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How Was Your Poetry Reading?

This is a question I have been asked a lot lately. Mostly, by people who wanted to come to one of my poetry readings, but couldn’t make it work. I understand the hurdles of getting out the door on a Thursday evening with kids, homework, and just plain exhaustion. Yet, I also know the reward of making it work, and showing up at an event that inspires me, moves me, and leaves me somewhat changed.

As a first time author, it was an amazing experience and dream come true to stand in Pages’ beautiful bookstore surrounded by beloved works of literature, realizing that I am amongst other writers now in my own words, and their impact on readers.

My book of poems, Autism Disrupted: A Mother’s Journey of Hope, reads like a narrative through a very intimate and honest journey as a mother of a child with special needs. Standing amongst a crowd of people, reading these poems aloud in my own voice was powerful. The energy in the room was intense, silent, drawn inwards as I watched men and women wipe tears from their eyes, and settle in to receive true honesty- not the usual grocery store aisle conversation, or Facebook post- real honesty.  That is the power of hearing poetry aloud.

The discussion after the reading was most memorable to me. A room full of parents, grandparents, educators, writers, doctors, therapists, friends and professionals suddenly came alive with questions and comments. This community bookstore opened up to very real conversation of how we can support one another’s emotional journeys in life, how we can teach our kids to honor uniqueness in others and themselves.

As a therapeutic writing coach, I could see doors opening in the hearts of these adults — inspiration to maybe allow their inner voices to write about their own life experiences. From this special evening, I now have a monthly writing group of moms who come to gather together, be inspired by poetry, and take time to go deeper through writing, sharing and supporting each other. That’s what these readings are about. Come be inspired, be moved, look deeper into your own life, and write it down.

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