There is one venue of sharing my work that I haven't much experience with -- reading my poetry to a public audience. When I first began writing in college at Appalachian State, we would workshop poetry in small circles. That was ten years ago, though. Since then, the only group I have shared my poetry with, other than submitting poems to journals, has been with the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative (SAWC) at their yearly gatherings. I have read poems to my wife, but that doesn't count. I love her, bless her heart, but she admits that she doesn't "get" poetry. So I didn't marry her for her talent in literature critique.
Recently, I got word from a co-coordinator of SAWC that she has gotten an evening at Malaprops in Asheville, NC, for our group to read their work. How exciting is that!? Now, for those who aren't familiar with the bookstore Malaprops, it is a pretty prestigious center for writers of the region. It's going to be one evening in June sometime between the 22-24th. I'm excited, but also a little intimidated. I mean, who am I to go reading my work in front of audiences who are used to hearing poets like Robert Morgan, Fred Chappell, Lee Smith, and Ron Rash? I wish I had some credentials, like a chapbook or something to promote with my reading. Still, maybe people will just appreciate a writer sharing their work with other people.