Saturday, August 06, 2005

Reading

The reading this evening, with fellow poet Annie Guthrie at the UA Poetry Center, was great fun! Annie read first from her series on Joan of Arc. Those poems are really good, and even though Annie was a bit nervous, they came across quite well.

I wore my "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." t-shirt, which is how I introduced myself when I reached the podium. Then, I told the audience of about 30 or so (a full room) that, in light of the magic in Annie's poems, I was opting instead to lead a critical analysis on the sixth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. So I pulled out my wand and a copy of HBP.

No telling how many folks I lost on that little ice breaker (none physically, I'll note), but I had to follow the fashion statement I was making with the shirt!

Then I read ten poems, beginning with "Indigo Bunting" and ending with "Coyote."

I was pleasantly surprised that the UA Bookstores was there with copies of Riverfall, displayed nicely and ready to sell. I was less pleased to hear that they were charging $17 per book, which is supposed to be 20% off cover price. I'm selling my individual copies for $15, and that's what they're available for in the local independent Tucson bookstores where I have a few consigned. I was downright disappointed to sell only one book, despite all the warm and friendly comments after the reading. And believe me, I was not shy about promoting them tonight.

Oh well, there's always Denver coming up at the end of September, and then another reading here in Tucson at Reader's Oasis on October 14, then back up to Denver and Tattered Cover in January. I'm also going to try to set up some readings in Phoenix and perhaps Flagstaff, if possible. But if I don't increase the rate beyond tonight's one copy per reading, I'll be reading from the grave before I sell out the press run of 800, I fear.

Still, there's such energy at these readings---I get pretty jazzed. I'm just slightly nervous a few minutes before the reading, but once I walk up there I'm ready to go. The props help, too!

Annie, if you read this, thanks for being my partner in crime this evening!

Simmons

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