WR@S does attract some slammers. Larry Francis, who teaches English at Canton High School and heads up the Ann Arbor Poetry Slam team, is a regular. Mike Moriarty, a U-M frosh and a member of that team (which made it into the top twenty-five at the nationals), showed up recently with his younger brother, Chris, who read "How to Fall in Love with Your Father," a poem he might not have featured at a rowdy slam. Not that every poet is greeted with reverent silence: a man from Toledo was warmly welcomed by a shouted "We won't hold that against you!" Another drew a big laugh when he began, enigmatically, "Being a retired poet is like being a defrocked priest." And while most of the poetry is family friendly, there is the occasional X-rated expletive or anatomical reference.
Most months, the format of WR@S is a brief reading by a featured writer, followed by an open mike. In December it will be different. Lord and Hurwitz are publishing an anthology of works by past WR@S participants, and the final Writers Reading at Sweetwaters of 2007, on Tuesday, December 18, will be devoted to readings by those writers.
[Review published December 2007]