Poetry at Medium 43

Last night I went to a truly exceptional poetry reading at Medium 43, a cozy little place on Husitska St. in Žižkov. I’d been to a couple of poetry readings there before, and thought I knew what I was in for, but I was wrong, in a good way. When I got there (nearly an hour late, but actually just in time, as is often the way) the back room was full, and I didn’t know a single person there except for the guy who organized it, Javier.
Then, it was billed as a mixed arts event, and the first performer showed a slide show of her pen and marker drawings of buildings, most from Prague, some from other locations in the Czech Republic, a couple from Barcelona. They were simple, they were colorful, they were sweet. Then, and this is what made the evening different, they went around the room and everyone commented – well, almost everyone, you were allowed to pass, but most people said something.
Then a guy read a long poem in Russian from his phone. I didn’t understand, of course, but I heard the name Sarah Connor and waterfalls were mentioned on several occasions and it was all very poetical and dramatic. Wisely, they limited the comments to people who actually spoke Russian, which turned out to be about half the room, and so there was an extra four or five minutes of not understanding, but I could tell that most of the comments were positive.
My stuff was well received. The comments thing is really an alternate form of the polite applause you get at most poetry readings, but a bit more. Of the poems I read, one or two clear favorites emerged, and that is useful information. When the girl with the slideshow was done, one of the commenters had some commercial ideas. A first time poet got all sorts of positive advice for moving forward and emotional support.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for more of this group’s events.

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