Lovely night! Music, poetry, and beautiful art. Inspiring in all kinds of ways 🙂 Thanks, Kim, for putting together a wonderful evening.
My apologies though, for being late (!) I knew I needed $6 for parking, but I was hoping that I’d be able to pay on exit and get some change at the launch, or, failing that, there would be some place on campus to get change, whether it be a change machine or store. There was a store, but the vague directions of “down the hill” didn’t really help. So I ended up stopping at a couple of different places and essentially going most of the way back home before I got the change I needed, returned, paid, parked, and finally got in.
It’s all on me, but I missed some of Kim’s opening remarks, including some very kind ones about myself. If it’s possible to kick yourself in the ass, toe first (‘cause, come on, that’s the only way to do it so it counts), then I’d be doing it.
The day itself was a bit of a crap shoot for me. I was ill (still am), but damned if I’d miss Kim’s launch and I am SO glad I made it. Enough about me.
Ever the gracious hostess, Kim started off with her acknowledgements to the people in her life who’ve been teachers, mentors, and friends on the way, to the artists who have influenced her and the experiences she’s had that have shaped her craft.
As mentioned in the interview I posted last week, The Narcoleptic Madonna has been twelve years in the making, and most of that time, Kim has been primary care-giver for her parents, both of whom have passed away. Kim also struggled with depression. This journey of love and loss, recovery and the process of reclaiming the self is the journey that Kim describes in the pages of TNM.
I’m not going to share any of her poetry here. For that, you can friend Kim on Facebook, follow her blog, The Republic of Poetry, or, best of all, buy TNM, Braille on Water, and You Must Imagine the Cold Here, or any of the other anthologies that her work may be found in. The experience of reading Kim’s poetry is well-worth the price of admission.
Kim reads with wit and élan, the genesis and process of her work as much a part of her presentation as the poetry. At several points, she had the audience in stitches, and reached out to specific communities within her fandom (Catholic, fellow teachers, students, family, Irish heritage, etc.) with particular poems.
After Kim’s first set, she invited The Wild Geese of the Sudbury Branch of the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann up to perform. She sang “The Fields of Athenry” with them, her soulful vibrato pulling the tenderness and sorrow out of each verse and chorus.
In the second set, Kim delved into some of the darker moments of the past twelve years. Then she moved into the process of how she began to reclaim her life and happiness. She also read one poem that emerged from her recent visit to the Anam Cara Artist’s and Writer’s Retreat.
A second set of music from The Wild Geese followed in which Kim sang “Red is the Rose.”
After a brief but heartfelt thank you, we were released to refreshments, book-purchasing, and the long line-up for the signing. Kim also made available a family “puffed wheat” recipe for those who’d been clamouring for it 🙂
I took a few moments to appreciate the backdrop for the event, the evocative art of Trish Stenabaugh, who contributed the cover art for TNM.
In the line-up, I had a chance to chat with a number of friends, Doctors Shannon Hengen and Marilyn Orr from Laurentian University, Karen Baglole, a mutual friend and owner of The Ultimate You, one of the best aesthetician/day spa joints in town, Irene Golas and Vera Constantineau from the Sudbury Writers’ Guild, and some other mutual friends.
By the time I reached Kim with my five copies, I could tell that the wrist cramps were setting in, but she bore up well and continued to smile and share a laugh with her friends throughout.
Several of the attendees have been posting to Facebook since last night that Kim’s event was the Best. Launch. EVAR. I tend to agree. Kim puts on a launch like she would a dinner party, inviting us into her world, asking us to make ourselves comfortable, and sharing her life and love generously. Kim gives us gifts and we are happy to reciprocate.
Bask in the glow, my poetic soul-sista! Ya done good 🙂