Lamp Shop and more

I attended a workshop led by the inimitable Partridge Boswell, a poet of some growing renown, about revision and beyond, as he called it. It was a ploy to get us in with near finished poetry and to set us up for a public reading at the Lamp Shop, a cozy little bar and local hot spot. The Lamp Shop has been the home for some time of a Spoken Word night on Mondays, conflicting with my group’s regular poetry workshops. Partridge’s deal was to drag us all over there after the third of three revision workshops and get us up on stage.

I would have enjoyed it more if I had not been suffering all day from an attack of hypoglycemia, caused by my reduced need for insulin for my diabetes since I went on a low fat whole food plant based diet in February. My mind was not very functional and I was shaky on my feet, but I pulled myself together enough to read two poems, one very new.

This was the first time I presented poetry to those outside my tiny writers’ community and it was a total shock at how well my work was received. Not only clapping, but a few hoots and cheers resounded at the end. It awoke me out of my stupor enough to smile at least at the welcome response. A man who had read earlier approached me and told me my poems reminded him of Robert Frost. I was floored.

Needless to say, I submitted those poems to a number of journals today, and I can’t wait for the first rejections!

I would be remiss if I did not laud my fellow poets (I almost feel safe in calling myself a poet now!) for the undeniably great work they did too. Everyone performed well, indeed excelled, under the fine tutelage of Partridge. We also got to see him perform, and it awoke in us all a recognition of how far we still have to go!

 

5 thoughts on “Lamp Shop and more

  1. Martha Kennedy

    Yay!!! I love poetry. It’s completely irrelevant and useless and I would not want to live without it. What I’ve seen of yours is impressive. 🙂 Congratulations and good luck garnering those rejections!

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    1. bhalsop Post author

      I already got my first rejection! I didn’t expect this particular place to like 2 of the three poems I sent, but they didn’t even like the one that was up their alley. I wish I could share the ones I submitted, but they all have stringent rules about “prior publication” even on blogs.

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      1. Martha Kennedy

        Congratulations! I used to write poetry and try to sell it. Then I stopped. Then I wrote poetry in my journals and stopped and forgot about it. In the process of cleaning out stuff, I found some of them and decided they are worth keeping so I’ve been typing them out on my laptop. They’re pretty abstract and the “voice” is kind of stentorian but I actually like some parts of them and they evoke a moment in time (for me). I love them in a way because they do not matter one bit ❤

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  2. bhalsop Post author

    I write so many different kinds, from deeply personal to frankly hysterical. My poems are like my personality, sometimes very up and outspoken, sometimes as dreary as they can be. I don’t share them all by a long shot, but I’m learning better which are made for a general audience.

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  3. cynthiaclose

    Reading for strangers is a great test, and can be a real vindication of your chosen path as a writer. Congrats Barbie! I just got back from a writers conference in NYC and similarly to you, they set some of us up to read at various coffeehouses and cafés in the east village. I read at the Cornelia Street Café and folks I don’t know made a point to tell me how much they enjoyed my work. The glow lasted just long enough to find some agent rejections waiting in my email inbox;-(…but we soldier on.

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