So, if you exclude the Vox Reading Series of Athens, GA, which is run by the grad students in the Creative Writing program at Georgia, Matt and Katy Henriksen were the first folks to invite me to read at their first Burning Chair reading in Fayetteville, AR. They had been running the series before in Brooklyn, but last year moved to Fayetteville.
If this is what this gig is, where do I sign up for more?
I had such a blast, even though I made the trip an incredibly quick one- driving down on Friday and back on Saturday, spending a total of 35 hours away from the house, 14 of which were in Fayetteville, roughly.
Everyone who read was simply amazing and not just as poets- as we hung out before and after the reading, I found Joe, MC, and Keith (who came back to Matt and Katy's after the reading) to be really cool folks. Kate Pringle was incredible kind as well, though I didn't get to spend much time with her. Carolyn I didn't have a chance to meet, but perhaps I'll correct that in the future.
It's clear that what's necessary- and what's been lacking for me in Iowa City, to an extent- is this community: we talked about all sorts of topics, swirling around poetry and poets, for hours. Joe had to leave and I had to get to bed, but other than that, I'm certain we could have been at it into the morning.
It was really cool to hang out with similar folks and really cool to feel included!