Monday, October 02, 2006

Pen, no flash

At the Dodge Poetry Festival I attended one day this last weekend we were enjoined from taking flash photos in the main tent during the readings. Besides being distracting to the poets and musicians on stage, it was bad for the video equipment recording the event. (Oddly, there was no accompanying warning about cell phone ringers, and it was a credit to the attendees that there were few breaches of those sorts of etiquette audible.)

Instead, and even before the advisory was made, it seemed to me to be more in keeping with the surroundings to take out my small sketchpad instead and do a few drawings.

Although it isn't exactly as easy to concentrate on the reading at the same time one is drawing, it isn't much more difficult than pointing and shooting a camera, especially because the readers were relatively confined to one location and pose. It is actually a lot easier than trying to do a drawing of someone on a television screen, because of the way camera people always like to move around and cut between views. Perhaps organizers of poetry readings should consider handing out drawing materials to their audiences, with the bonus that one might be able to get the author to sign the completed drawing afterwards.

It would have taken a more talented artist (and speedier) to capture Anne Waldman's more kinetic performance style this way. A professional graphic artist would be more up to the task, maybe using a laptop computer and a tablet, the way Robh produces his amazing works.


LJCohen said...


Your sketches are wonderful! I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you in person, but knowing you were there as I was, makes it seem as if we did meet.


RichM said...

Thank you, Lisa. Although we didn't meet in person, we did both get to hear some great stuff together at the Festival.

Deborah P Kolodji said...


I really enjoyed your sketches. Thanks to you and Lisa for making this event come alive for me.

It makes me realize I need to start saving my pennies for 2009.


RichM said...

That would be great (Sept 2008, methinks). Next time I think I'll be more careful to schedule my time there to catch any haiku-type sessions I can.

I'm still working on my writeup for last Saturday's events, in two or three parts, which will go up on my other blog soon.