The gathering was smaller than usual on this rainy Februrary evening, but that didn’t dampen Cheryl Dumesnil’s spirits.
Likewise, for those in the audience. As soon as Christine introduced Ms. Dumesnil, there was an instant flow of positive energy from the podium. Everyone let out a huge cleansing breath—yoga-style—and shared a camaraderie when Cheryl pronounced her last name very clearly, “DUME-NIL” and claimed, “the ‘S’ was silent”.
Well, the ‘S’ may have been silent, but Ms. Dumesnil’s eager voice was loud and clear as she announced she was a San Joséan, home-grown, and no stranger to this city. She had spent her childhood in Almaden Valley, and was part of a community for whom going to “the Hill” was one of the most exciting excursions. She was that neighborhood kid—whom we all know and love, and look out for as one of our own.
Cheryl Dumesnil read poems from her book, In Praise of Falling (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009). Some of her poems reflected her “suburban experience” growing up with a unique connection to the place. We look forward to having her back again to share her newer poems and continue her connection with us.
Although there were fewer attendees than usual, there were many new faces in the audience who braved the rain and brought poems to share at open mic, including more submissions for this blog, and promises of more to come in electronically. This is just the beginning of a great poetry project.
Reported by Pushpa MacFarlane