I was 21 years old the first time I read poetry in public. It was at a tiny diner called the paris crew cafe at 12 Charlotte street in Saint John, NB. My friend Chris Daigle had invited me to read, and like most of my readings, I shared the night with musicians.
There was a $5 cover for the show and most of my friends at the time couldn’t afford such an extravagance. (neither could I for that matter.
The reading went well overall, I was awkward and probably read for far too long, and most of what I read was pretty terrible, but it was received well enough, and most people there seemed to say nice things to me.
I got my first piece of valuable feedback that night, not after the reading but during, also not between poems, but again, during. An swaying audience member who’d joined us from the neighboring rookies’ pub interrupted me mid poem to tell me I was reading to fast. “SLOW DOWN” came the call from the back of the room.
For me though, as a budding writer of sorts, it was a momentum shift. Things were different after that reading, and I threw myself into the craft. I wasn’t very good at it, and never really got much better, but I did it every day, and when one does something everyday you almost can’t help but to pick up a few things.
tiredeyes.net is 10 years old this year, it’s hayday for regular readers and quality writing has come and gone. It’s been neglected, beat up, ignored and basically left to die. Hopefully over the next 10 years, I can bring it back to life.