The May 22 reading with Carol Jennings at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., was a great success. We had a standing-room-only crowd of approximately 100 that included family members, personal friends, and friends of poetry generally. Carol and I were introduced to the audience by Barbara Meade, retired co-owner of P&P, who told us afterwards that it was the largest crowd for a poetry reading that she had seen in her 35-year association with the bookstore. Carol read about a dozen of her poems; I read four somewhat longer poems of mine, “Cloistered Life,” “Visiting Saint-Sulpice,” “Tribute,” and the book’s title poem, “Food for a Journey.” By the end of the afternoon, the store had sold all of the copies of our books that it had on hand. Afterwards, Ann and I had about 40 people back to the house for a little reception. Ann deserves all the credit for putting that event together.
A related note. Two weeks later, Ann and I were at a poetry event where several poets were reading. We had to leave before the event ended, and as we were walking to our car, a woman came running after us. She said that she had been at the P&P reading, and just wanted to tell us how much she had enjoyed “Tribute” when I read it at the bookstore. It was nice to hear that from someone we had never met before.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Carol and I have another joint reading coming up on Sunday, July 10, at 2:00 p.m. at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda. I’m hoping that it works out as well as the P&P reading.