I didn’t expect to have any fun at an all female poetry reading. And to be fair, I never expect to have any fun at an all female anything. Especially at a coffee shop that’s a known hangout space for guys wearing man-buns and vegan leather jackets with lush infinity scarves. The reason I ultimately decided to go was to catch up with a few of my Muslim girlfriends I hadn’t seen in ages because I’ve been avoiding my usual place of worship like the plague. (It’s a long story. I’m sort of known as a rogue there. Think, black Muslim version of Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride.) Anyway, I went straight from work dressed in an huge wool shawl, midi dress and some beaded jewelry–because that’s my chic, literary-type getup–and had the full expectation of vegging out on the back wall of The Potter House’s secluded back room waiting to be lulled into a seated comatose state from hours of what I assumed would be sappy, mediocre poetry. I’m pleased to report that my excursion didn’t turn out that way at all.
I heard awesome poetry from the most diverse group of women I’d ever seen in one space, and a praise song sung in Yoruba by a statuesque lawyer. A young blonde armed with notebook, an adorable lisp and a guitar sang a love song dedicated to everyone in earshot. I watched a short piece of a hilarious one-woman play called Dirty Paki Lingerie. Mostly, I saw about a dozen women stand up one by one and remind me of what we all have in common. And it was totally what I needed right then.
Disclaimer: I don’t know the names of all the women I captured discreetly from my little iPhone, and there were many awesome performers and poets that aren’t included here.