As I mentioned here prior to the event, last Thursday afternoon, I had the opportunity to read with local writer Daren Dean (Mercury in Retrograde) at William Woods University. Daren and I read from a naturally-lit corner of a dank, moody former campus pub called Woody’s. Scorsese would love this basement dive, with its teal flooring and the dark wood surfaces, which were, well, everywhere you looked. Listeners who weren’t early enough to grab one of the vinyl-upholstered retro sofas or armchairs were seated in dark wood booths, on dark wood barstools beside dark wood tables, or on a dark wood bench directly in front of the reading area. Definitely a distinct atmosphere, and highly preferable to an academic setting, in my opinion.
As for the reading itself: I opened with a few newer poems, including this one and this one, and few older ones, like those found here and here, none of which were included in my chapbook, for thematic reasons. I finished up with a handful of selections from Illinois, My Apologies. Then Daren put on his glasses and proceeded to read a fabulously bizarre gothic piece that included, among other things, the theft of a baby in a jar of formaldehyde and teenage boys obsessing over the term “homo erectus.”
So, a good time, for sure, and much thanks goes out to English Professor Matt Dube, our host at "The Woods," for organizing the event.