Hearing as practice

Last night, I heard Nicole Cooley, Beth Ann Fennelly, and Erika Meitner read at Open Books. A riveting evening. Vibrant. The images, the structure, the story/not-story, the pull-no-punches telling–even the introductions to each poem.


And I confess that at one point, one quick point, surrounded by such splendor, I thought, “My new manuscript is crap, it’s all crap, it isn’t ready to send out, it won’t ever be ready to send out, I need to write much better poems.”

But the poetry was coming again, so I let that moment pass (really!) and was whisked away by more poems.

I came back to those doubts on the way home–doubts surrounded by inspiration. And by the time I reached the freeway onramp, I realized that this is exactly what I need. Seeing and hearing how it can be done (this way and this way and this way and this), another understanding.

Another door opens.

2 Replies to “Hearing as practice”

  1. Hi Joannie! It was good to see you last night- and it really was a fantastic reading. You know that response you had about your MS? I sort of had the same response about the readers’ various impressive careers – so much more impressive than mine! But then I realized, we’re all on our own paths, etc etc. And it was some slam-bang poetry to listen to! Very inspiring!

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