Thursday, April 26, 2012
Back to Ugly Mug
Last night, despite warnings of a storm and threats of waterspouts by the northern shoreline, I headed north a ways to downtown Orange, a block from Chapman University, to the Ugly Mug for their weekly poetry fest and open reading. This is such a well-run affair, with two genial hosts, game for almost anything that comes up, real lovers of poetry who know how to craft a welcoming evening. On the schedule for last night, there was a cryptic phrase "explaining" the featured reading for the night--it used the acronym "OPP." It turned out to mean "Other People's Poetry." While sometimes open readings can be dreary affairs, this reading, with its guarantee of various, generally very accomplished, mostly published work by "other poets," famous and non-famous, led to a fascinating and fun evening of comedy and drama. Scarcely a clunker in the group. Not knowing till I got there what "OPP" meant, I read three of my own insect/animal poems, and I think they went over very well. One fellow said he had written a spin off inspired by one of my poems as I was reading it, and wanted to send it to me. This place truly is like Cheers... after being there once, everyone knows my name, and one person bought a book. Everyone is so friendly and warm and helpful. A wonderful community. It was great too to be accompanied by my friend and fellow-poet, Robin Hudachek, and her husband Manny. I am just waiting for her to step up to the podium and share some of her own work, which, I can assure her, will be received warmly.