Monday, October 12, 2009

That's me reading from and giving a talk about Passenger Flight at the U. of Winnipeg last week. If the picture's a little blurry, it's because it was taken without a flash. It was a really enjoyable event -- made me wonder if I had missed a vocation (i.e. being a prof). I read about 7 poems, talked about how they came to being -- and the audience, about 45 (mostly) creative writing students, were attentive and asked good questions.

As for the reading at Aqua Books, well, it could have been better for a bunch of reasons, most of which I won't go into here. The limited attendance (8 -- typical for a bookstore poetry reading featuring a relatively unknown out-of-towner) was made to feel skimpier by the huge mausoleum-like upstairs room (I mean, it has a stage and about a hundred seats in rows) the organizers chose to hold it in. The bookstore is funky and attractive, and to their credit, they hold a lot of events, but relative unknowns be forewarned: if you're coming in from out of town, request that the reading take place in some intimate nook among the books, as is pictured on their website.
This blog has been receiving a lot of visits lately via a post by the owner of Aqua Books. Granted, this was not my best reading. Combining music and poetry in the way I did (it had been suggested by a couple of audience members) was not a great idea; I did read too long. Some people told me they enjoyed it nevertheless. There was a multitude of factors behind this reading going the way it did. However, it does not warrant the kind of personal attack this individual has leveled against me. I’ve delivered excellent readings before, and indeed, have since. If anything positive has happened besides this having been a learning experience, it's the fact that he's brought people to my site. I invite all those readers to look around, read recent reviews of Passenger Flight as well as of my music, and enjoy the discussion, quotes, and links to other fine articles about literature and the poetic life.


Anonymous said...

I am terrified that, if I were to become a professor, someone would ask a question I couldn't answer. Haha.

I think all of us poets know that feeling; an audience of only a handful. But the funny thing is that there was probably a time that each of us would have been grateful for even one person who would actually drive somewhere, and sit patiently, to hear us read.

Sorry, just reflecting on all those big roomed, emtpy audiences I've read at. hahahaha.

Brian Campbell said...

Well, I think it's becoming more and more acceptable to say, "I don't know."

Thanks for the prod towards gratitude. I think though the the people could have been better served by a smaller space, zat's all.