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Monday, March 13, 2017

Professor in Pub

On Wednesday night, Valerie and I went to the Professor in Pub event, as part of the Lambda Litfest. When we arrived, we were not sure if we had gone to the correct place, as the bar where it took place (the famous Black Cat) looked nothing like we had imagined. Personally, I thought it would be a lot more alternative. It looked like any other bar in a gentrified neighbourhood. It was nice, comfortable, clean, and the staff was friendly. We hovered around the entrance for several minutes before entering, because from the outside it did not really look like any events were going on. When we entered, a woman directed us to the back room where we found a large group of people waiting for the event to start. The room was just as nice as the bar itself, not at all what I am used to when attending LGBTQ events.

The event itself was very impressive to me. I thought it was so very brave how these three writers could stand proudly in front of a crowd of people and read their work for us. What I found the most interesting was the questions at the end. One audience member asked whether the writers wrote their pieces keeping in mind how they sounded out loud or whether that was not on their mind. Two of the authors (Claudia Rodriquez and Richard Vallegas) had been students of Professor Gaspar de Alba, who was also reading her work. Professor Gaspar de Alba said that poetry is like music and needs to be able to be read out loud. I thought this was interesting because when I read poetry, I rarely read it out loud.

Ultimately it was a very interesting night full of beautiful art and interesting discussion. The way the three writers opened up to the audience when reading their work was very touching. Professor Gaspar de Alba read a long poem about love, which I found the most beautiful of all.

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