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Readings: COME HEAR! 2024

I've read at the Rainbow Book Fair maybe twice before via the COME HEAR! poetry marathon organized by Nathaniel A. Siegel and Regie Cabico. However, this year marked the first time that I'd been invited to curate an hour in the day-long event. Given my volunteer shifts at the Bureau of General Services — Queer Division (The LGBT Center's bookstore) and my experiences collaborating with writers on behalf of Saint Flashlight's literary activations, I felt pretty sure I'd be able to round up a strong assortment of poets. But the eventual final lineup impressed even me. From 1pm to 2pm on Sat., Apr. 24 in the Pat Parker / Vito Russo Library, I was repeatedly moved, delighted and astonished by one poet after another. The participating artists came from all different parts of my life. The one thing their verses had in common: a preoccupation with love in some way or another. And so, thank you, Jayson P. Smith, Michael McKeown Bondhus, Malcolm Tariq, Mare Davis, Pamela Booker, Joan Larkin, Ben Fears, and Ayodeji Otuyelu. You made me feel like I've got good taste in literature and people. I deeply appreciate you all, especially since you had to climb up four flights of stairs because the elevator was broken!

Photograph taken by Nathaniel A. Siegel.

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