Eve’s Night Out
Eve’s Night Out is a monthly women’s poetry reading that draws creative writers from as far as one hour away, to a small independent bookstore tucked away in the small town where I work. Women travel from five different counties in two different states for this event, and although our crowds are not large, the participants are dedicated and inspiring without failure.
Tonight marked my one year anniversary of attending Eve’s Night out, and I am pleased to say that, time and again, I wind my way down the mountain highway to this little-known secret and inevitably come away with my heart warmed, my spirit filled, and my affection for the world swelling.
Without effort or forethought, a common theme often emerges from the night’s readings. Tonight, I gathered that the theme was “hot off the press,” as many of us had fresh writing to share and boldly braved the podium with first drafts and unedited manuscripts. There were peace poems and war poems, love poems and hurt poems, nightlife stories and family stories, tasteful promotion of local events and cheers all around for small writing successes for every woman who shared.
“We come to be heard,” Katrina said. “To be heard.” She went ont to describe the satisfaction of having a soft landing pad for women’s voices and the personal journey she is embarking on as she learns that the key to her own happiness lies not within her husband, but within herself. “When I love myself enough,” she said, quoting a famous poem, “when I love myself enough.”
Later, RedBoots reads a stunning narrative full of childhood memories and lifelong lessons, centered around a blessing for her grandmother, who died when RedBoots was just five-years old. I clap loudly because I want to but RedBoots waves this off – then humphs back onto the couch next to me and says (while the audience still cheers): “Do you think I should keep that last line?”
Without flinching, I nod yes – and I love the rapport we’re developing. Like most of her work, it comes full circle in a tell-tale way that is so Southern, yet so her own, that she’s bound to have a collection of stories published in due time.
On the way home I am tail-gaited for ten miles and at the house, there is a phone message from Evan. But it doesn’t matter – the day has been long and full and I hope tonight’s rest will be the same.