It’s pretty much guaranteed: you invite me to read poetry at your event, I will make it as awkward as possible.
I’m not saying the poetry isn’t good!
I’m not saying the audience isn’t entertained (horrified).
All I’m saying is the photos are gonna be accidentally-dropping-your-cell-phone-on-your-face level awkward (you know who you are). Because I get weird on stage. I make really inappropriate jokes and snarky comments. I read beautiful poems. And I’m usually wearing a well-coordinated outfit complete with literary-ish looking pashmina while doing it. (Really, there’s something for everyone).
This is why, when I was asked to read at The Poetry Circus I was really excited. One, it’s an awesomely creative idea for a poetry event: have a giant festival-esque party at sunset by the Griffith Park Merry-go-Round. Um, okay!
The Poetry Circus is now in its third year and I’ve wanted to read there from the beginning. We just didn’t know if my wacky-hand-waving-while-reading-poems skillz were on point yet.
This is my year, fam. I can feel it.
And even if I hadn’t just flapped my way through most of Orange County and Long Beach, I had the perrrrrfect editorial photo waiting around for just this event. And maybe the perfect poem? You can check out both and decide:
If this image of me going full Mary Poppins on a fiberglass horse isn’t enough to get you to The Poetry Circus, let me lay some details on you:
This year’s circus is celebrating the 97th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with 25 women poets and performers!
Among this kick-ass literary Wonder Women will be: Ashaki M. Jackson, Kate Durbin, Lynne Thompson, and Amy Gerstler!
The incredible folks who run The Poetry Circus (and by ‘folks’ I mean Nicelle Davis), have also been kind
enough to give Poetry Lab at table at the event. We’ll be sharing company with Red Hen Press, Yak Press, Melrose Poetry Bureau, LAPS, Tia Chucha’s Bookstore, Paper Plane Pilot Press, Chaffey Review, Sadie Girl Books, Skylight Books, Fill the Well Poetic, and one awesome face painter named Dayna!
Am I trying to convince you to come to this event? Yeah, a lil bit.
But even more shocking, I’d like you to open your pocket book and donate cash monies to The Poetry Circus! OMG, are you okay? Did you just pee a little?
Listen, running huge events like this is very expensive and Nicelle Davis (that poetry goddess I mentioned earlier) pays for most of the event costs out of her own pocket!
That makes Nicelle a patron of the arts in Southern California. And I know how she feels. Poetry Lab is a very successful community workshop in Long Beach. It’s a giant effort of time, care, creativity, and $$$. I don’t mind it at all, because I love poetry and I love the community, but I do think that when an organizer like Nicelle asks for our help we should give it.
Here’s a link to The Poetry Circus Go Fund Me page. The event will be free and open to the public regardless of how much money the funding page pulls in, but why not make this year a stand out? (2017 doesn’t have much else going for it so far).
Here are the event details once more:
Saturday, August 26th
Griffith Park Merry-go-Round
4730 Crystal Springs Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Please come to enjoy the show, get your face painted, and watch me flail my arms like the god-damn professional that I am.
See you then!
P.S. There’s always a way to help events like this in your community. If you’re unable to give money to the funding effort for Poetry Circus at this time, consider sharing one of these banners on Instagram or Facebook. Believe it or not re-posting or sharing an event’s info really does help. When a post is shared just one additional time it is seen by hundreds more people!