A Reading

When one of my friends here at Stanford heard I had published a new collection of poems, she had the generous and wonderful idea of holding a party for me, with our mutual friends plus some of my friends and some of hers. And this happened yesterday in the group of condos on campus where my friend lives and where we lived until a year ago. There was a woman I used often to pass and nod to, her on foot with a dog, me on my bike; the translator from Russian whom I'd heard never met. Our old next door neighbours came, as well as the man who moved into our former apartment when we moved out, with his daughter, here from Belgium for an internship. There were friends who'd come down from San Francisco with other friends. And lots more

I'd never been part of a private reading before and it was lovely: we ate and drank (champagne) and talked and then Marguerite clapped and everyone sat down and listened to me talk about and read a few poems from the new book, including three or four that were set in our condo and involved people or trees or creatures we all see every day. We all talked about poetry and translation, everyone chipped in.