T. S. Eliot described poetry as being overheard. Most writers agree that pure sentiments come in private, with the tentative, wavering focus of a single candle lighting a face. Imagine, then, how brave writers must be to read their works out loud, facing a spotlight on a stage with nowhere to hide. Their words expose all.
I didn’t face a glaring spotlight on Wednesday night, but I did present at a public reading with other brave writers in North Delta who meet regularly at the George Mackie Library. We read out loud and fearlessly from our own works, and we grew from the experience. I can think of no better test of one’s words than hearing them resonate through audience as they sigh, laugh, or take in their breath.
I admit that I cheated. Not only did I come prepared to read my own story, but I indulged myself in four other excerpts from our first issue of Pulp Literature, the loose pages of the printer’s proof lying on my lap. On behalf of everyone’s stories, I received applause. Better than the applause was when an audience member jumped up afterwards to add her name to our email list. I guess she liked what she heard.
It is a good journey to go from private words to public readings. We are very proud of the talent in our first issue and it is a privilege to put these works in print and take them from candlelight to spotlight.