Sunday afternoon, June 25, 68 people gathered over Zoom to hear five writers read from their works. The audience represented every US time zone and many different states. The event also attracted one friend vacationing on an island in the Baltic Sea. Jimmy Kolker, a distinguished US foreign service office called in over Zoom to let everyone know that he was watching, too. This writer will not take a bet on what time zone that was.
The authors were Randall Nicholas, poet, Ogden Dunes, Indiana; Judith Offer, playwright and poet, Oakland, California; Joy Passanante, Univ. of Idaho professor emerita, Creative Writing, author of creative non-fiction, poetry, fiction, Moscow, Idaho; David Shepard, poet, musician, and psychiatrist, Denver, Colorado; Leslie Friedman, dancer-choreographer, historian, author, Mountain View, California.
Dr. Leslie Friedman, Artistic Director of The Lively Foundation, observed that bookstores and venues that supported live readings had gone out of business during the height of the pandemic. “I realized that there could be a reading over Zoom which would reach those interested in poetry and literature in many areas. It took a little while to line up the writers and get a date set. Then, we were ready to take off. I knew the writers were terrific. Turns out they were TERRIFIC.”
The program offered a wide variety of styles and subjects. The audience was truly appreciative. Emails with words like “stunning,” “brilliant,” “gorgeous,” “touching,” came from everywhere.
Lively has sent a recording of the readings to 17 more individuals who were not able to attend due to prior commitments. The recording will remain available to those who did not know about the event or who attended and want to hear it again. Interested in the recording? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you would like to receive it.
“As The Lively Foundation’s activities had to be slowed or disappeared in the past 3 years, we are delighted by the great response to the Lively Reading,” says Dr. Friedman, “There have been requests for more such programs. ‘Watch this space’ to find out about exciting new events.”