Every Friday night (nearly) I lug 3 to 5 copies of my book to Planet Earth Poetry at the Black Stilt Cafe, hoping I'll come away with one or two less. On the odd occasion, my hopes are realized, as I will encounter an old acquaintance or a random listener who felt a connection. On these nights, I usually float out of the cafe and run around in circles in my condo when I get home, repeating over and over to my boyfriend's unending patience "I sold my book!" I have a feeling that no matter how many books I publish or sell or how many readings I attend, this will always happen. I love that after 11 years of reading at the open mike series, my legs still twitch and my hands get shaky. I hope to never lose this nervous energy.
On the evenings that no books are sold and I have gone on my own, my boyfriend must endure my excited babble and maybe a few poems from the featured reader's book I bought. It is wonderful simply to have a place to go and converse with writers and share.
We are told again and again that our reading series in Victoria is the best in Canada, from poets who have travelled and read at many other venues. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the League of Canadian Poets for funding writers to come to our humble, long-running series - as well as Wendy Morton, our faithful, tireless organizer, promoter and hostess (and matron of the 5-minute, one poem rule). We really do have something to treasure.
I look forward to meeting other members of the League when I attend the AGM in Edmonton from June 8-10 in June. Until now, I have been timidly on the fringe of the larger writing community, marvelling at the poets who come to visit and read through the invitation of Wendy and funding of the League of Canadian Poets. This month, I will be giving my first reading for which I will actually receive payment from the League, and this year is my first year as a recognized full member (I received a package in the mail as proof!).
My point is, it is time for me to stop hiding in my room with my computer and to move beyond the borders of Planet Earth Poetry. It is time to get out there!