By Krista Schwimmer
On March 8th, as part of the day long celebration of International Women’s Day, the Beachhead presented readings from past and current women writers of the Beachhead at Venice’s poetry haven, Beyond Baroque.
The event started at 7:30 pm with Suzanne Thompson leading the way as emcee. Suzanne immediately charmed the audience with a story of her skirt and boots. She then set the intention of creating a welcoming atmosphere for the evening ahead.
The women writers participating from the Beachhead were: Amy Dewhurst, Peggy Lee Kennedy, Antonieta Villamil, Emily Winters, Krista Schwimmer and Lynn Bronstein.
Amy, wearing a shockingly pink girl-dress, started the readings off with a reflection on the last 100 years for women. All the participants gave 110 percent to their performances, reading such poems as “Feminist Lasagna” (Peggy Lee) and “If Bob Dylan Was a Girl” (Lynn Bronstein). Antoineta Villamil gave a stormy, passionate performance of her pieces, speaking at times in english and at other times in spanish. Before the night was over, Suzy Williams and Kathy Leonardo stirred everyone up with their songs. At one point, Suzy had the whole crowd joining her in the well-known Carol Fondiller song “Too Poor to Live Here”.
The Beachhead men were also there, giving their full support by collecting money, manning the tables with Beachhead posters and t-shirts for sale, and blending into the audience. (All but Don who was his usual devil-me-care self!)
There was plenty of food, largely contributed by “Food Not Bombs”, and red wine, adding to the night as food and wine will always do.
Despite the somewhat small turn-out, the folks who attended appeared to truly enjoy the event, with a number of women reading at the open mic. One woman who read at the open mic had not read for many years. Another young woman danced and moved as she spoke her words.
Thanks goes to Beyond Baroque for hosting the event; to Suzanne Thompson for her gracious role as emcee; to Peggy Lee Kennedy for the yummy food; to all the participants for their tremendous enthusiasm; and to the community for their past, present, and (we know!) future support.
Please stay tuned for more intoxicating Beachhead events to come!!