The Final Reading

Hello, everyone! Intern Joshua here.

As we enter the last week of workshops, I can’t help wondering where the time has gone. After all, it was just yesterday that I was making flyers for each of the workshops. It was just yesterday that I met all of the instructors for the first time, and walked into the first kids workshop with four animated, talented, diverse children. And now, just one workshop stands between us and the final reading on November 20th.

While it goes without saying that I think about this week being the last workshop of the season and get a little pit in my stomach, I can’t help but feel extremely excited for the final reading. I’ve been to poetry readings before which featured distinguished, published poets – some very captivating, which I took a great deal away from. Others where I found myself drifting off, and my mind wandering. But there’s something so different – almost magical – about attending a poetry reading featuring members of your own community.

I have no doubt that I will be sitting at the edge of my seat when the kids deliver their poetry. For some of them, it may be their first experience on stage in front of a large audience. The reading will allow them the opportunity to feel an extreme sense of accomplishment as they’ve perhaps overcome a fear, reached a goal, and had fun in the process.

For the adults in the workshop, the reading gives them an opportunity to showcase something they may have been working on – revising, and revising, and revising – for weeks, maybe even months. The reading is the culmination of hours upon hours devoted to crafting something that they’re passionate about.

Perhaps more importantly, for those sharing their poetry with others for the first time, the reading will be just the beginning. They will learn that people want to hear what they’ve created. They will gain the confidence in their thoughts, ideas, and feelings that will allow them to continue to share them. The audience will validate their feelings and, in turn, inspire them to practice in order to hone and develop their skill.

Not only will the participants be inspired. The audience, by witnessing their friends, family, acquaintances, even complete strangers accomplish something so affirming, will themselves be inspired. A spark will ignite in them after seeing just how attainable it is to follow your passion. And whether that passion is for writing, or pottery, or music, or woodwork, or running, or baking, they will want to chase that feeling of pride and esteem.

The Final Reading is Friday November 20th @ 6 PM
Broome County Arts Council
81 State St. Suite 501
Binghamton, NY 13901

Email binghamtonpoetryproject@gmail.com with any questions and we hope to see you there!

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