Sunday, August 22, 2010

Best Poetry Dinner Ever

All photos by John Clayton at (unless otherwise noted)

The best things are always chancy, and there was so much beautiful random to the making of this night.  Poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi and I put it together on the fly with about two weeks notice.  I "met" her on Twitter, where we follow one another (in twit speak).  She tweeted, one day, that she was meeting poet Matthew Dickman in LA, and I, off-the-cuff, replied that they should just fly up here for dinner and a reading. Gabby immediately said yes, (which, it turns out she's very very good at).  But we wondered, would anyone really show up on a summer's weekday for food and poems?
 Oh yes they did...

kooky dana snap
There were jubilant arrivals...

Gabrielle & Dana
Poets Matthew & Gabrielle
Crazy plates of summer food.

Hushed candlelit poems - beneath paintings, stars and cars - in which bee-filled armpits, vulvic bon bons, and Elvis-slicked hair made appearances. People wrapped their arms around each other,  rocked,  cried. 

It was a twitter-inspired literary fantasy. It came to be through a tweet relationship, was packed with tweeters (who heard about it through Twitter, natch), and left most anyone in the room who wasn't already tweeting racing home to sign-up. (Check Megan Taylor's lovely post on the evening: 

It was another shimmering example of how social networking brings us together; sparks our humanness rather than alienness.  In a brilliant post for the The New Inquiry, Helena Fitzgerald suggests that internet socialization - because it is so centered on the written word - encourages a more 19th century kind of intimacy, as opposed to robotic, modern disconnection.  I couldn't agree more.  I'd even say that it especially attracts those who live in words for that reason; that it is inherently literarily-inclined.  We were of proof of that.

There wasn't one person in the room who didn't say at the end that we should host more of these, that these should be regular events.  Monthly? Quarterly perhaps?  We're still working it out.  I'm chatting with all sorts of Tweeters about it,  of course...