Thanks to all who came out to “Words in the Park” today at Mill Pond Park in Mt. Pleasant. It was a huge pleasure reading with two great Jeffs: Jeffrey Bean and Jeff VandeZande. Bean’s new work–including a poem about a dream where he and his wife are floating at sea on a boat that turns out to be soccer star David Beckham, a series of poems addressing a character named “Loud God,” a poem in which he praises common weeds–and includes many of their uncommonly beautiful and far-from-ordinary names–is fantastic, as always. And VandeZande read a terrific and moving story from Threatened Species, in which a UFO investigator travels to a remote location and confronts an abusive husband. I can’t wait to bring his book with me to the beach this summer to re-read that story, and others.
Beyond the words, the park was so beautiful. I love reading poems outside. A good bunch of students were there. Great spirits. Before the reading we had a great barbecue, threw some baseballs around. We read on a small island surrounded by a pond where frogs croaked incessantly, dragonflies darted, turtles stuck their heads up from the green to listen.
Thanks to recent CMU grad CJ Opperthauser, poet and Editor of The Greatest Lakes Review, for instigating such a great day. He definitely started something, because we’ll be back to that little island to read poems again.