Most pressing news of all! We raised $323 for WOAR (Women Organized Against Rape), Philly’s ONLY rape crisis center. This was thanks to all of our donors, and a last minute donation from Denise Ingram made a big difference.
The evening began with some mutterings and remarks by myself. Here is a picture of me taken by Sheila Squillante. The Halloween bucket at my feet that appears in some of the pictures is the “hat” we passed around for donations.
The evening really began with Sandra Beasley, poet superstar who just blew me away with her great imagination and performance style. Each hand gesture was deliberate. She very much does her poetry on the page justice. Also, one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Pictured below.
Next up was Dawn Manning, who read a number of tanka, a form I’ve never experimented with, but love hearing other people employ. She is a master of them! Her poems addressed great atrocities, everything from the Atomic Bomb to gendercide. Listening to her work felt important. Pictured below.
Then the wonderful Emily Cox from WOAR spoke! She’s pictured below speaking passionately about the work done by WOAR. If you have a friend, or you yourself, have experienced assault or rape, please reach out to them. They have counseling, a helpline, and many other resources.
Next was the great Sheila Squillante, a lovely soul who excitingly was reunited with her college roommate of 22 years ago for the reading! She read the poem that made me choose her for the reading, so that was a delight for me. She also has a wild relationship with the use of second person. Such a fan!
The evening closed out with the inimitable Annie Won, who read two of the poems from the Entropy series I had posted in the facebook group, and just really love. The link at her name will take you there. She also read some great poems about or influenced by walls, structure, constraints. And her second to last poem was hilarious, and my personal favorite. I tried to get a photo of her holding her beautiful books, but the below will have to suffice.
AND A MANDATORY GROUP SHOT, stolen from facebook and the wonderful Denise’s posting.
Time will tell if the series continues. Cross your fingers with me it does!