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Cafe St. Andrew

Mercy!  What an experience last Saturday was!

A blustery fall day turned into a warm and joyous afternoon with seven poets reading to a packed hall.  It was simply ahhh-some!

Let’s start with the hall, shall we?  Two women from my church, Debra and Nancy, took it upon themselves to transform our little church hall into a beautiful venue for poetry complete with gorgeous tablecloths, centrepieces, potted mums, silk flowers, and an artificial tree for behind the podium.  The colours as you walked into the hall were just breathtaking!  They did an extraordinary job.  And by some sort of magic, all the bags that had been strewn around the hall, filled with stuff for our rummage sale in two weeks, mysteriously disappeared – I’m not sure where exactly, but I was instructed, for the love of God! not to look behind the stage curtain.  I didn’t.  Some things I don’t need to know.

Lucille, my domestic angel, handled all the kitchen duties, arranging all the food people brought in, getting coffee and tea ready, and even suggested a better configuration for the tables – which worked splendidly!  I truly would have been lost without her!

As the poets arrived, everyone of them commented on the beautiful space.  We’re used to giving readings in dark corners of bookstores or crammed into small restaurants, so St. Andrew’s with it’s space and light seemed sheer luxury!  Then the people started filling up the tables – six chairs at eight tables – and not a single free seat anywhere.  A very impressive crowd for a poetry reading on a chilly Saturday afternoon!  The crowd was warm and responsive and not only listened appreciatively, but bought books too, bless them!  In fact, I sold more books on Saturday than I have ever sold at any one time (not counting my launch)!  And this in a market already saturated with my books.  I simply couldn’t believe it!

On Sunday I was beseiged with pleas, most significantly from my minister, to put together another cafe.  “Well, I said, “give me half a mo to recover from this one first, s’OK?”  But I have a feeling something’s been put into motion here, and that “big wheel gonna keep on turnin’,” whether I’m ready or not, so I’d better recover fast.

I have a couple of stories from the cafe I’ll post tomorrow, so stay tuned!

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