It’s a sultry Friday night in July. Jess Rowland squeezes her accordion beside a shelf of her poetry books in the carport entrance to an unassuming back yard on London Street, welcoming us in. A card table is set up with a small jade plant and more handmade, limited editions of poetry to commemorate this event. In the shade of the yard are a few folding chairs to sit on. It’s the first anniversary of the Show and Tell Poetry Series (STPS).
A concrete pad serves as an erstwhile stage. By the bbq is a bucket of beers and the gurgle pot—a sort of mascot in the form of a yellow ceramic fish-shaped jug that makes a satisfying sound after a glass of water is poured. It’s a tender prelude of sonic poetry.
Our hosts, Justin Million and Elisha May Rubacha, two equally fine poets, were both trying to make inroads into our minimal literary scene, when they happened to fall in love through some serendipitous curatorial matchmaking. But this is so much more than a sappy rom-com. Maybe poetry is a dish best served in community. Maybe it takes a village to launch a small press.