Public Speakery

Had my first real reading last night at the downtown Fort Collins staple, Avogadro’s Number. We were on the back patio under pergola curtains that stretched from stage to coffeehouse amidst a pleasant murmur of voices. When the show reached its peak after the first four speakers or so, there was anywhere from one to two hundred people filling the patio, quietly listening.

I went first, followed by a lovely introduction by the very talented Mandy Rose, who put on the event. I like that I went first. Most of the other readers there that night were graduate students at CSU’s program, or recognizable names in Fort Collin’s decent-sized poetry community. So first was good. If I was going to shine, people would remember me, that guy who went first. If I was mediocre in comparison, I’d slip away.

None of my friends showed up. That’s where being a writer/ghost hunter amidst friends who prefer video games and science classes gets me. But that’s alright. I enjoyed sitting under the light speckled gazebo and watching the readers down to the very end.

My point is I’ve got you guys, some who wanted to be there but lived too far and so I did manage to film it! It’s on Full-Spectrum, so the gamma is extra bright on my face and it is still in the strange black and white that misrepresents the color of peoples clothes and if you’re lucky you might see a ghost walk across.

These are three unpublished pieces as yet. The second poem I read I say that it’s easier to see before you, and I’d love to type up a copy for the blog to read along with it, but as it’s my most favorite piece, I hope to get it published one day here, and sometimes posting unpublished work on blogs can lead to snafus later. Silly legalities.

Enough talk though.

There were a few lovely photographers running around too, and I’ll likely throw some of their pictures up here in a couple days if I ever hear from them.

If you guys enjoyed the work, I’d love to hear from you. And if you’d like more of my short fiction, it’s up for dirt cheap (or free) back through my website at!writing. I plan to have a new short story posted much closer to Halloween, and TWO new stories, one of them hot off the presses, at Scarefest in two weeks in Lexington Kentucky, ( and at the Old South Pittsburg Hospital Event in Tennessee on October 8 ( I’d LOVE to see you guys out there!


Clearing up news a couple months old now that I promised somewhere back along the way on Twitter.

This summer, if you weren’t familiar, for about three weeks, I was at the University of Northern Colorado working for a summer camp that I attended for seven years. The camp is called the Summer Enrichment Program, which I refer to as Nerd Camp in my older years now because that’s what it is. I don’t say this condescendingly because I hope that everyone there, like me, is proud of their nerdage.

More information on that camp can be found in an old blog entry here;

This summer I was asked back to teach as well as be a counselor and again I taught two classes to the kids on art, writing and creativity. Each year it becomes the highlight of my experience, to see these children grow and find a deeper meaning in the work they create. I’ve seen brilliance through these kids.

Each year there’s a banquet at the end of the camp, where the tenth graders (who are aging out and have the option to return for two years as Leadership students) who have been in the program for five or six years give speeches about their perspective on camp while the fifth and sixth graders fall asleep in the back of the room. The day staff and night staff speakers are elected by the tenth graders and asked to give keynote speeches and I was honored this year when I was the only nomination and a unanimous vote for daystaff keynote address.

I’ve gotten my hands on some video that was filmed of my speech if you guys are interested. It’s about the camp and this phenomena of the “Glow,” which is the best word we’ve found for the feeling you get about this camp, this need and desire to return, that your home is not in the four walls of your house but in this two week camp, and it’s a popular topic of speeches because we have such difficulty putting our fingers on it.

While that’s awfully specific to camp, the speech I give is about finding this glow in a lot of ways in my own life outside of SEP, and I think that camp or no camp, “glow” or no “glow,” we each have the ability to inspire and be inspired within our own lives, and that I feel makes this accessible to everyone.

The founding director of the program, George Betts opens the video and introduces me, and I run with it from there. I only wish I had video from my tenth grade speech to compare it to. (Certainly at least, my hair is a lot longer.)

If you have children or know of any children who are gifted and interested in attending a camp like this, more information can be found at

But now I’m going to crawl out of bed, take a shower, and hopefully get some work done before driving south to hang with those very special best friends I’ve made at said camp. Happy weekend, all.








2 thoughts on “Public Speakery

  1. Corinne says:

    You do truly have a gift, Karl. Not only for writing, but for reading what you write. Congratulations on your first reading – excellently done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: