Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Was planning to go to the Gil Adamson/Souvankham Thammavongsa reading tonight, but I'm feeling pretty crappy and congested. I'd love to hear from anyone who makes it. (I hardly ever get sick, so I can't complain too much.)


Blogger Razovsky said...

It was a great reading. Gil, who always seems to be so nervous before she reads, or at least she says she is, seemed utterly at ease and casual onstage. And the casual is interesting, because her work is anything but casual: it's violent, image-rich, hilarious, nasty stuff. She bravely began with a long poem from Ashland (the book that should have won the GG in 2003), then read some shorter pieces from Ashland, then another couple of sequences, including Black Wing, which is pretty harrowing stuff.

Souvankham did her usual no-frills reading: rapid-fire and straightforward, and she must have packed about 30 poems into her 20 minutes. Some really fine stuff, though the thematic connection (fruits, insects, etc.) makes things slightly repetitive.

Both readers were met with almost continuous silence from the audience, but I think it's because they read so "plainly" -- no performance, no fireworks (except in the writing itself). And I really admired that. It was like, "Fuck show biz, here are some *poems*."

The other reader, a guy from the U.K. named Matthew something, was pretty good, too. I loved his first poem, which was based around repetition, and some of his other pieces were pretty nicely crafted. He has a couple of books from Faber & Faber.

The open mic was appalling, as usual. I asked the host, Phlip, why open-mic readers only have first names, and he said it's because that's all they give him.


11:33 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Thanks for the account, Stu. I was beginning to despair that I'd never hear about the reading. Now I really wish I'd been there.

I'm glad you include mention of the "plain" readings and the silence from the audience. I've been thinking about related things since Maggie's and my "post-poem noise" exchange. (And I guess this all relates to a little project I'm working on.) The range of possible (or even common) audience-reader dynamics seems pretty wide.


12:38 PM  

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