Open-Mic Readers, April 2015

April, being poetry month, has no “Featured Reader”. The whole session of the WGPP meeting is devoted to celebrating all of us, Poets. We will be putting up the list of Poets who read that night anon. For now, enjoy some of their poetry!

Christine Richardson, Poet-co-host of the WGPP Readings, kicked off the evening with these words:

Welcome to our celebration of National Poetry Month as we celebrate each of you reading tonight
and the poet/poem you have brought along to accompany your own poem. To provide ample time
for all, please limit your poems and commentary to about 3 minutes. We will break 1⁄2 way in for
refreshments and to sign up, if you haven’t already done so. Also if you have an announcement,
please feel free to write all the info on the board.
For their April 2015 poster, the Academy of American Poets selected the first lines of the poem by
Mark Strand, Eating Poetry. So in keeping with this metaphor, I invite you to think of tonight as a
banquet in which we will partake of the delectable dishes you have brought to share in the form of
a poem.

Mark Strand was one of the poets I featured this past Sunday at the San Jose Poetry Festival
honoring some of the poets who died in 2014 and the beginning of this year. In researching Mark, I
learned that he and the poet, Charles Simic, friends for nearly 50 years shared a love of food as
well as poetry. They saw a similarity between poetry and cooking, how you often prepare a meal
as a poem with what you have available to you. That good cooking is a matter of subtle little
touches that come from long experience or sudden inspiration. And that even after a dish has been
prepared and eaten, a poem finished and published, there still might be a need for a little change to
bring it fully to life. Simic recalled a dinner with Mark, when after a period of silence, Mark
suddenly said, “I think I didn’t put enough cheese in the risotto.”

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