First annual Sarasota Poetry Month a success

Speaking over music playing on the floor below and cast in a dim light on a small stage, writer-in-residence Michael Tod Edgerton held a packet in front of him as he read aloud: “My cat, Penelope, where is my cat?”

The Coffee Loft hosted Edgerton and his fellow poet Jaswinder Bolinda on Thursday, April 16, filling the second floor of the Coffee Loft with creative performance. Drawing a crowd of over 20 people, including several New College professors, each poet took their turn reading some of their pieces from their collections, as well as sharing inspirations for their writing,  thoughts on poetry mediums, and opinions on borrowing from other poetry in collaborative works.

“I tried to pick the poems that would be best heard out loud,” Edgerton said, answering a question from the audience in the Q and A session that followed, adding that his work was still meant for the page, and it is not always possible to translate a work meant for the page instead of a performance. Edgerton also shared his inspiration for the cover of his book and advised the crowd that a publishing company will rarely allow you to pick your own design.

Bolinda, a professor from the University of Miami, read from his own collection of poems. He started with an anecdote about his amusement regarding the trend of people seeing the face of the Virgin Mary in various places, and then explained that his first poem was inspired by the question of what it would be like if it was his face appearing everywhere, rather than the face of the Virgin Mary?

The authors also discussed collaborative works and poetry in the modern age. Edgerton, who is currently working on a project that involves submissions from people across the globe, discussed how poetry can be borrowed, re-interpreted, and layered with meaning over time.

The end of the event was a mix of murmurs of discussion and attendees flocking to the writers to ask more questions. The hour-long event was a good fit for the Coffee Loft.

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