Friday, June 02, 2017

Live from the Core: Poetry and Wine tasting in Orcutt

Melinda Palacio




Library Wines before the reading.


In a strange twists of hits and misses, I ended up reading at CORE Winery in Orcutt.
When my poetry pal, Gina Ferrara, asked me to read for her, I did not hesitate to say yes. I have to admit I was a little disappointment she wouldn't be traveling from New Orleans to California to read from her new book, Fitting the Sixth Finger,  poems inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall. Gina has promised to return next year.

Gina first met Michael McLaughlin, the poet and coordinator of the Live from the CORE Poetry Series in California. He was so taken by Ferarra's reading at the Mission Poetry Series that he asked her to read in Orcutt. I was more than happy to host my good friend. McLaughlin also read at the Maple Leaf Bar on the day when I was in New Orleans, but reading in a different part of town. Most people had assumed we knew each other because he is based in Santa Maria, a town forty minutes from Santa Barbara; we had never met. However, contrary to popular belief, I do not know every poet in California, although I'm working on it.

Reading at CORE Winery was fun.

While Los Angeles is filled with more poetry events than an eager fan can attend, the little town of Orcutt, holds one poetry reading at the CORE Winery once a month. The series is now in its second year and has a strong following and includes an impressive core group who sign up for its open mike. The reading series featured several La Bloga friends, including Luivette Resto, and Emma Trelles, who will read next Saturday, June 10, along with San Luis Obispo poets Jim Cushing and Celeste Goyer at CORE Winery Tasting Room, 105 W. Clark Ave, Old Orcutt, CA 93455. If you're still scratching your head about where Orcutt might be, it's 75 miles north of Santa Barbara. The drive is gorgeous. Orcutt is one of those one street towns. There's a main drag with everything from a hardware store to a winery to an Italian restaurant that serves handmade pasta.


Signing books after the reading

I was most impressed with the CORE Family, Becky and Dave Corey, who open up their tasting room to poetry once a month and the generous audience who listened attentively, bought copies of my book, and shared their own excellent poems during the open mike. What more could a poet desire? Many thanks to Michael McLaughlin for the reading opportunity. I had the pleasure of testing out some new work from my upcoming poetry book, Bird Forgiveness (forthcoming from 3: a Taos Press), and reading with Bay Area poet Mark Fabionar, who recited his first poem at the age of five at a Filipino community center in Stockton.

Mark Fabionar 



I'm looking forward to hearing more poetry at CORE next week. Come and join me and listen to Emma Trelles and new poet friends from San Luis Obispo  June 10.


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