Poetry just in time for the winter holidays!

I don’t know about you, but I could use a good poetry fix to get me through the rush and tumble of the winter holidays. If you feel the same, come on in to Unvined Wine Bar, 7pm, Wednesday, December 17, for a little poetry reading (and maybe a glass of wine to fortify you against the cold). Good bud Harry Calhoun and I will be featured readers, then it’s a free for all (I mean open mic)! Wanna read? Let me know!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

See? THIS is what you have to be ready for. Poetry is the only hope!!

See? THIS is what you have to be ready for. Poetry is the only hope!!


Looking forward to Wednesday’s poetry reading

I’ve been prepping a bit this afternoon. I find it fun to develop a program with a theme or a flow to it that works for a particular audience–like putting puzzle pieces together.

Tomorrow’s reading has a little bit of Asian feel (ooo–chicken haiku, anyone?) and a little bit of Southern feel. Might share a couple of poems from Raleigh Review as well.

Should be an entertaining evening. Come join us!

Karin reading at Unvined June 2014

Karin reading at Unvined June 2014


What? Featured reader?? Me?

It’s time for some poetry out loud again!

Harry Calhoun (http://harrycalhoun.net) and I are reading at UnVine’d Wine Bar in Cary, NC. We’ll do 15-20 minutes each, then open up the mic. Are you game??

Here are the details…

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 7:30pm-9:30pm
UnVine’d Wine Bar & Tapas, 201 W. Chatham St. – #103, Olde Cary Commons, Cary, NC
Relax with a glass of wine and listen to poetry from two talented Raleigh poets: Harry Calhoun and Karin Wiberg. Open mic readers and other entertainers are encouraged and should contact Harry in advance of the reading (HarryC13@aol.com). UnVine’d Wine Bar and Tapas is tucked away in the heart of downtown Cary. Fine wines at affordable prices…tapas, paninis and salads prepared by gourmet chefs…and walls adorned with artwork from local artists. The perfect atmosphere for an evening of poetry!

And, as Harry likes to say, we are both cute as bugs. 🙂

Come on in and have a great time!

Come drink some words

Language is wine upon the lips. —Virginia Woolf

If you’re in the Triangle (NC), stop in to Unvine’d for poetry Wednesday night. Yours truly might even read something…

Location: UnVine’d Wine Bar & Tapas, 201 W Chatham St., #103, Olde Cary Commons, Cary, NC 27519

When: Wednesday,  May 21 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Poetry and wine — What could be better?

If you’re in the Triangle, NC, area, join us tonight (7:30pm, March 19, 2014) at Unvine’d Wine Bar in Cary for a poetry reading. There’s a line-up in place, but also space for some open mic additions.

Should be fun!

On reading poetry in public

For the longest time, I resisted public speaking—out of fear, discomfort, whatever you want to call that particular variety of head trash. Back in June I finished the first level of Toastmasters (10 speeches). As I wrote then, something had finally clicked for me (I think part of it is called “rehearsal”!) and I started to appreciate the experience.

Recently I’ve had two chances to read some of my poetry in public, and I have a third event coming up this week. I’ve been surprised how much I’ve enjoyed not only the performance and the audience response, but the process of deciding what to read and what to say.

How do you give the audience a sense of you and your writing in 6 minutes? or 10? or 15?

Six minutes allowed more poetry than I expected—I was able to read five short poems with comments in between. I tried to choose a variety that ranged from amusing to bizarre to philosophical, but the comments helped connect them thematically (childhood, summer, etc.). And I ended on a warm, positive note.

I practiced with a timer to make sure I stayed within the limit, and was surprised how close the timing came out for each poem—usually within a couple seconds. Apparently my ear knows the pace at which it wants the poem to be read. Any variation in overall time tended to come from my comments—which I learned to keep brief.

I started to worry when I had to fill 15 minutes! Did I have enough reasonably good work to read?? I read the same five poems as the first reading, and added another five, including a longer poem (3 ½ minutes). It was interesting to consider how to order a lengthier set, and I ended up grouping them around self-image, childhood and, hmmm, let’s say, soulfulness.

I’ve heard enough poets read to recognize how flow and context can enhance the audience’s appreciation for their work. We’d all like to think our poems stand on their own, and often they do, but it sure helps to have a little insight from the poet. When I was rehearsing my first 6 minutes with my Toastmasters club, one of the nicest pieces of feedback I got was “I really felt like I got to know you through your poems and comments.”

For this week, I’m working on a 10-minute set. I’d love to hear from my poet friends–how do you think about choosing work for a public reading? Any advice or tips you’d like to share with us novices?

Andy Warhol was wrong!

Even though I’ve already had my first 6 minutes of fame, I get 15 more!

The Art of Style, a great little clothing boutique in Raleigh’s Cameron Village, is hosting Mind. Body. Soul. 7-9pm, Friday, October 5, 2012.

The event includes…

  • Nibbles and sips from health boutique Nourish,
  • Artwork by Jarrett Burch,
  • Tunes from local musicians, and
  • Four poets reading throughout the night: Drew Becker, Harry Calhoun, Alice Osborn and yours truly!

If you’re in the area, stop by and join us–it should be fun!

My 6 Minutes Are Up!

I am happy to report I successfully completed my first public poetry reading! 🙂

poetrySPARK made for a fun evening. The Featured Reader event was held in a cool venue–hair salon by day, bar by night. We read from the DJ booth! With 6 featured readers, a youth contest winner, and three invited poets, the two hours were jam-packed.

Apparently a jury selected the 6 featured poets from a couple dozen entries (in a blind process), so I felt good to be in the top quartile based on the poems alone. And I performed my poems the way I wanted to–no stumbling or mumbling–and got good feedback from the group. I was glad I had practiced! Thanks to my Toastmasters club for the feedback–I used it.

All in all, I am satisfied with my debut. Now I might have to try an open mic night… (Ooo, I’m giddy with anticipation!)

Reading from the DJ booth

My First 6 Minutes of Fame

A few weeks ago I saw an announcement in the paper that poetry submissions were being accepted for an upcoming creativity festival. The selected poets would be featured readers at a Saturday night event.  On the very last day possible, I sent in my three poems and paid my five bucks. What could it hurt?

Go figure—I got selected. So tomorrow night I get to use my 6 minutes to read a few poems. My first real public poetry reading! Woo-hoo!

I have dutifully practiced and timed my poems and comments so I stay within the allotted time. I did a run-through at my Toastmasters group on Monday. I need a few more read-throughs to stay fresh, a new folder to put my pages in, and voila! I will be set.

If you’re in the Raleigh, NC, area and need something fun to do on a Saturday night (yes, poetry reading is great fun!), check out poetrySPARK, part of the 4-day SPARKcon festival.

I’ll let you know how it goes. And then I can start planning my remaining 9 minutes…