“You become a writer because you need to become a writer — nothing else.”
Here’s something I love about the open-mike literary evenings that the Write Group hosts in our community every month: the philosophy behind them is that everyone who writes is a writer, whether they are published or not. What an expansive atmosphere this approach creates — it’s so welcoming! And whenever I attend a session, I’m always struck by the incredibly creativity and passion that people bring to the work they read.
This time around, I had a chance to share the cycle of poems in my YA novel, which was fun. They are a little unusual because they rhyme while most contemporary poetry is free verse in form. Still, I it was fun hearing afterward that people enjoyed them. But it was even more fun — and often moving — to hear other writers showcase their work. What a rich array of wordsmiths gather together at these events!
My writing buddy Carl read a touching story from a memoir about the emotional highs and lows he experienced after losing and then saving someone’s life using CPR. A multitalented poet named Ron entertained us all with an energetic scat rendition of several poems. Laura, a poet, read a cycle of beautiful and very touching poems about her beloved friend Anne, who passed away recently — an amazing tribute to friendship and all the richness it offers us.
Then there was a young woman who read a very polished poem about her boyfriend — I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from and about her. A lady who composes her poems while walking read a humorous reverie about her house and what it does while she’s at work. A fellow who spent many years in advertising read a poem called “Avocado Dream” about a sandwich mix-up at a deli that had us all chuckling and another woman who’s a children’s educator shared a lively poem she created to encourage kids to take a look at books.
What a rich tapestry of words — and how wonderful to hear them shared aloud. What is more lovely than to be read to? Write on!