Hello from Bialystok, Poland. As many of you know, I am here on a month-long writer’s residency. Five other writers, one of which is also a poet, and I are absorbing Polish culture and the amazing richness of the cadence of the Polish language.
I am flattered that the people here view me as one of their own, a tribute to my half-Polish heritage. The complication is that it is assumed I speak the language when I only know a few words. Still, it is wonderful to be embraced so.
My poet-colleague and I attended a Polish poetry reading on Sunday. The reading was held at a small art gallery on the grounds of the University of Bialystok. The featured reader, a middle-aged woman who speaks no English, read not only her own work but that of her mother and grandfather. Her son also played a few piano compositions of his own. The poet herself was the embodiment of eccentricity, wearing neon green tights under her summery floral dress, a neon green shawl over her shoulders and a straw fedora on her head.
It might interest you to know that there seem to be some universal consistencies at poetry readings. No one, except for the host, sat in the first two rows of seats. There were late-comers. Someone’s cell phone rang in the middle of the reading. Felt like just another second-Thursday-of-the-month reading at B & N. Speaking of B & N, I hope you’ll join Anita Augesen who will be guest hosting for me Thursday night. Poet Victoria Korth will be the featured reader. As always, an open mic follows. The reading starts at 7:00pm. I hope you can make it.
Thank you in advance to my patient clients while my assistant works to keep your databases updated. In addition to helping me, she works full time and is a wife and mother. Thanks also to pet sitters and other family and friends for keeping everything in order at home so that I have no worries other than running out of paper while I’m here.
Please check back periodically for more posts as this adventure continues to unfold.
Do widzenia, for now.