Readings and Reading

This weekend, I had the great joy of reading at the Columbus Arts Festival. You never know with poetry readings – there could be dozens of people, or there could be one: your husband. Fortunately for me, the Columbus Arts Festival drew thousands of people, and a few of those folks stopped to linger around the poetry tent as I read at 3:20 on Saturday. It was a great experience, and a beautiful day. The festival was huge! I hope to be able to read there again next year.

The rest of the weekend was spent with friends and family – the best way to spend the weekend. Friday, we went to my parents’ campsite and enjoyed brats and good conversation around a campfire. We drove up to Akron on Sunday for a graduation party and to spend some time with Brandon’s family. I love being close enough to both sets of grandparents – the kids adore their grandparents. We are so fortunate to have great relationships with all of them. I know most families do not have that support system built in.

I’m on significant revision #3 of Sustenance, the working title of my first full-length collection of poems, and it is on its way to three generous readers. I still feel a bit ridiculous referring to myself as a “poet” – I just don’t take myself seriously enough – but that feeling is beginning to fade a bit.

My library books are due this Thursday, so it’s time to report on a collection of poems I have been reading, In the Middle Distance by Linda Gregg.

Anyhow, the more I’ve read from In the Middle Distance, the more I’ve enjoyed Linda Gregg’s work. This is a poet I should be reading – I can connect with lines like, “I fell in love. I believed people. And even now I love the yellow light shining down on the dirty brick wall.” (from Staying After), and from “Marfa,” “I keep thinking that if I go alone into the size of this silence, we can straighten things out. To know what to question, and what to believe. How to let my heart split open. To print in clear light the changing register of this grand world.” Gregg is poking around in my territory – that land where the natural meets the spiritual and the human meets the divine – and finding joy, complexity, sorrow. There is also a lot of reflection and looking back on the past here, finding peace and love enough to reconcile all of the waiting and hurt. This is most evident in “Arriving Again and Again without Noticing”. She ends with “I finally fell in love with all of it: dirt, night, rock and far views. It’s strange that my heart is as full now as my desire was then.” Really beautiful work.

I’m looking forward to tracking down more of her books.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

One thought on “Readings and Reading

  1. Sustenance sounds really neat Sarah- cool. The Arts Festival must of been a real wonderful experience..I've never been to something like that.
    I am glad you can enjoy the closeness of family as well..because your right, have somewhat of a relatedness or not even?
    This Linda Gregg..I enjoyed the different quotes here- thanks for encluding them. Hey..have you ever heard of a type of rap poetry? I noticed one commenter (I have a link too) must be participating in it. Anyway, I'm looking foreward to more of your awesome work and reflections-


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