Tag Archives: readings

Reading: Saturday 2-4pm Ox-Eye Vineyards Tasting Room

For those of my Loyal Readers in the Staunton area who did not make the book launch a few weeks back, I’ll be joining three other poets — Caroline Brae, Patsy Asuncion, and Leona Sevick — for a reading at the Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room on Middlebrook Avenue, right downtown.

I’ll have copies of Wind Intervals as well as a few other things. The Ancients would love this setting, as drinking wine during the reading is heartily encouraged! To honor those old poets I’ll probably be reading from the Mei Yao-ch’en sequence Moonlight & Shadow, as well as from Wind Intervals. And maybe a few others.

As always before readings, I throw out the question to All of You. Anything you’d like me to read from the bulky mass of thin wonders that inhabit this place? Right now I’m considering “Stillness in a Low Time During the Rainiest Month of May in Half a Century” and maybe “Poem for the Back Cover of a Book” and “What We Want” but I’m still in the half-panicky-open-to-anything stage of preparation…

5/6 Reading at Richmond Public Library / Pick a Poem for me to read Saturday!

greenbooks

Following on the heels of the Staunton launch of my new book Wind Intervals, I was fortunate to be invited to read at the Richmond Public Library this coming Saturday. The reading is at 11am, and I’ll be sharing the stage, or veranda (weather permitting, it’s an outdoor reading), with Leona Sevick. I have heard her read a few poems from her new book Lion Brothers, and it’s great stuff.

Thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed poetry, free coffee, a little violin and trumpet music from my daughters Sophia and Aurora, and some homemade cookies. The special edition of the book (35 numbered and signed copies) is almost sold out! I’m carrying the last three with me to the reading Saturday, along with a handful of copies of the regular edition.

As I often do before public readings, I’m here to ask if there’s a poem you’d like me to read. Anything on this site is fair game! I’m hoping to at least get audio of the reading to post here later in the weekend.

Write your suggestions in the comments field, or email me directly at jeffrey.schwaner@gmail.com.

 

Readings Recorded: Robert Okaji at Malvern Books in Austin TX

If only Len had stopped by on his way from Turkey to pick me up in his private jet, I might have made it out to this reading in Austin a few days ago. Luckily, the poet was recorded sharing his work with a responsive crowd. There are too many great lines and great poems squeezed into fifteen minutes for me to quote, but there is talk of snail sex, love darts, spreadsheets, rain forest bridges, wind, trust, love, and the moon. Thanks to all the folks at Malvern Books who I will never meet for recording the reading and posting it here. Robert’s own website, O at the Edges, is also well worth traveling to. Enjoy!

National Poetry Month Reading, April 6th @1pm

Just a short note that I’ll be participating in a National Poetry month event again this year, this time at the Massanutten Regional Library, Main branch in Harrisonburg. The reading is at 1pm and will feature four poets, including Angela Carter, Sara Robinson and Rebecca Lilly.

If you happen to be in the Shenandoah Valley in a few weeks, come by! Len, I’ll buy you some coffee (or wine) if you can make it from Turkey. Esther, come on now! The other side of the world is not that far away from Harrisonburg, as the moon flies. C, the weather in Seattle is horrible–you’d come on over to the East coast for day, even to hang out with a Patriots fan, right?

I know there are a bunch of you in my clan much closer. If you’ve got nothing better to do on the first Monday afternoon in April, maybe I will see you there? More info on the Massanutten Regional Library can be found and its other events can be found here.

As with my last reading at Bridgewater College, I will entertain any suggestions for what to read. I will have about ten minutes to read, so will probably read five poems or so. Thoughts?

This lamb has very strong opinions on what I should read but for some reason is remaining mum.

This lamb has very strong opinions on what I should read but for some reason is remaining mum.

Bridgewater International Poetry Festival: Day One

Well, Day One is in the books and even at half a day it was a whirlwind of readings and meeting lots of fine people dedicated to the craft of writing and the art of poetry.  Festival Mastermind Stan Galloway, a professor of English at Bridgewater, has convened an eclectic group of poets here to this cozy college, and a roving gang of 18 student volunteers has helped support the festivities with tech help, directions, pizza and, of course, coffee.

Once the festival really got going, you are faced with two different reading locations, each hosting two poets an hour. I was paired with Jim Gaines, which was a good match as we were both working on translations as well as on our own work. Some other interesting or odd tidbits from Day One:

  • The first two poets, Stephen Corey and Pamela Uschuk, both read poems which included peonies in them. Strangely enough, one of the poems I read, directly after their reading, also included peonies. Wha?
  • Sirwan Kajjo, a Kurdish poet living in the DC area, read three poems in English and (on request) another in his native tongue (English being his third language!).
  • Matthew Hamilton has had so many lives — soldier, peace corps volunteer, benedictine monk, and librarian — that I had the surreal impression I was meeting someone who had just walked out of a Mark Helprin novel, who happens to be a darn good poet as well.
  • I missed as many good poets as I got a chance to see, but this is the trade-off of a festival like this. it’s invigorating and exhausting at the same time.

Emily Hancock of St Brigid’s Press, along with several other supporting literary establishments including the Georgia Review, whose editor Stephen Corey can be counted among the poets presenting their work, were present and selling their books. Although I forgot to mention this in my own reading today, three of my works are available at the St Brigid table — the broadside of the prose poem Drop Everything, a handsome broadside with moon-shaped matting of my translation of Li Ho’s Sky Dream, and the omnipresent haiku coaster sets.

I survived my own reading early in the afternoon with the help of a supportive audience. Twenty minutes can seem like an eternity or like the snap of a finger when you’re reading your work. If you’d like the silent virtual tour of what I read, you can follow the links below. On to Day Two!

Poem for the Back Cover of a Book

Self Portrait at Forty Nine

Fire Followers

Nobscusset Burial Ground, Dennis MA

On Translating a Poem from the Chinese

Two poems about the moon, one mentioning the moon six times and one not mentioning the moon at all

Mei Yao-ch’en and I Lament Missing the Lunar Eclipse…

Mei Yao-ch’en and I, Walking Downtown for Pizza on a May Afternoon…

…Mei Yao-ch’en and I Await Fourth of July Fireworks…

 

Readings: Bridgewater International Poetry Festival (1/15, 1:30 pm)

January 15th-18th I’ll be one of a group of several dozen poets reading at Bridgewater College, just up the road from me in Bridgewater, Virginia, as part of the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival.

The festival pairs poets, who each read for 20 minutes, and then answer questions from the festival attendees for another 20 minutes. The poetry festival is the brainchild of fellow Virginia poet Stan Galloway, a professor of English at the college. My slot comes on the first day of the festival at 1:30 pm. The most up-to-date version of the schedule can be found at the link above.

The writing of poetry is a solitary type of thing, as we all know, and I’m looking forward to meeting with so many poets from different backgrounds and different parts of the world.

My plan is to split my 20 minutes between a selection of poems from the Mei Yao-ch’en sequence and a group of poems from the non-Mei output of the last year or so, all of which is on this blog. So here’s your chance to use your social media savvy to become an “influencer” and let me know if there’s a poem you want me to read on the 15th. I might even record a few as a way of practicing, and try to create some audio files to share. A few poets I know have done something similar, and I have always enjoyed hearing a poem read by its author. So go ahead, be a disruptive influencer of poetry, and let me know what you want to hear.

Attendees to the festival can buy one-day or full festival passes. So, fellow WP writers, if you happen to be driving down Route 81 sometime in the middle of January, feel free to swing on by and say hello. Leonard, I know you can make it for this, right–isn’t there a Greyhound from Turkey to Bridgewater? Dana? RobertEsther? Come on, now. Being on the other side of the world is no excuse! O C, I do not consider attendance optional. This is one of the issues with WordPress–being merely a digital poem’s throw from a bunch of writers doesn’t mean they can meet you for coffee.  What about you, Ann? Anthony? Ron? Gunmetal Geisha, you on my side of the continent this month? Ah, well.

Besides my regular reading gig at the local writers’ open reading here in Staunton on the second Wednesday of every month, I also have a reading scheduled for National Poetry Month in April–I think that’s at the Massanutten Library, in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains, and will have more information on that soon as well.

In other news: Over the next few weeks I’ll begin to design and format the collection of Mei Yao-ch’en poems, as well as a collection of other poems written in the past year, tentatively entitled The Drift.  I may post new poems in this time, and may post some work from my previous books, which have not been posted on this site yet. I hope everyone’s new year is off to a good start!

 

/Jeff

 

[Readings] National Poetry Month Reading 4/17

April_reading

I will be one of four area poets reading in Staunton Thursday April 17th at 7pm at The Space, a newly renovated performing arts center in the heart of this great little city’s historic main street. Not sure what I’m reading yet. Any requests / suggestions?