Local Culture

This weekend, we took in a little of the local culture and had a lot of fun.

Friday night, thanks to organizers Chris Hannon and Adele Eliot, there was an open mic night at Cafe Aromas in downtown Columbus MS. I took a few poems to read, and Aidan brought his fiddle. Since there weren’t a ton of people willing to perform, we each got to go twice. I read six poems, mostly newer ones. One thing I realized as I was reading — if I’m going to keep doing that in low-light situations, I’m going to have to try harder to memorize (or nearly memorize) the poems before I go. Reading was a bit of a challenge, but still the poems went over well, and I had fun trying them out loud. Aidan played four songs and got lots of applause. For us, though, it was as much fun to listen to the other poets and musicians as it was to perform ourselves. Everyone did a great job, and it was a treat to hear some live music and spoken word for a change. This is planned as a monthly gig, so hopefully it will keep going for awhile. The crowd was decent, close to 50 people, and really filled up the space, so that’s a good sign. We could use more poets, so maybe I can encourage a few of my students to give it a try.

Saturday was very different. This time we went more mainstream for our culture, taking in a Mississippi State / U of Alabama basketball game at The Hump (Humphrey Stadium at MSU). Aidan had a great time, especially since he got to take a friend from school, and Kim and I enjoyed it, too. Still, being with a crowd of 8,000 (though some season ticket seats weren’t really filled) and listening to the loud music during every break in the game was a bit different from the previous night. Probably there weren’t too many others in the crowd who had done both. It was a close game, and the Tide lost, much to Aidan’s disappointment. Still, it was worth going to see.

Published by Kendall Dunkelberg

I am a poet, translator, and professor of literature and creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, where I direct the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing, the undergraduate concentration in creative writing, and the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. I have published three books of poetry, Barrier Island Suite, Time Capsules, and Landscapes and Architectures, as well as a collection of translations of the Belgian poet Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. I live in Columbus with my wife, Kim Whitehead; son, Aidan; and dog, Aleida.

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