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Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge and Lara Mimosa Montes joining in conversation
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A Snapshot of Last Week’s “Books of the Pandemic” Showcase Reading

The “Books of the Pandemic” Showcase continued with their ongoing event series at Poets House. The second Showcase Reading included two prominent poets, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge and Lara Mimosa Montes. In Kray Hall, each read from their collections, amongst 2700 other works on display for this showcase.

Poets House has seen quite the turnout these past few weeks with the opening of the “Books of the Pandemic” showcase. On Thursday, guests were drawn in to Kray Hall to hear and experience poetry together, and listen to the story and experiences of two brilliant poets during a challenging time.

Lara started off the night with the beginning section from her book “THRESHOLES”, giving strong descriptions of the state of the Bronx, alluding to an intangible barrier that differentiates between traditional times and a modern times. It felt like the room transported at various times, to places, views, and feelings that Lara vividly describes in her text. Following up, Mei-Mei reads from “A Treatise on Stars”, her book that describes persons, places, and experiences through a celestial vision. The room opened up a bit, as Mei-Mei explored the vast and wonderful theme of interconnectedness amongst many, many objects and living things. The night felt like a telling of themes and thoughts so true, so perplexing, but also very telling and apparent.

After both readings, Lara and Mei-Mei entered into an engaging conversation with one another about a variety of topics. During the entire conversation, each poet took time to analyze each other’s ideas, and dug into their professional relationship. In addition, Lara and Mei-Mei discussed the hurdles each poet had to go through. Lara says during the pandemic, “I was feeling the social nervous system take on a new structure, and that was affecting me… That was changing the poems, and that was changing what I dreamt about, and changing the structures.” Further on, the conversation continued with each poet talking about their intuitive processes as writers. In one instance, Mei-Mei describes the laborious, yet riveting, task of writing her book, sharing the process of listening to animals, plants, the weather and ultimately, the stars for her recent work. All in all, both poets had great chemistry throughout the night and keeping the crowd’s attention.

The night concluded with a fantastic reception in the upstairs Reading Hall, bringing listeners and speakers together, and allowing guests to follow up and mingle.

The next Showcase event will be on April 25th, with readings and a discussion between Eduardo C. Corral and Benjamin Garcia.