Daemond Arrindell and Jeanine Walker read their work in a "braided" style---each reading about 3 poems, then trading off. Neither poet planned plan ahead exactly what they’d read but instead brought their manuscripts of poems and chose poems based on what the previous reader read, so that the images and themes bounced and echoed off each other. It was magical! Daemond had a lot of bird imagery, so Jeanine found a bird poem to contribute. Where Jeanine's poem mentioned her relationship with her father, Daemond read a poem that related to his father, then his mother. The poets interacted, talked and admired each other poems in a living, never-to-be duplicated collaboration.
We then had Maketa read his favorite poem and tell us why it is a favorite. It was a stunning poem ( "Barefoot Stroll" by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie) which he'd known for 15 years when he himself was first learning to write and love poetry.
After intermission, in which Maketa played more music, we reunited for a brief question and answer session with the writers. The theme of the evening was "Rhythm, Voice and Power" so the writers talked about how the physical arrangement of words on the page can affect how a poem is read aloud. The audience jumped in with fascinating questions about the craft of writing. In particular how rhythm and sound effect how we compose a poem. No one wanted the night to end.
Below are audio excerpts from the evening. Due to technical glitches, we were able to record only one poem each by Daemond and Jeanine, and Maketa's Favorite Poem.