The MultiCultural Poetry Reading and Potluck Lunch was great, as usual. About 20 poets and appriciators met at the Redwood Empire Chinese Associatiions, Cultural Center in Santa Rosa, CA. Our guests came from various cities around the San Franicisco Bay Area to hear poetry in English, Mandarin, French, and Spanish. We were entertained by the RECA's Lion Dancers. After our meet and greet time of sharing a multicultural potluck lunch and entertainment, we then had our pick-a-partner poetry read-around. Those who wanted to parrticipate chose a poem and a partner. They then read one poem in English and another language. Much discussion is generated by hearing poems in two languages. We finished the afternoon with a conventional read-around of the poets choice--with or without a partner in whatever language they chose. This also frequently led to enjoyable and illuminating discussions. Our final good-byes were said as everyone helped clean up, taking home left-overs, especially that they did not bring. This way everyone could continue our enjoyable experience later.
Our potluck table had many dishes from many countries. AEI president Natica Angilly makes her choices--a little of everything.
Bi-lingual poetry books were provided, and you can bring your own books and bi-lingual work. During lunch, there is time to meet new people and to partner with someone, preferably someone you did not know before, to read together in English and another language.
There is time and encouragement to chat with new as well as well known friends
We were entertained with the RECA lion dancers, including Judy Cheung on the drums, accompanied by Sophia and Kevin Xei, mother and son, on cymbals
Before our poetry reading, David Chung led us all in a set of Tai Chi to open our bodies and minds for the positive energy of the upcoming reading
David Chung (English or Chinese) paired with Lee Salomon (English, French or Hebrew) to read a poem in two languages.
Ellen Hickman (blue blouse, after she was one of our lion dancers) read Italian since she recently returned from attending the university in Perugia, Italy. Her mother, Ruth Hickman, read the poem in English. Later, Kevin Xei (red shirt) read a poem in Chinese with Alex Benedict who read in English.
Ken Peterson read a poem in English after Alice Benedict read in French.
Peter Allen read in Spanish a poem by Pablo Neruda. Richard Angilly read the same poem in English translation. Past Poet Laureate of Benicia, Johanna Ely, looked on
Richard and Natica Angilly read
After the readings, we all helped clean up by eating more food, and taking home left-overs, expecially those favorites that we did not bring.