build a stool and the poets will come


Success for a writer can be measured in different ways. Polishing off a poem. Completing a novel. Gaining recognition for one’s work. Being published.

Saturday night was one of those moments for me. Imagining an event and putting it together for a few friends and colleagues is an accomplishment. However, what transpired Saturday night was far more successful than I could have ever imagined. Over forty people came to the event. Our venue, the back room of Sneaky Beans, couldn’t even hold everyone; there were people sitting on the floor, standing around the couches, and people crowding the hallway trying to hear the readers inside.


All eight readers shared their work ranging from short story, prose, poetry, and improvisational.


At one point during the night I said, “I’m so excited to see all the people here, especially since I don’t know everyone. That means everyone that is here didn’t come out of pity.”


I read three pieces: my new poem (too early to be titled) about New Orleans, My Father’s Daughter, and (the tried and true) Collection Plate. My Father’s Daughter (published in Hyphen Literary magazine in 2008.) and Collection Plate can be read under the tab marked “poetry”. The piece about New Orleans will be up shortly.

That night someone said to me, “People have been waiting for something like this, and you built it”.

I am already working out the details for the next Writer’s Spotlight.


4 thoughts on “build a stool and the poets will come

  1. lisa says:

    hey janine! Sat night was amazing. thanks for putting it together. a couple things… 1) we would love to do it at cups. the back room is alot bigger than Sneaky the room at SB and we could rearrange tables to use the space even better. 2) i know i have at least one person other person that is interested in reading at the next one, maybe a couple other people. I will get you their contact info.

    It was great to meet you in person too!!

  2. rachel j says:

    i’m so sorry not to have been there but i’m so gld this was a sucess which means i will certainly be there at spotlights to come. congrats!

  3. Melia says:

    I’m so glad that the first Spotlight was a success and would have been there if not for my sister’s wedding! It does feel incredible to organize something that people have been waiting for, and congrats on attracting so many people that you didn’t know. Can’t wait to be part of the next one.

  4. QueenFolayan says:

    Hi there. Thanx for inviting me. I am so excited about the Writer’s Spotlight and definetely looking forward to the next one. Thanks for bringing us all together.

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