July is getting away from me. I spent last weekend at the American Library Association's Annual Conference here in Chicago, where I had a lot of fun introducing eight writers at a marathon "Live" reading. First up was poet Ed Lee Bok, who has a galvanizing stage presence to match his powerful poems. Check out his book, Real Karaoke People. published by New Rivers Press. Here's the opening stanza in his poem, "The Secret to Life in America":
My brother sits me down and tells me
the secret to life in America.
I'm twelve years old when this happens.
He grabs my shoulders and says:
No one likes an immigrant.
It reminds them of when they fell down
and no one was around to help them.
When they couldn't talk.
As children when they got lost in public.
Cold and wet, everyone hates an immigrant.
More "Live" authors to follow.