find all this music inspirational when I write. I don’t think I could function as any type of artist without music. And just for laughs, what album do you take with you to a deserted island, if you can only take one?
Stuck on a deserted island, I think Thelonious Monk’s “The London Collection” would do nicely. Ryan and I were wondering about the most fun you’ve ever had at a reading. And by contrast, do you remember some duds, too?
The most fun I ever had wasn’t at the actual poetry readings but at the parties afterwards. In Toledo during the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, there was usually a big party after a reading. One of the most fun and memorable was after Allen Ginsberg read at the University of Toledo, and there was a big party at professor Wally Martin’s house. Peter Orlovsky was also in attendance. A local poet was working as an ice cream truck driver and had his ice cream truck parked out front. There was a funny and crazy scene when Ginsberg was invited to go out to the truck and indulge in ice cream and what turned out to be other matters, which I probably should be discrete about and not go into. The biggest dud reading I ever participated in is when a bunch of us Toledo poets were invited to read in Chicago at the famous Green Mill. There were 5 or 6 of us and there was absolutely no one in the audience except for our host, Chicago poet Deborah Pintinelli. Zero. Nobody showed up. Being good troopers, we gave a good reading anyway, even if it was to an empty room. How did you meet Etheridge Knight? He’s sort of a patron saint of Toledo poetry, so many of your contemporaries have personal stories about him and great affection for him. Could you share one or two memories with us? 144
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