Sparrow at Inquiring Minds, April
I'd like to call us TJMax but she's not so keen on it but on we'll walk through the shallow waters

Since Christmastime or so I've been helping my friend Teresa Giordano with the reading series she started here a few years ago. Teresa is like an unwitting Gordon Lish, a great editor without even thinking about it, and one of those beacons of truth and direction who can recognize the difference between good fish and good fiction. And she's not even in this business. At her day job she makes television, big real sweeping global television, and she's tireless and she's probably can be scary to work for, sometimes. For three years she brought writers to the Inquiring Minds bookstore in Saugerties, a giant marvelous old Victorian town building with tin ceilings and creaky floors and rows and rows and stacks of books. She brought:

Gail Godwin. 
Tony Fletcher. 
Helen Benedict. 
Maggie Estep. 
Peter Aaron. 
Phillip Levine. 
Holly George Warren and Robert Burke Warren and Cornelius Eady and
Abigail Thomas and Martha Frankel and Alison Gaylin
and Me.
Nina Shengold, who once shattered the room with an amazing monologue.
Sparrow, who kept everyone laughing, laughing, not even necessarily saying anything, the anti-schtick, the silent, negative-space Henny Youngman of radical hippie minimalist poetry.
And so many others.

And bringing that many brainy presents into the fray can be wearing, and I sensed Teresa was getting worn out. So I raised my hand, since I didn't want it to stop. I am one of those writers who not only needs to read, I need to read to other people, and if I don't I kind of stop swimming quite so fast. Your ears are my water, I might say. And other writers say that kind of thing, perhaps not quite so tweaked or spliced into the whole clanging associative ether, but they say that. So we swim.

And I found this out: the act of helping to make these little oceans of words happen is another kind of swimming, and it's great.

1 comment:

alexkeller said...

I love old buildings with tin ceilings and creaky floors. I'm not as well read as I'd like to be, so I'll have to look up the authors you listed. Just had dinner with an old friend yesterday. She's been studying literature her whole life & I need to keep bugging her for reading suggestions! I always thought she'd just send them to me unprompted.