In the Mobile leg of the trip, I had the privilege of being hosted by Sue and Ron Walker in their home for my first ever "house concert" and let me say there is nothing like reading to a packed living room with a beautiful chocolate lab gazing at me while I read. Bring dogs -- they love poetry. This sort of effort to love and nurture poetry is worth emulating in communities all around our state.
After a day of meeting USA students, talking with them in Sue, Carolyn Haines and Deborah Ferguson's classes, I wasn't sure what to expect at the Santori Sound Coffee House for the USA Poetry Theater, but when we pulled up in the parking lot at 5:45 and had to park at the back, I started to get that prickle of excitement that attends a crowd. NEVER have I had to move the microphone so that the people surrounding me 360 could all see and hear. Someone said the headcount was 85 but don't tell the Fire Marshall. I was completely overwhelmed by that turnout and rode the crest as best I could. Thank you to all who made this possible. Again, it's not about me or any individual poet, but about a community that supports and believes in the written -- and spoken -- word.
And last but not least to Eleanor Inge Baker and Steve Baker, thank you for your lovely home, the coolest breeze I've ever felt in Mobile, and a chance to meet more new friends with you.
ONWARD: To Orlando and Urban Think! Sept 18, and then Selma Sept. 24, SIBA Sept. 25-27 and North Alabama Tour with Kathleen Driskell Sept. 30-Oct.1.