I made it to New Hampshire and back. Drove up yesterday, checked into my hotel, had something to eat, got ready for the reading, then headed out to the farm. I had high expectations for this reading, but I've learned from experience that it's best to go with so-so expectations. So I was worried that maybe I had set myself up to be disappointed. Wrong! This reading was the kind that's just right. My high expectations were exceeded.
My host, Kyle Potvin, could not have been nicer. She was at the barn to greet me and introduce me to the rest of the gang. The barn is a great venue to read in. It's quite large and has a nifty loft. Lots of pictures of Frost on the walls. Poetry in the air. We had a nice turnout of genuine poetry lovers and book lovers who bought books before and after the reading! My co-reader, Midge Goldberg, went first and was terrific. This audience was incredibly responsive, just a delight to read for. I could not have found a better audience for my first reading with my new book, Temptation by Water. They gave it a lovely welcome into the poetry world.
Then there was a short open reading which was beautifully managed by Robert Crawford who, it turns out, is Midge's husband. He asked readers to limit themselves to 1 or 2 poems of modest length. And everyone cooperated! Our first reader was a first grader who had to stand on a chair to be seen over the podium. He and all the others were really good poets and all read very well. That ended up being my favorite open I've ever been to.
Two of my poet pals, Tim Mayo and Pat Fargnoli, drove up all the way from Keene, a two-hour drive. How nice was that! Then as I was leaving, Kyle presented me with a gift bag which contained the most delicious fudge. Perfect treat when I returned to the hotel. I was going to eat only one piece, but ate two. Big pieces.
And as if all that weren't enough, I had an email from Huntington Sharp over at Red Room, an online authors' network, telling me that my new book was Book of the Day. See it there in the upper right hand corner? What a nice ending to a great evening.