Saturday, December 7, 2013

Day 335 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author/publisher,
Dane F. Baylis


Just got back from a hell of a good evening. ASKEW POETRY JOURNAL, produced by Phil Taggart, Marsha de la O, and Friday Lubina, just held a reading and release party for Issue #15 of their semi-annual publication in Venice, California. This was staged at the longest running poetry venue on the West Coast, BEYOND BAROQUE. I am lucky to have had one of my poems selected for this issue. To say the presentation was remarkable would be an understatement. The entire thing was perhaps one of the best events of this kind I have ever attended.
The quality and diversity of the styles and voices attracted by ASKEW's growing reputation set the stage for a range of work rarely attempted, let alone actually pulled off, in one program. The craft of the poets, their artistic mastery, and ability to deliver their work evocatively and with true authenticity was stunning. During a program comprised of over twenty presenters, there wasn't a slack moment. Reader after reader took to the mic and inched the bar up a little higher each time. The audience was held in an attentive silence that can be near impossible to maintain for that amount of time across so much material, but the power and variety literally had all eyes focused on the podium and all hearts and minds engaged.
The reputation of both Beyond Baroque and ASKEW singly are enough to attract a wide array of both established and new talent, and assure good attendance at their individual events. Together they were more than enough to attract poets and an audience from all over the Southern California area that guaranteed a packed house, which is why I didn't even have to think when it came to committing to a sixty mile drive to the venue. The energy generated carried over to a sit down dinner with over twenty members of the program's presenters and audience at Versailles Cuban Restaurant on Venice Boulevard. The talk was lively, the food great, and many new collaborations were created over the meal.
This is why I harp at all the people who never get any further than their on-line cliques. You have no concept of what a boost joining together with friends, peers, or total strangers can be for your own work and inspiration. Sure, you can have those magic moments in this medium. But I'd trade a half a dozen flash-in-the-pan epiphanies for one evening like this. So, push away from the console, close the tablet, set the phone on vibrate and go outside. There's a truly special experience waiting where the artists congregate.
Just a helpful hint from your Uncle Dane.
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Dane F. Baylis

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