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· Heroes of Hutch ·
I’m a writer and I’m used to spending a lot of my time alone, writing. I can’t imagine a group of writers collaborating, but I know it’s done and done well.
I love to get an idea and follow where it leads. Often it will involve reading and research; both of which I do mostly by myself.
The other night I attended a poetry reading event titled, “Here is my poem: A unique evening of poetry, music, & art.” It was both entertaining and inspiring. Wow! Ten poets read their personal pieces after being introduced by musicians playing drums, bass, and keyboard. During the show, two artists painted an image they had each conjured up of a different poem.
The organizer of the event, Dave McKane, remarked in his introduction that he wanted to help create something local where the artists could be heroes for one evening. He definitely accomplished that. https://www.facebook.com/events/1268712323276162/
I remember a song written by Harry Nilsson and made famous by the group Three Dog Night. The title was “One,” but it was known by the opening line, “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.”
The line reminds me how writing can often be a lonely activity but how it’s also vitally important to at least occasionally surface for fresh air, support, and feedback after being submerged in the work.
They’re many essays that discuss how creative artists, especially writers, are often introverts. But loners, even brilliant loners, can face periods of self-doubt and question their work. That’s why it’s so important to have opportunities to share one’s work in a setting conducive to success, not only criticism.
McKane’s community event was successful for many reasons, especially because it was collaborative. He must have thanked at least twenty people for saying “yes” when they could have said “no” during the plotting process. See participants and contributors at this link.
As the planning proceeded, McKane regularly posted a progress report on social media. He requested help and received it. He found eager poets (and maybe one or two who were reluctant). For a few it would be a new experience, publicly sharing their inner thoughts and written words. It would take courage.
There were rehearsals and direction and improvement. Voices got stronger. Statures grew taller. Strangers became friends.
Soon there was even greater unity in the community.
The night of the event was miraculous as the coffeehouse—Metropolitan Coffee—morphed into an auditorium with a portable stage, spotlights, and sound equipment. Hand-made programs included the printed poems and were recognized as first-class published books, a documentation of something special.
The place was packed, the performers proud. Outside the pouring rain was cold; inside the welcoming energy was bright, the applause authentic, long and loud.
The lights and cameras focused on the Heroes of Hutch.
By intermission some of the heroes were caught off-guard. People were requesting their autographs as proof that they had been there, that they had participated in the immersive event.
When the heroes said good night, the evening’s impact was only beginning. For every written poem, for every musical beat, for every paint brush stroke, our heroes were rewarded with appreciation for being classy artists.
As the crowd departed, it recognized that creative energy expands. Individuals with their own dreams hoped it would encompass them too.
Many singular, even isolated creatives got a taste of one night on stage, of performing before an appreciative audience that responded to real talent.
The old post-World War I song, “How Ya Gonna Keep’em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree?),” is relevant to the artists who performed under the lights at Metropolitan Coffee. http://www.metrocoffeehutch.com/
The artists returned home, anxious to create more masterpieces to be revealed to the world.
Surely, each one will be inspired by their jolt of stardom on a rainy night in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Until next time, happy writing and reading!
The Kansas Authors Club http://www.kansasauthors.org is a statewide organization that encourages and supports great writing. It’s divided into seven districts. In Hutchinson, Reno County, (part of District 6) we have monthly meetings at Hutchinson Community College. http://www.hutchcc.edu You’re invited. Questions? Contact Jim Potter, firstname.lastname@example.org