldn’t make it last night), I swapped Alec Clayton a copy of Hagridden for his novel, Tupelo, and then I had an espresso — the venue, B Sharp Coffee House in Tacoma’s Opera Alley, is a delightful place with seriously decent coffee (I’m an espresso snob) and fantastic decor.
The South Puget Sound area has a fun and supportive and talented community of writers, so the open-mic was rich with other great readers — some of whom had been featured readers in the past and some of whom made the journey to Tacoma from Olympia to share poetry and prose with us. Some pieces were beautifully emotional, some humorous, and several powerful pieces got into politics and our response to these harrowing times. Writers like Christina Butcher and Shae Savoy and Emilie Rommel Shimkus and DL Fowler and Leah Mueller . . . . while the reading series is officially divided into featured readers and open-mic, both times I’ve been the evening has felt more like two halves of one big celebration of literature and literary voices. And I was thrilled to be part of it last night.
Congrats to all the readers, and thanks for such a lovely evening!