Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Taste a little...poetry to feed your soul.

Towards the end of last year, my husband and I got to enjoy our second year of the AJC (Atlanta Journal Constitution) Decatur Book Festival in one of Atlanta's loveliest neighborhoods, Decatur.

Performers, story-tellers, poets, writers and, yes, even a monster entertained us at this annual book-lovers' book buffet.  At this, the largest independent book festival in the U.S., we've struggled (at times) to decide which event or activity to attend over another.  While Jonathan Franzen spoke at the 2010 event and Decemberists lead singer, Colin Meloy spoke about his new book at the 2011 event, my favourite memories are of less anticipated experiences.  The highlight of our 2010 visit to the festival was sitting in a S.R.O. packed Eddie's Attic for the story-telling a la Moth.  Entertaining x 100! For our 2011 visit to the festival, we were treated to the antics of writers at a Write Club match.  What hilarity!  It's difficult to imagine that a literary event can also be as much fun as a barrel of monkeys, but in this setting, it "soitanly" can be!

Sometimes, the memorable presentation is not fun, but equally energizing.  Last year poet, Jericho Brown, gave a reading that had us completely engaged and poised to absorb every new word or line from the author's mouth.  Once again at Eddie's Attic, Brown gave a brilliant reading, which (for me) was icing on my poetic plate.  I had participated in his poetry-writing workshop at the beginning of the festival, one day earlier.  To hear him offer his words at the reading...sigh!  Painful and beautiful sentiments and experiences brought to life in one of Atlanta's coolest music-listening rooms, courtesy of Jericho Brown's lovely brown soul.

Looking forward to the 2012 festival and to the events that will make my Labor Day weekend in Atlanta better than award-winning barbecue hot and spicy in my mouth.  Mm-mmm-good!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

TEDxGreenville: Breakthrough

In Greenville, South Carolina, things are happening!  People are dreaming and creating, technology is spreading and people are on the move, shaping their ideas to life.  One example of this dreaming, creativity and technology coming together is TEDxGreenville, an independently organized event, designed to offer a local community a TED-like experience.

For the last two of these events, I've been fortunate to help shape the offering of presenters through my contributions and time on the Program Team, which researches, reviews and selects individual speakers and performers to present their Idea Worth Spreading to the Greenville TEDx audience.  It's always a draining but deeply satisfying experience.  Even better, however, is sitting in the audience and taking it all in.

This year, one of our presenter's was Glenis Redmond, a beautiful lady with an equally beautiful spirit.  Glenis is a nationally recognized and awarded poet.  She spoke about Poetry as Healer.

Glenis is a Southeast Regional Individual Poetry Slam Champion and twice has placed in the top ten at the National Individual Slam Championship.

Now if this talk doesn't inspire you to seek out poetry for your personal healing, then rewind and pay attention to Glenis at the end.  She says, "If you don't have poetry in your life, then get you some."  Excellent advice!