I managed to get myself up off my bottom to drive all the way to Orange to a poetry reading. I was hoping that Denise wasn't having a yoga workshop at the same time so I could park at a particular spot near her house that is the only place I know of anywhere near downtown Orange that does not require either a permit or payment at a lot, but if I had known where an easily accessible lot was, I would have parked there.
When I came in, somewhat early, despite driving around and around till I found a spot in the general area I was planning to park, the room was next to empty. The students were mostly congregated by the buffet table, which contained an assorted and not very healthy bunch of junk, mostly sweets--nary a crudite to be seen. One could tell it was chosen by a man who opens a lot of cans and microwave boxes. But the students seemed to like it.
At first, when I came in and sat down, I took the poet, Amy Newlove Schroeder, for a student. She looked so young, and I guess was young, though a bit older than most of the students in the room, having finished her PhD. She struck me as an honest and intelligent young woman, but one who is not used to reading her work at events like this one.
There were many exceptionally lovely lines in her poems, though she threw them away, mumbled them under her breath. Good thing I wore hearing aids, or I might not have heard her at all.
Half of the reading was from her first book, Sleep Hotel, which won the Field Poetry Prize, though I'm not sure when. The rest came from her new collection, which she said she was going to call Low Magic, though it did not yet come across as a tightly bound collection, as her first book was. Some poems were, it seems to me, still under construction. Not being used to reading, she had brought them out into public a bit too soon, perhaps.
But it was a pleasure to hear her work, and when I am in a book buying mode again, her work is something I might want to own.