Blog, December 9–Paul Richmond

Notes on Contributors

Creating a Venue

Five years ago a new brewpub opened in Wendell, Mass. It is a very small town, with just a country store and post office and the Wendell state forest. I thought why not have a poetry reading at this new pub? On asking the owner I was informed that three other people had had the same idea. We got together and created all small caps. Five years later and five anthologies later from all the featured writers, we still have readings once a month on the last Monday of the month.

The pub is usually closed on Mondays so we worked out an agreement to pay a small fee to open the pub, this way no one was coming to watch the game, etc. People were coming to listen and read and have a drink. And listen and read they did. We have two featured readers and we have been getting people from New York City and Boston to come to this little pub to read. The feedback we have gotten is that the venue is great and that the audiences are incredibly attentive. In fact, a few poets from the big cities said it was scary how quiet it was, that people were here to listen, whereas in their own venues there is usually a lot of background noise. This is especially true in cities where most readings have a hard time finding spaces dedicated to the readings. This is happening much more in Western Mass with studios opening up, galleries, etc.

In Greenfield I have run readings for the last four years the third Tuesday out of an Artist’s studio. What is commented on over and over again is what an amazing feeling it is to be some place where people really want to listen and bring their writings. After three years of these readings I thought is it possible to have a festival of poets in Wendell? I decided it was and the Memorial Day Festival was created. Over 40 writers show up with more than 100 in attendance. It is now an annual event. So if you are wondering why there aren’t more places to read, make one happen. Look around your town, even in the most unlikely venues and you might be amazed by how many other people were thinking the same thing and you will suddenly have one. You need to trust your intuition.

 

Trackbacks

  1. […] Five years ago a new brewpub opened in Wendell, Mass. It is a very small town, with just a country store and post office and the Wendell state forest. I thought why not have a poetry reading at this new pub? On asking the owner I was informed that three other people had had the same idea. We got together and created all small caps. Five years later and five anthologies later from all the featured writers, we still have readings once a month on the last Monday of the month. More… […]