Chicken and Salsa February

February 23, 2009

I know this Chicken and Salsa Update is coming along rather late, but better late than never, right?

February’s C&S Gathering was held at Sneakerz Bar and Grill where we did karaoke. It truly was a fun experience – though our karaoke-ing was put off about two hours because of the once-a-year arm wrestling tournament that was going on. Either way, it was fun to all get together, talk, and get up the courage to grab the microphone and SING!

Some may wonder what singing in a bar with a bunch of drunks has to do with writing. In planning this month’s gathering I thought a lot about one of my mentor’s Li-Young Lee. I learned so much from working with him, but one thing that stands out forever in my mind is the importance of giving life’s breath to words. Perhaps many of us practice reading aloud our work or revise by reading aloud to ourselves…. and that is indeed valuable. But, something about the “to ourselves” aspect of that private work and revision troubles me…. Words only come alive when we give breath to them with our own life’s force. Sometimes, I forget that – maybe others do, maybe they don’t. Either way, sharing the work we do, sharing the beauty of our voices, is special – regardless of where the sharing takes place. I think it is important to honor the gift of voice and that is what February’s Chicken and Salsa was about.

Watch this great Def Jam Poetry video:


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