On Friday, Feb. 17th, I did my first public reading as a poet. I had read my work to friends and to each of my writers’ groups, but never truly before an unknown audience. It was a really cool experience (mainly because it was so well received!).
One of the women in one of these groups asked me if I’d ever done love poems, because she wanted to set up a performance of he said/she said tales of Valentine’s Days past. It would have a male and female poet (the two of us) reading original poems written about several stages of relationships. The stages were, in order: Meeting/Games, Lust, Love, When Problems Start, When It’s Over, Regret, and a Finale which would be about still having some hope for the future (she didn’t want to end it on a downer). We were to read at a bakery with which she was acquainted, Apron Strings Bakery in Millville, NJ.
I fortunately had at least two poems that fit each category, and our two sets of poems overall actually meshed very well. The audience turned out to be only six people, but they really loved our work, and that’s always a great feeling. What was especially awesome was having them say how refreshing it was to hear a male perspective on these topics that actually showed emotions and deep thoughts that they weren’t accustomed to being privy to. This, I believe, was the point to the whole reading. It was even called “He Said/She Said”.
I originally had accepted my friend’s invitation to being the “male voice” as a favor, but it turned out to be a very rewarding event. I’ve been thinking lately about trying to get an anthology published, something to which I’d never given any serious thought before. After the positive reactions I’ve gotten from both writers’ groups on my work and now from a true objective audience, I’m wondering if it’s time to pursue it.