Yesterday afternoon we had another Open Mic event at school (here's my post about the one last week), and there's talk of making this a much more frequent occurrence next year. There was a lot of interest among teachers and students alike, and it will be interesting to see if that could be sustained with a more regular schedule. I think it could; the chance to perform your work is a great motivation to write more, and you also start to see people responding to what other people have done, so that we're having our own little part of the Great Conversation.
But what I wanted to tell about is that I performed the Progressive Poem for the group. I think maybe it was the World Premiere, right there in our little library in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It stood up very well to being read out loud, and got appreciative laughs at the end.
I tend to be a private writer, not showing anybody my work until it's finished (and often, not even then). I don't generally collaborate. I find that writing for me is often about working out what I'm thinking about and putting it into a manageable form, creating something I can control in a world where I can't control much. The Progressive Poem, however, is about giving up control. It's about "living without a net," as our opening line put it. And it's oddly exhilarating.
Thank you to Irene for organizing this every year. Thank you for letting me participate. And thanks to everyone who contributed a line. See you all again next year!
Go here to Matt's blog to read the poem in its final form and - fabulous bonus - to hear Matt read it aloud!
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