Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Authors talking about writing

The occasion was an all day session for the members of the Adult Lifelong Learning center on the subject of local writers. Five each poets, fiction and nonfiction writers talked to an audience of 120 about what they do. Most read some of their work.

I don't know if it was meant to be inspirational or educational. I'm not in need of inspiration but found it wonderfully entertaining. Two writers went beyond reading and talking to performing and were a very delightful surprise. One poet says she knows all her work by heart and truly performed her poems some of them moving, especially the political ones. I was also mesmerized by the animation that seemed to change her face as she performed. Another writer who is a maritime historian who teaches at Harvard and Woods Hole, but is originally from Spokane told us that when she first came East she was asked by someone, "How did you ever become interested in the sea living 3000 miles away?" To illustrate the sense of her novel, she ended her talk by singing, magnificently, a sea shanty.

Of the fifteen, all with Cape Cod connections, most have largely local reputations.
Two who are nationally known were Martin Sandler and William Martin [interesting - two Martins, huh?]. As the sea shanty singer's story illustrates a certain provincialism is at work here. I hear it frequently. The plus for me personally was that I had an opportunity, which a newcomer needs, at the coffee breaks and lunch, to chat with people I've met but not had a chance to get to know, which I consider quite valuable. A day well spent.

The photo is just because I don't like posts without photos.]

1 comment:

Kass said...

It sounds wonderful. I love the 'performance' aspect of it and the sea shanty. Charming.