Sitting outside at the WWf(a)C table on Saturday at the annual Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts made me think about how a festival of stories and poetry might look.
Of course, there are writer's conferences every where which feature public readings of fiction and poetry as well as workshops for aspiring novelists, poets and playwrights. But what about a beautiful tree lined street filled with tents and booths and inside would be a poet or a short story writer fingers posed on the keyboard, muse at the ready?
Or you would see samples of their words on the tent walls and you would order a poem for a special occasion or you would ask for a short story that featured and old woman and a yellow teapot. Perhaps some tents might have earphones that you put on and you would hear TS Eliot reading the Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock or Sylvia Plath reading from the Bell Jar. Another tent would be filled with picture postcards from the 1930s when people stuck a penny stamp on a picture of Yellowstone National Park and wrote a great sentence about the weather.
Another booth would be a circle of chairs with a candle burning in the middle, where women are furiously writing in notebooks and reading to each other from their fast writes.
Another tent would be short dramas for the young at heart and singer songwriters would be leading songwriting workshops. The tents would have to be further apart than at the art fair. It would prevent us from having to shout to be heard. The spoken word can be a delicate thing. I love the idea of a word fair. What kind of booth would you like to see there?