My cross country tour for my new book of poems kicked off in Portland, OR.
My Portland show was organized by Write Bloody author, Paul Maziar. Dubbed “The Whisper Sessions” because of the underground, speakeasy vibe, this reading mystically occurs when more than one Write Bloody author is in Portland. I wonder what happens when five of us are there!? The reading took place late night in an old movie theatre with other readers Carrie Seitzinger and Trippe Davis.
It was a great concept for a reading and a solid night of poetry, with every reader bringing a unique voice to the stage. Being in such a quiet, listening venue was a treat. As a performer, I might read anywhere from a rock club to a bookstore. I always think it’s a gift to have a spellbound audience.
While in Portland, I visited a dear friend from the poetry slam community, Marty Kruse, who is battling cancer. A professional book seller and alum of Powells, for years, Marty managed the merchandise sales at the National Poetry Slam. We threw a New Year’s Eve themed party in Marty’s hotel room Saturday night, because 2010 needs to reboot.
Marty is a funny, positive, loving man who is living with grace. Marty and his family are coping with the illness privately, but I’m sure he would love to get uplifting, encouraging messages from friends on facebook.
I finished off my trip to Portland with the great downtown trifecta: Powell’s Book Store, Vodoo Doughnuts and Ground Control. If you haven’t heard, Powell’s is the largest used and new bookstore in the world. It occupies an entire city block and stocks more than a million new and used books. So, you know, I had to see if my book was there…and IT WAS!!!
My tour continues tonight in the Bay Area with a show at the Berkeley Poetry Slam.