Last night, I had the pleasure of attending Women & Children First’s annual Gay Pride open mic night. Hosted by Chicago poet Gregg Shapiro, it was an evening of merriment, contemplation, and a bit of naughtiness.
Jenn P. began the evening with her rockin’, slam style, lesbian poetry. As a performer, Jenn P. was engaging, intimate, and energetic. I thought it would be difficult for the others to follow her brilliant performance.
Craig Seymour thrilled the audience with a section of his story about his life as a gay stripper in DC. Very risqué. Richard Fox read from his book of poetry, Swagger and Remorse. Robert Rodi had a quiet, confident way about him. Although he read from his newest book, a work of non-fiction about dog showing, I'm now interested in looking up his fiction because of his crisp, clean style of writing.
I was intrigued by Anne Laughlin’s from her mystery book about a lesbian sheriff. Jennifer Harris read a section from her farcical novel, Pink, which is about a girl imagining her book being published and made into a movie.
W&CF owner, Linda Bubon, read a humorous story about her recent 40 year reunion and events coordinator, Kathie Bergquist, read a comical excerpt of her novel, which was a special treat.
There were several non-featured writers/poets and I'm afraid I didn't get their names. (Next time I will!) But I was impressed that the majority of the unknown poets were quite decent. I’ve gone to so many open mics where most of the poetry is just plain awful. W&CF does seem to attract talent.
Please check out http://www.womenandchildrenfirst.com/ for upcoming literary events.