Tuesday’s reading at Perch Pub coincided with National Chinese Almond Cookie Day, and we were not without the sweet. As Kathy Volk Miller introduced Joanna Fuhrman, our first reader of the night, the crowd passed around a box of almond cookies, which KVM described as “thin as communion wafers.” A befitting description considering that by the end of the night Joanna Fuhrman, Valerie Fox, and Liv Carrow were the objects of our worship.
Joanna kicked off the night with several striking poems, but the most powerful was by far the long prose poem she ended with. Her prose had such uniquely memorable images as “the year clouds resembled noses,” and “the year everyone decorated the outside of their house to look like the inside and the inside to look like the outside.” In the latter scene she read, “I crashed into my friend’s wall because I thought it was the sky,” which was one of the many examples of language that made us garner an appreciation for her work. It was unavoidable, her vividly described scenes weaving themselves into our consciousness.
After a round of thunderous applause, Drexel University’s own Valerie Fox took the stage, opening her reading expressing a concern with the loss of letter writing. This preoccupation inspired “Essay on Making Art out of Unanswered Letters,” which left us reflecting on this dying form of communication. We all chuckled when she poetically shared the story of her daughter falling asleep at a famous violinist’s performance, despite her interest in the instrument. It was a scene that evoked nostalgia for childhood and the endearing innocence of a young soul. She ended the reading with several poems on the topic of taboos and totems, reading from one, “It’s taboo for me to tell you who you are.” Despite this sentiment, it was clear that during her reading, Val Fox helped us discover a little bit more about who we are, and we are grateful for that.
Another round of generous applause and a five-minute break later, Liv Carrow plugged in, strumming and plucking her guitar with confidence and ease. She traveled down from New York to perform live for us and did not disappoint, wowing the audience with her acoustic guitar, poetic folk/indie style, with songs ranging from tarot cards to the complexities of life.
With so many impressive performances, there is no doubt that the crowd left Perch Pub with full bellies and food for thought.
Join us on April 25 at the Pen & Pencil Club for our Slam, Bam, Thank You Ma’am, featuring Frank Messina!
Photos courtesy of one of our new interns, Dana, who also blogged about her first PBQ meeting and Perch Pub experience!