On Saturday, May 25th, 2014, I participated in an informal exhibit of local talent at the house of my good friends Richard and Michele Bledsoe. The idea of the event is to present artwork by local artists alongside music and poetry of local musicians and poets, much like the soirees at the Balboa Poetry House held by Joe Montano II and Deborah Berman. This was the second of these events that the Bledsoes have held and, even though I had seen them around at various events over the years, it was at the first one that I really made their acquaintance.
That night we became friends and after going to the Remodern Art ehibit at Obliq on 02-21-14 where I had lengthy chats with both Richard and Michele respectively, we settled that Michele would illustrate a collection of my poems which we would then publish ourselves. This would not be her first publication though as she has published two books so far. One a collaboration with her sister, Patricia Lynn Dompieri entitled “Lemon Bee and other Peculiar Tales” https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lemon-Bee-and-other-Peculiar-Tales/340110992801948?sk=info; and a collaboration with her husband Richard entitled “The Secret Kingdom” https://www.facebook.com/secret.kingdom.
Now by the time Soul Kitchen II came around, we decided to make our creative partnership official by announcing our collaboration at the soiree. To spark interest in our book, I read a couple of the poems that Michele already had illustrations for and she would show them to the audience while I read. It went over well and we seem to be on the same page so I believe that this will be a long and fruitful creative partnership. Below are some pics taken by Diane Banyai of Michele and I reading / exhibiting at the event.
There were other poets and artists at both of these events who read, played and featured their work, some doing both reading and exibiting like Joe Monatno III, Deborah Berman, Heather Smith-Gearns, Hydroxia Gryphon, et al. Others were there just to read like myself or Neil Gearns or just exhibit artwork like Leslie Barton. The sense of community at these get-togethers is great and I always feel good when I go. Maybe by the time the next Soul Kitchen comes around we’ll have the book almost done. Either way, I’ll keep you all posted.