Posted by: Viola | May 30, 2015

Thursday at the 2015 SummerWords Creative Writing Festival

The SummerWords Creative Writing Festival is now well underway. Halfway through the conference already and I wish it wouldn’t go by so quickly. So far so good. Friday was intense, but for now, here is a recap of Thursday’s opening events.

5:30 pm.

Thursday evening opened with sweet treats like chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies and pink lemonade. Yeah, that’s how we roll. Bring on the sugar, Baby! The chocolate cake, which I thought was brownies, was actually real cake and it was yummy.

I checked in, got my swag bag, but that was after I got to say “Hi” to all my favorite people at American River College. I got and gave hugs to the professors. It was great to see them again and bask in their amazing goodness. These are great people. They make dreams come true for so many aspiring writers and budding authors.

My swag bag contained two literary magazines, AGNI and Catamaran. Very cool and sweet! It also contained two poetry collections from Ad Lumen Press, one collection Face to Face with Dreams by Zaieddin Torabi (trans. Parisa Samadi) and Ringing in the Wild by Traci Gourdine. Well, my swag bag was missing one of the poetry collections, the one by Torabi. I mentioned this to the organizers and was directed to the check-in desk and then to the merchandise desk and I was given a copy. How cool! I now have a beautiful copy in my swag bag!

7:00 pm.

The reading on Thursday evening was wonderful. The two poets whose collections we have in our swag bags got to read their work to us. Both writers were introduced beautifully by Christian Kiefer. At SummerWords, I look forward to the introductions of each artist. The faculty do an amazing job of sharing with us background info on each artist and they do so with incredible storytelling. I love these introductions and find myself anticipating them with joy.

Torabi read his poems in Farsi, and he was accompanied by translator Parisa Samadi who read in English. It was a beautiful experience listening to the poems read in Farsi. It brought home for me the wonder of poetry, how diverse and rich it is, and how blessed we are to even be able to listen to and have available to us such an incredible body of work from a Persian/Iranian poet. I’ve been looking through Torabi’s collection and let me just say, it is luminous. I am blown away.

Traci Gourdine also read her poems and I just love her. She brings such a wealth of experience and depth to her writing. I cannot begin to imagine what goes into her work. I am always awed by poets like Traci Gourdine, who are exceptionally great at what they do to teach poetry and the arts to others. It is truly remarkable to find a poet who is also a great teacher, who not only writes but empowers others to write. Her poems are powerful and tender, at the same time. And she is the same. A powerful woman who is full of a gentle spirit.

8:30 pm.

All in all, a great opening for SummerWords 2015. ❤

Tomorrow, I will write about Friday’s (today’s) workshops and readings, at least the ones I was able to attend. It’s a challenge, at times, selecting what workshop or panel to go to, since there are several running at the same time. So I had to make some choices. I hope and trust I made the right choices of what workshops to attend. For now, some sleep needed. Zzzzzzz…. Saturday will be a longish day, with special keynote in the evening. Can’t wait!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: