Friday, August 10, 2018

Bird Forgiveness Book Tour: Sights, Sounds, and Video

Melinda Palacio

I love it when people wear their bird print clothing.
Monica Fitzgerald, Melinda Palacio, Sandra Sarr, Nicole LeBlanc-Savoie.

An invitation to read in the heart of cajun country should be at the top of the list for any poet or artist looking for a friendly venue with a superb set up. Breaux Bridge and the Teche Center for Arts wins the prize, at least in Steve's opinion. I have fun reading poems and telling anecdotes about the making of the poems wherever I go. Since I often travel with my own roadie, I try not to bore him with the same set. And there was something extra special about reading in the crawfish capital of the world.

Melinda and Steve

This month it's been very easy choosing which poems to read. For the New Orleans launch at Octavia Books, I hit a few of the favorites, the title poem and the ekphrastic poem based on the cover of the book, the visual helps sell books. For the reading at Trinity's labyrinth, I chose my more devotional and sacred set. I've had people tell me that my readings feel like a prayer. With poems, such as the Praying Tree  (listen to this poem at the Academy of American Poets) and Beneath the Devotion of Doves, there's a sacramental and sacred element to Bird Forgiveness that I didn't connect with before being asked to read in a church in between organ pipe music, a favorite event for me. For the reading in Breaux Bridge, I performed a longer set, about 40 minutes. I made sure to read from each section of the book. Poet Laureate Emeritus of Louisiana, Darrell Bourque introduced me and his kind words about my work made me want to cry, but I held it together, professional poet that I am. I was impressed by the variety of people who attended, one of whom had never been to a poetry reading. I'm so honored to be the first to bring poetry into her life. I'm still basking in all the nice things people said about the reading. Director of the center, Sandra Sarr wrote a lovely post on social media:

"Sometimes magic happens. Melinda Palacio and her poetry had the audience spellbound as she read from her new book, Bird Forgiveness at TCA last night. Our special guest, Louisiana Poet Laureate Emeritus Darrell Bourque introduced our featured poet and we are so grateful to him for his always insightful words. Artist Kelly Guidry provided his beautiful bird sculptures, hummingbirds of wood and metal, as the perfect backdrop for Melinda’s Bird Forgiveness reading. The room was filled with brilliant poets and poetry lovers and the magic lingers."

Here's a clip from the reading for you to hear samples of the poems for yourself. If you want to read more of Bird Forgiveness, order the book online at 3: A Taos Press or from your favorite bookstore. 

                                                 Bird Forgiveness, video of the last bit of the reading.

Darrell Bourque

Signing books at the Teche Center for the Arts in Breaux Bridge
Melinda Palacio and Margaret Simmons

Earlier in the month, I was interviewed by non-other than Steve for the Figure of Speech show on WRBH's radio for the blind. Steve has many hats, techie, roadie, and now radio personality. Hear our interview on Soundcloud. It helped that Steve sat in on my interview with Susan Larson on NPR's WWNO, a wonderful radio experience. Listen to Susan Larson interview me, along with Louis Maistros. 

Next Stop, I join a fabulous line-up at Avenue 50 Studio, Sunday August 26 from 2-4pm, 131 North Avenue 50, Highland Park, CA 90042.


Upcoming readings: September 6 at EP Foster Library in Ventura and back in New Orleans October 6 for the Poetry Buffet at the Latter Library and October 14 at the Maple Leaf Bar at 3pm

No comments: