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Lina,

I’ve been meaning to share with you my journal notes and impressions about going to your book launch.

It’s hard to separate out the experience of your hearing your poems and the setting for the book launch. The two merged into a really beautiful experience.

Here are the notes I jotted in my notebook that day:
“ Green Island Preserve. Lina Belar and Elisa Korenne had a shared book launch. The preserve is the remnant of a dairy farm. Sitting in plastic lawn chairs in a two rows facing Lina. The owner of the farm
had picked long stemmed mint sprigs. These were in a vase and everyone in the audience was offered mint as a natural insect repellant. As Lina read we fanned ourselves with mint leaves, the scent adding another dimension to the poems. Butterflies and dragonflies dipped in and out. Doves freely flew in and out of the nearby dove house.

Lina began by talking about why people write poetry. I don’t remember exactly what she said… A vehicle for expressing intense emotions..grief. A means of speaking the truth. Then Lina read some of her poems, taking turns presenting with Elisa. Lina read in a loud clear voice and this seemed to be the perfect organic setting to launch her poems out into the world.”

I went on the poetry walk. It was a beautiful, perfect summer day. I enjoyed experiencing the poems in this format. I was all alone and read the poems aloud.

Your second group had more questions at the end of your presentation. Questions about your process. Questions about how they might write poems of their own. A young man with Down’s Syndrome got up and spoke. He talked in a soft voice – I could only hear part of what he was saying. It seemed that he wanted to tell you that he loves poetry and he wanted your advice about how he could write poems. The advice you gave him was universal, and I’ll use it for myself too. You told him that he should read a poem every day and write a poem every day.
Your audience was inspired. I was inspired.

Julie

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