The literary flavor of summer’s Floyd County Moonshine is as striking as the bright red wildflowers on its cover and as local as the next door neighbor … That’s how the story I’m working on about the latest issue of the Floyd-based literary magazine begins. The issue spotlights Floyd writers with a special tribute to the late Elliot Dabinsky, a Floyd poet and co-founder of The Floyd Writer’s Circle who died in the fall of 2005. Last night at our monthly Spoken Word Open Mic (hosted by the Writer’s Circle and the Café del Sol) readers took turns reading from twelve of Elliot’s poems that were featured in the issue, along with their own contributions. That’s Moonshine Editor Aaron Moore pictured holding the new issue as he reads.
The café was full to overflowing with twenty-five readers (eight of those being Moonshine contributors/readers) and an attentive audience. Mara, a close friend of Elliot’s and Moonshine’s new poetry editor, opened the evening, reading poems from the issue (her own and Elliot’s).
History archivist, Kathleen Ingoldsy (pictured) and Mara (both co-founders of The Floyd Writer’s Circle that I also belong to and close friends of Elliot) worked together typing (and sometimes translating) Elliot’s handwritten poetry for the tribute. The poems chosen for publication give some well rounded insight into the once familiar Floyd character, a complicated man who was disabled with chronic pain most of his adult life. Some of the writings in the issue were written by others about Elliot, like Kathleen’s essay, based on a conversation she and Elliot had at a Contra dance weekend.
There were also a number of readers not involved in the Moonshine issue and a contingency of teens in attendance, many of whom had come directly from the five day Teen Meditation Retreat in Stuart that my husband Joe organizes. Coriander (in the pink headband and who I wrote about for All About Her HERE) shared the Dharma Punk Rap that she wrote and had performed at the retreat’s open mic celebration the night before. Listen HERE.
Elliot was instrumental in bringing the Spoken Word to the Floyd community but only got to read his work once on the Café del Sol stage before he died. I was really impressed with the power of his poetry (most of which I participated in work-shopping with the rest of the Writer’s Circle), and hearing it reflected back through a range of different voices. Joe slipped in for a listen. He bounced back and forth from the café to Oddfellas Cantina where he was eating dinner with the meditation retreat teachers and staff. (Thanks to Pat Woodruff for this last picture of me and Joe. That’s Chelsea Adams, who also read, to my right).
Post notes: A year anniversary celebration for The Floyd County Moonshine is planned for September 13th from 3 – 5 p.m. at The Black Water Loft. Contributors will read their works from the current issue and past issues, and the poetry of Elliot Dabinsky will also be represented at the event. Copies of the magazine may be purchased individually for $8.00. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be found in Floyd at noteBooks, Café del Sol, Chic’s Antiques, Over the Moon, The Floyd Country Store, and The Jessie Peterman Library. More information on the magazine HERE. A website, floydmoonshine.com, is in the works. For more Spoken Word pictures and stories click and scroll HERE.