I joined over 100,000 fellow book-lovers this past Saturday at the LA Times Festival of Books. I have attended the Festival many times over the past decade and every year I walk away creatively invigorated.
This year I decided to forget about scheduling my day around the authors’ speaking engagements. In the past, this usually never worked out anyway — authors cancelling at the last minute, no more tickets available for the indoor lectures I wanted to hear, et cetera. This time, I embarked on a looser, more intuitive approach to my day’s activities by just wandering around to the outdoor stages and tents, listening to and speaking with whoever crossed my path.
As a result, I discovered the works of some bright young novelists and mature established poets I want to read: Kiersten White, Rachel Cohn, Tahereh Mafi, Michelle Gagnon, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, and Kurt Brown.
About mid-day, I came across the tent for a local haiku study group and had an impromptu lesson on what haiku is and is not. I walked away with a chapbook of haiku and some tutorial resources. I have written haiku in the past and, like other forms of poetry, it works for me as a warm up to prose writing. I have recently noticed that some of my online writing colleagues are being re-energized by poetry writing too, so I think I will be joining them and posting more poetry, especially haiku, in the near future.
Saturday was an abnormally warm, brilliantly blue day, and I ended my time at the Festival by stretching out on the lawn under the sycamores and eucalyptus trees at the Poetry Stage. I stared at the sky and drank in the words of the poets.
My Muse was well fed and sassily happy this day.
ljg (c) 2013