As I traveled around this great state over the weekend, I was asked the same question repeatedly:
"Are you really having a poetry festival?"
Yes, we are.
The Lake Salhany Poetry Festival is a real thing as opposed to something happening somewhere inside my tortured imagination (insofar as I can make that discernment, anyway).
The first festival date will be this Wednesday 7/25 at the Off-World Colony, located at 10 Executive Drive, Farmington, CT.
6:30 to 7 p.m. Music by the Guinea Pigs (a sort of "Flight of the Conchords" folk rock duo who, I think, may never have actually performed together before, as befits their name).
7 to 7:55 p.m. Readings by poets Elizabeth Thomas and Jon Andersen, who (I am pretty sure) was not the lead singer of Yes or a candidate for president in 1980 but who, in afflatus, somehow resembles a watermelon.
8 to 8:15 p.m. special appearance by John Milton.
8:15 p.m. An orderly departure.
8:35 p.m. Mrs. Winkie releases the bloodthirsty emus.
WHAT TO BRING: Bug spray. (Lake Salhany has bugs the size of finches.) Hat or sun visor. (The sun tends to stream across the Lake at that time of day. When Elizabeth Bishop read here, she let several fly balls go over her head because of the glare.) Chair! (There's sort of a goose poop issue here that makes blankets unadvisable. Are you getting the sense of a planet hostile toward human life?) Shoes! (See "Chair!") Coolers. (Food and drink are OK, but try not to chomp and slurp and clink and scrape and burp during the poetry.) Low expectations.
WHAT NOT TO BRING. Knives and guns. (They will be provided.) 300 of your friends. I'm really not sure how many people can be seated down by the Lake. But it's sort of a finite number. Jenneen (my boss) is worried about this and wants to institute some kind of reservation system, but I say no. I say we should have some kind of Nerudan confidence that poetry will take care of poetry.