Last night the Loch Raven Review held its first poetry reading on the third floor of the Load of Fun Gallery in downtown Baltimore. On the first floor an art exhibition was going on, what appeared to be a series of photographs of candy canes, at least 50 photos. While the truly artsy crowd stayed downstairs sipping wine and admiring the candy canes, the poets were taking up to the loft where we could hear a heavy metal band rehearsing across the street, and the sirens of the cops and ambulances rushing by.
The old warehouse was perfect setting for this collection of working class poets. In one corner there was a mini-stage to read from, and, perhaps symbolic of the entire evening, several free standing toilets bathed in red light.
The crowd was small, but energetic. Dan Cuddy of Baltimore got the festivities started with his introspective and wise poetry. I followed Dan. Then came Annie Bien, regaled in traditional Chinese dress, who traveled down from NYC for the event and read a number of Buddhist inspired poems. Chris George followed her. Chris read works by contributors Gael Bage, Morgan Lafay and S. Thomas Summers before launching into his own poems. The evening was capped off by the rich baritone of J. S. Lohr entertaining the audience with his humor.
We attempted to capture the entire event on video, but much to my disappointment technical difficulties prevented us from doing so. The battery on the camera malfunctioned halfway through the event. Next time we will come better prepared. Here are some audio excerpts:
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I want to thank Julie Fisher and the Load of Fun Gallery for hosting the event. And a special thanks to my wife Rhonda for doing the filming.
A Chair for the Master of Ceremonies
Christopher T. George