A Long Overdue Recap

John Gustav-Wrathall: Oh, wow. What a perfect way to start the evening. Gustav-Wrathall’s animations captured beautifully the confused and magical logic of dreams. I especially loved the tesselation-like clusters of white-winged and black-winged angels. (Plus any dream with David Duchovny is a good dream. Although I confess that I wish Gillian Anderson had been there too. Mmm, Gillian Anderson.)

Tara Innman: I really, really wish I’d known earlier that she was performing; I completely missed the opportunity to interview her for you guys. This woman is a fantastic writer. She was spell-binding, drawing us into an utterly believable world of a small girl sent away from home for a year.

Witherspoon Trio: I think I can sum up their performance in three words: ridiculously, ridiculously talented. Not only did they completely blow us all away with their first few performances of classical works, but then they played this absolutely amazing piece of their own composition. It was stunning. I’m going to stop typing now before my head explodes with jealousy.

Laura Littleford: Oh my. Hi-freaking-larious. But more–it was just so funny and true and real and beautiful all at the same time, and she tells it so well–one little change of inflection on a word and a seemingly innocuous sentence could have the audience cracking up, or sighing in remembrance of how sweet love can be.

Wendy Brown-Baez:  Cuba and Jerusalem, bursting with life and history and humanity, seemed to erupt into the room. Others, about pain and grief and loss, sunk their hooks into us, touched something deep inside. The energy and empathy of her poems was infectious, and it got us all.

Joan Calof: Watching her recite with zest her hilarious poems and songs, eyes glinting and heels tapping, at one point challenging us to “put up our dukes” and at another leading us in a sing-along, you want to say that she’s the kind of person for whom the word ‘feisty’ was invented–but you hold your tongue, because you have a sneaking suspicion that she might find it offensive, and you might find yourself being eviscerated in scathing verse. 🙂 She had chapbooks for sale, too, so you didn’t have to just rely on memory of her awesomeness.

So, basically, if you didn’t come: Na na na na! You missed an exciting cultural and spiritual experience!

Plus you missed some new snacks. We had biscotti. They were yummiferous. Oh, and those really good granola bars with the nuts and cranberries. And Fiber One, which may not sound appealing to you, but I seriously got addicted to those over the summer. There were others, but those were the best, in my opinion.

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I swear I will finish typing someday…

Someday I will finish typing up the transcript of my interview with the incomparable Wendy Brown-Baez, and then turn to the task of editing it down into an article for your edification. Someday I will also figure out a reasonable length for a list of interview questions. Oh, and I have plans to learn American Sign Language too. Just thought I’d throw that in there. In the meantime, here is one of her poems. Enjoy.

FOR THE CHILDREN OF HAITI AFTER THE HURRICANE 
all is as wing
all is as song
all is a story quietly told
while the wars are endlessly hunkered down
down the boys go, hole in the ground
down the grenades, the age-old fear
the night-soaked armor and bomb-blasted tearall is as wing
all is as gold
when the owners have nothing left to own
and poverty lines up, holds out its hand
and the child scrambles low, scrapes sand
for a kernel of rice, begs a handful of beans
more precious than pearlsall is well and all will be
wings, while wheels turn and clank,
war grins and grins, down forest, down
treasure, down moral motive and quest.
a bag of beans, the price of a bomb?
how can you compare, what does it mean?
I feel the earth groan and the seas heave and swell:
where will you be when you hear the death knell?
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