Yesterday I attended a Hazel Reading in San Francisco. The Hazel Reading Series features eclectic and experimental work by female writers. Each month, the current readers nominate the readers for the following month, so the voices are an ever-evolving, ever-expanding dialogue on a variety of topics.
I was one of the readers in February (I was nominated by Sarah Broderick), and I had nominated Katrin Marie Gibb to be one of the readers this month. (Katrin did a wonderful job, by the way. I have been admiring her writing for years, and it was wonderful hearing her share her voice beyond the confines of an MFA fiction workshop.)
What I wanted to share, though, was what happened when the final reader took the stage. She is a poet named Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet and she read from her book, The Greenhouse, which was about her early-parenthood experience with her son. Now, I am not a person prone to crying. I rarely cry. But Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet’s poems moved me to tears. Her poems were so touching, and personal, and powerful that I literally felt tears welling up and weeping from my face.
It just goes to show you the power that writing has to touch people in a way that nothing else can. It’s a venue to share our inner-most feelings and experiences.
“How hungry we are for people who can explain to us what we feel and why we feel it.”—Megan Dawn
“We need books […] because we are all, in the private kingdom of our hearts, desperate for the company of a wise, true friend. Someone who isn’t embarrassed by our emotions or her own.”—Steve Almond
“Nothing in fiction rings quite as true as truth, slightly arranged.”—John Updike