As the flyer says, I’m doing a reading and multimedia presentation in support of Odes to Tools on Saturday, April 10 at 3:30 p.m. at Webster’s Bookstore Café, 128 South Allen Street, State College, PA. Webster’s was an obvious choice for a reading since they’ve always been very supportive of local authors and performers, and they have a great poetry selection with a regular turn-over. Not only do a majority of the books in my poetry collection come from Webster’s, but I also buy almost all the coffee I drink there. So my own poems owe their inception to Webster’s in more ways than one.
If you’re from anywhere in central Pennsylvania, I hope you’ll consider attending. I’ll be projecting texts of the poems I read onto a screen for those who like to follow along, and also showing a few of my videopoems — that’s the multimedia part. I’m planning to bring along examples of some of the tools that may be less familiar to people, which should help keep things fairly entertaining. In between poems I’ll talk about how the book grew out of blogging and online publishing, which will I hope provide enough of an excuse for me to expand beyond just the tool odes.
If you do live in the area and would like to help spread the word, I’d be grateful. Know of any community bulletin boards or other likely spots where you can post things without getting us into trouble? Please feel free to print out copies of the above flyer on a color printer and post them, or hand them out. You can assure anyone who asks that the reading will not last longer than an hour (not counting questions and book signings, if any), and that they will not be bored. I am a fairly dynamic public speaker, and I do not mumble, intone, or indulge in literary in-jokes. I try to introduce my poems with the general reader in mind.
If you can’t attend the reading, you can still help by suggesting content you think I should include. “Poems and poem-like things” is the most populous category here at Via Negativa, with 664 posts so far, most of which I’ve long since forgotten about. By sheer chance, I just discovered a poem called “Hollow” that would be perfect for the reading, because it helps tie the tool odes into where I live. So if you’ve been reading for a while and happen to remember other obvious (or not so obvious) candidates for inclusion, do let me know, and if you’ve read the book or the series, let me know which are your favorites; I won’t have time to read them all. Any other suggestions for how I should conduct the reading would be welcome, as well.
Finally, if you know how to play the musical saw, or know someone in the area who does, please get in touch.