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Just When You Thought the Floyd Spoken Word Couldn't Get Any Bigger

txxp.gifAn overflowing crowd packed the Café del Sol for June's Spoken Word Open Mic. With the warm glow of evening sun streaming in, the café was abuzz with a celebratory din left over from the town's Jubilee festival that day. There was pizza eating, card playing, cappuccino sipping, and socializing, but all quieted to a hush when the readers took to the stage.

Three members of the Floyd Writer's Circle, Rosemary Wyman, Mara Robbins, and I opened the evening with poetry interpretations to Lora Geissler's abstract art that hung on the Café Walls. Eight contributors to the new spring issue of Floyd County Moonshine shared their literary talents. Two poets visiting from Washington D.C. joined the performing line-up, along with returning members of the Spoken Word community and a couple of first time readers. moonxsh.jpg

Mara, Floyd County Moonshine's new associate editor and acting emcee, stood on the café coffee table, projecting her voice over the crowd, welcoming them and reviewing the open mic guidelines. With twenty-eight readers of short stories, poetry, essays, and excerpts from novels and memoirs, the ten minute reading slots had to be cut back to five minutes.

The first Moonshine reader Charles Swanson, who teaches creative writing and composition at Gretna High School, followed Mara's lead and stood on the coffee table until café owner Sally Walker arrived with the PA system that someone said she borrowed from the Floyd Country Store. Ropes of spider webs hanging ...from the low log lintel ... we knocked back with a stick ... and Granddad made ... with twigs and tobacco twine ... a broom to sweep the floor, Swanson read from a poem titled "Broom" about reclaiming a barn from an overgrown tobacco patch. He also read a poem about the drinkable kind of Moonshine, which was written from a variety of voices.flsxxw.jpg

"I don't think I can shout haiku," I said when it was my turn to share my minute of tiny poems inspired by Lora's paintings. By the time I returned to the stage later in the evening for the four minutes remaining of my five minute slot, I was speaking into a mic. From my "Fit to Be Quipped" punch line series excerpted from my blog, I read, My husband Joe has thick curly hair. When my kids were little and Joe needed a haircut, they would tease him by calling him "Ofra" Winfrey. Now when he needs a haircut we just call him Rob Blagojevich. Although I could perfectly pronounce "Blagojevich" all through the day, when I read it on stage I needed the help of the audience to get it right.

Other Floyd County Moonshine contributors reading included Floyd Moonshine editor Aaron Moore, author Neva Bryan, Emory and Henry teacher Felicia Mitchell, Radford poet Cynthia Ring, Hollins University Creative Writing student Sharon Mirtaheri, and Floyd's own Jayn Avery, who Mara introduced as "potter by trade and writer by impulse." hollxx.jpg

Before reading an excerpt from his novel Barn Blazing, Aaron told the crowd that the deadline for the summer Floyd County Moonshine is June 30. It will be an all Floyd edition, he said.

Civilizations crumbled beneath me--a plethora of insects and spiders fled beneath the swipes of the pendulating scythe. I, being a veritable voyeur, only relented at the sight of one thing: preying mantis sex. The male was much lesser in stature than the female, propped on the female's back sitting rigid while hugging her reddish-purple thorax. She was a massive creature compared to him, beautiful in an alien sort of fashion. When they were alerted to my presence, she bore him with her and he held on. ~ From Barn Blazing by Aaron Moore

Post notes: Contributors pictured reading from Floyd Country Moonshine are Charles Swanson, Cynthia Ring, Felicia Mitchell, and Sharon Mirtaheri. Submissions to Floyd County Moonshine, a regional literary and art magazine, should be sent as an attachment to floydshine@gmail.com. Inquiries about advertising and subscriptions can also be made at that address. Copies of Moonshine are available in cafes around town for $7.


HA! I cam back just at the perfect moment. I love your descriptions of these little fiets. I'm completely amazed at the joy of word in your little town.

I guess I'm a little jealous too - how's the garden? We're just getting to plant as it's been such weird weather - hail, rain, cold. My first plantings died... sigh...

I'll be posting pictures of the garden soon. Now that it's finally stopped raining, it feels like paradise here and the corn is taller than a toddler.

It's still raining here and miserable. I can't believe it is June 23rd!!??.........You always have so much fun with, The Spoken Word night. xo

Somehow "praying mantis" seems more benign than "preying." Appropriate term though. The females can and do devour their mating males. I guess that makes them prey :-(

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