I discovered a delightful avenue for writer’s to share their work in the Buffalo area. Every last Tuesday of the month, Empire State College’s satellite branch at the AppleTree Business Center in Cheektowaga hosts an evening of open reading and an honored guest. I went to the event where the featured reader was a poet. Not knowing all the details, and not necessarily being a poet myself, I compiled the few I had penned and drove to the old mall.
It was the place where as a youth, my sister’s and I went to see the cheaper movies. I mention this just in case you, like me, are not sure what area of this mall the College is now located. I drove around the entire perimeter before seeing the sign. So if you used to know the Como Mall, go to where the theaters were and you will be in the right place.
I may have been taken back by the buzzer at the door, but once ‘clicked’ in, I was welcomed brightly. I quickly learned that not only poetry but really any type of writing was eligible. Happier that I had brought a folder of stories, I signed up for a reading slot and chose a short piece of fiction and added it to my favorite tiny poem to share with the group.
About twenty people of all types nibbled on cookies, enjoyed coffee, and regarded one another with small talk before the 7:30 start time. The show started on time and there were about ten readers on the sign- up sheet. Some read short stories, some read a series of poems, and some even had plays prepared. The feature guest this day was Regina Grol who pleasured the room with a skit reading acted out with an accompaniment.
Some people spoke with thundering voices, some spoke solemnly, some dedicated their works; some sang their verses, and there was me.
I had read my things in front of my own writing group but I was surprised at my calmness reading in front of so many strangers. I could see heads nodding when I raised my eyes to look at them. Writers seem to have a respect for one another like runners do. Everyone does it differently but it is the doing it that matters.
I urge any writer to attend this fun night out. Bring something to read to the group or if you’d rather just listen, perfect. Settle into a chair with a cup of coffee and show encouragement, Writers like that type of thing.
Join in every last Tuesday of the month at Empire State College in the AppleTree Business Park at 2875 Union Road in Cheektowaga. Reading starts at 7:30 pm.