Tuesday, April 07, 2009


One of the first people I met when I came to Penn State University was poet and educator (but then she was a poet and student) Raina Leon.

We've remained in touch since she moved on to North Carolina and Nevada and Germany and I was pleased to get word that she was going to be in town this past weekend reading from her first book of poetry, Canticle of Idols, which has been published by Word Tech.  

I hadn't been to Websters Book Store for quite a while and was surprised to find a used vinyl store added to the books (a bit disconcerting, looking across the room during the poetry reading and seeing a record of my musical history spread out for sale), but all else, including a certain amount of disorganization and incomprehension (vital elements of any successful book emporium -- far more important than cats) was as I recalled from earlier readings.  In the past this venue has hosted Erica Hunt, Ed Roberson, Evie Shockley, Duriel Harris, Susan Wheeler and Jeffrey Renard Allen, so Raina (who had come years ago to the reading Alfred Arteaga did at Websters) was following an estimable tradition.

Raina brought with her poet/friend DeLana Dameron, whose own book, How God Ends Us, you can read about here.  A forward by Elizabeth Alexander . . . not shabby . . . 

Raina will be reading elsewhere as follows:

April 8
Quail Ridge Bookstore
3522 Wade Ave
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 828-1588
reading and book signing with DeLana Dameron and Lenard D. Moore

April 9
Busboys and Poets
Busboys @ 14th & V.
2021 14th St, DC
reading and book signing with DeLana Dameron

April 10
Green Line Cafe
4239 Baltimore Avenue
Philadelphia PA 19104
Informal poetry discussion and coffee 

Be sure to check her out -- you can order her book here.

Raina's work also appeared in the Ocho 15 edition of the MiPOesias project, edited by Francisco Aragon.  You can read about that here.  And you can hear Francisco read from his own poetry at Penn State on Wed., April 8.  Watch for a blog entry on that one soon.

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