Tag Archives: Gretchen Pratt

A New Poetic Voice

14 Dec
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Poetry Hickory Dec. 13th Flier

The 13th (essentially last night at this point) was Poetry Hickory for the month of December. I was one of the open mic readers, and I read a few new pieces that I have written in the last few months. It’s been an uphill battle for me and my poetry. Some of you who know me well may scoff at that comment. I know that I am good at poetry- in the way that anybody knows that they are good at anything- but it doesn’t always come easily to me. Especially when I’m branching out to try something new.

Typically when I write, my poems have a very definitive voice and feel to them. Generally I am sarcastic and unforgiving. But lately I’ve been trying to do something new and different. I have been working on pieces about my family. Positive pieces. Pieces that remind me of the good times. Putting some of my best and fondest memories to paper.

Tonight was the first time really sharing that with people outside of my trusted authorities or poetic friends. With the assurance from Dennis & Kimberly that they were good, and with positive feedback from Scott, I decided to give it a go and to read them at the open mic. And now I have to say that I’m very, very glad that I did.

It’s weird to bare a piece of your soul that you so rarely let others see. My family is my world- most people know that. I would do anything I could for them, and I try to prioritize my family over everything else in my life. It doesn’t always work, but damnit- I try. Even so, many of those memories are precious and sacred to me, something that I don’t take out to show the world in such a personal and revealing way. I do have a reputation to uphold, after all, and that type of work doesn’t fit in well with my reputation.

Even so- it was a successful, therapeutic, and rewarding experiment and experience. I was told once by someone I very much admire that I have a voice and a very distinct point of view that needs to be heard- and I felt that tonight. I watched the crowd when I read. Silly as it sounds, many were nodding their heads- much the way a congregation does in agreement with their pastors- and it made me feel like I struck a chord with many of the people in the audience.

Naturally, though, it wasn’t all about me. Bobbie Ackley also read. She is someone I have only known a short period of time, but someone who has always been so genuine and lovely. It was her last reading before moving out of state, and it was wonderful to get to hear her work.

The featured readers were David Rigsbee and Gretchen Pratt. Gretchen was really and truly wonderful. I loved her work. It was very vivid, and it told a story. It was something that I think many people could connect with, and it was just good. The woman has some amazing talent.

David Rigsbee, I have to admit, was probably one of the best poets I’ve ever heard. Every word he spoke had my undivided attention. He was a very talented reader, and his work was great. I was amused and entranced and that’s something I believe must be very, very hard to do. I laughed a lot, and it was good to be a part of something- a part of a community- and to get a break from the holiday rush and the constant chatter and hub-bub of the world around me… To get lost in someone else’s world, basically.

It’s been a great start to this week. I’m hoping things only get better. And soon I will have some more knitting to share. (I will be glad when my life is no longer consumed by knitting.)

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