A NIGHT OUT
I attended a writer’s fundraiser for Arapahoe Community College last night, finger foods, silent auction, cool readings by poets and authors.
It was exciting to me, NOT mortgage banking. Two young gals sat at my table, so I introduced myself and asked if they were students at ACC.
One graduated two years ago, and works in a local library. The other is a teacher in the English department at ACC. They were obviously long time friends there together, but nice to me.
Not wanting to waste time sitting quietly waiting for someone to talk to me, I launched into asking them about their work and their favorite books. The teacher bemoaned the fact that enrollment was down. It was difficult to interest students in literature. Time would tell if the class remained in the curriculum. So, I, being in sales a good part of my work life, immediately asked how she was promoting her class to the community in general, to enrolled students specifically. I was imagining this big campaign, handing out fliers, visiting bookstores, coffee shops, doing open mike events – reading the classics. Some razz-m’tazz.
“We don’t promote our classes. People have to sign up for them.”
The old sales manager in me shuddered – “all things come to those who wait-usually what is left by those who hustle.” Tsk, not my job.
The librarian was more interesting. Loves the library. Is writing a book. Western historical fiction. How great! I recommend The Bridge at Valentine by Renee Thompson, as a great example of historical fiction. I warmed to the topic. “It is beautifully written, about life of pioneers in Idaho. There is a scene right at the beginning of the first chapter where this accident happens! It reminds me of the murder in the orchard in Willa Cather’s O Pioneers. Not that this is murder, but the whole sense of slow motion, and tragedy, y’know?”
“I have never read that book, or any of Willa Cather. I know, I probably should, but…”
I hope my gasp was inaudible.
“Oh…well, you might…”
The conversation ends
The lady poets and authors were funnier, “fuller-lifed,” if you will. One from El Paso read from a long poem about life in the desert with sand in your eyes, chiles in the pot. Loved it. One gal, who has traveled the world, read a long poem about an inane argument. It made you chuckle, but reminded me of talking with Mom in her “word salad” days. The words of the argument made no sense, but I suppose that was the point – most arguing makes little sense. One tiny, fragile, could barely walk on her own poet teetered at the podium, adjusted her sparkling turquoise jacket, opened her mouth and out came this beautiful, rich, strong voice reading poems written by women she’d encountered during her fifteen year tenure at a women’s shelter. Stunning. Another younger award winning poet read from her book about the Chinese workers riot in San Francisco in 1877. Stark, lyrical poems. Another read about a raft trip with her family through the Grand Canyon. Not quite Edward Abbey, but she captures the eye-rolling sixteen year old on the float with her mother. It is on my list to read.
Lovely way to spend an evening. Nice, brief chats with each of the authors. I intend to get into this community of writers, finish my “devil in the details” novel and a few more tales I have started over the years…leave my daughter and my grands and greats something to read me by. I figure I have at least 30 years to get into it, eh?