Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ciara Shuttleworth's Farewell Reading

On May 23rd, Ciara Shuttleworth gave a farewell reading at the Kerouac House 1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, Florida. Ciara had been a writer in residence, and after her stay in Orlando she went on an extended road trip back out west to her hometown in Washington State. She traveled with a cardboard cut out photo of Jack Kerouac and she took plenty of pictures of him "On the Road." She was one of the more social and inclusive writers to take up residency at the historic home. She invited several of her writing friends to also read on her final evening in Orlando.

Ciara read a poem about people who are in love with the idea of be in in love. They crave the rush they get when they first become enamored with someone new. In this social media age, I suspect this phenomenon is more common.

As with most readings, there was plenty of wine, and I'm sure that writers gathered on the front porch to discuss literature late into the evening. At an earlier reading I stayed late, and Ciara had suggested that there be an impromptu Karaoke session. I think that I held my own as we followed the lyrics on a cell phone. The music was new to me but I liked it. On the evening of the farewell reading however, I didn't linger. There had been drama enough during the reading for one evening. The living room was packed full of people. In the back of the room, several people were startled when a large cabinet case rocked with no one touching it. Some felt it might be the ghost of Jack Kerouac making sure no one was complacent. “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” - Jack Kerouac "On the Road"

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