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Double-Voiced Reading at Gulliver’s: Freeing Words

November 19, 2012

I was very pleased to participate in a ‘double-voiced’ Reading and Launch on Friday November 16th, at our  independent bookstore, GULLIVER’S BOOKS 

AND TOYS, owned by long-time supporters of books and writers of all kinds, Suzanne and Bernard Brooks! I also enjoyed reading with Doyali F. Islam, my ‘sister poet’ of the evening. Although her book was spiritual in structure–inspired by Sufi mysticism–it was very accessible, lyrical and personal in language and imagery. We agreed that there were ‘echoes’ or ‘links’  in a number of ways between MY MOTHER DID NOT TELL STORIES and YUSUF AND THE LOTUS FLOWER:  the need to find the divine in the (natural) world, the quest for community ‘circles’ and also the  constant challenge to escape selfishness/self-centredness.  Poetry is the most ‘immediate’ of the literary arts, we felt,  a kind of dance between silence and speech, as we ‘carve away’ the everyday experiences  to reveal the stories that need telling, or the images that inspire. I was also touched by the comment of Mike (someone I’d never met before), who stumbled upon THEORIES OF THE WORLD (1992), my first book of poetry, as an introduction to  poetry….and found that the early  poems I’d written about family dynamics ‘spoke’ to him about his own silent or somewhat effaced mother….What a great reminder of how poetry can break down walls. (It is perhaps an additional irony that Mike, I discovered, is a prison guard at our local ‘correctional facility’. ) I attach pics of Suzanne and I and Doyali and I (with books).  Thanks for reading/listening!

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