Caroline Goodwin, San Mateo County Poet Laureate, reads from her new book at a Rivertown Poets night at Aqus Cafe.
Rivertown Poets brings together writers from around Bay Area
“People will come far even on a Monday night. It’s not always easy, but I’m booked for 2014,” said Anfang.
Each month Anfang invites two seasoned poets to read for 20 minutes each, which is then followed by an open mic, giving audience members opportunity to get up and perform their work. The group averages 10 to 14 open mic readers each session, including quite a few “regulars,” and Anfang says she’s never had to turn away anyone who has come to read.
“It’s a mix of established poets and people that have never gotten up on stage,” said Anfang. She encourages an open and relaxing atmosphere, making newcomers feel comfortable reading their poetry. Rivertown Poets’ most recent meeting on April 7 featuring poets Patti Trimble and Caroline Goodwin, found Aqus with not an empty seat in the house.
“I didn’t know poetry was so popular,” exclaimed a latecomer attempting to find a seat before Goodwin, San Mateo county’s first poet laureate, began to read poems inspired by her former home in Anchorage, Alaska.
“When you leave a place it becomes huge in your imagination,” said Goodwin. She continues reading about walking at night with friends while studying the night sky and about the animals of the Alaskan wilderness.
Trimble, accompanied by bassist Steve Shane, reads poems from her stays in Sicily. She sways to the music as she says, “Someone once told me I was the most eccentric woman they’d ever met and that was a compliment.”
Anfang appreciates and welcomes the eccentric with open arms, and to anyone that has never understood poetry, she says to give it a second chance.
“People don’t appreciate poetry because of the way it is taught in school-to dissect it rather than experience it. Just go in and experience it. You can enjoy it on so many different levels,” said Anfang.
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