Last week (ish) I went to a phenomenal poetry reading hosted by Frostburg State's Center for Creative Writing. Before the reading, I did a little promotional blog for the CW Center's site. Can be found here: http://fsucenterforcreativewriting.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/crystal-williams-profile/
The reading itself was full of good vibes. For me, it was the first time I'd been in the Lyric Theatre as a theatre space, a theatre/ building that has caught fire twice. Once in its early days and more recently when it was home to Gandalf's Restaurant and Bar in 2004. To hear poetry here made me think of how the space itself thrives to be a public gathering point.
Crystal Williams was entrancing to watch. Her reading brought one to realize, poetry is an oral art. It should never be only on the page.
As I continue to think about her work, I realize just how much place informs our creative outlook. For the moment, I am happy to be home and to recognize the importance of environment as it relates to identity. More on that in my work. Most recently in my poems I've been exploring the first house I grew up in in Brimfield, Ohio, re-visiting memories and interconnecting the now with those memories. This first came about from reflecting on Williams' work, and later teaching a writing workshop at the Frostburg Senior Center, then finally into fruition when I told a love of mine I want to see Frida Kahlo's blue house. He said, "You are a blue house," jokingly, and coincidentally, my first childhood home was a blue ranch, and now I am working on a series of poems called just that, "You are a blue house." A good challenge.