Evening with the Muse with Jeffrey Owen Pearson 

Jeffrey Owen Pearson
  • Jeffrey Owen Pearson

October’s Evening with the Muse at the Writers' Center of Indiana (812 East 67th Street) found poet Jeffrey Owen Pearson at the mic. Influenced by the Beat poets, Woody Guthrie, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Bob Dylan, Pearson said he’d “always felt like an eyeball going through the world.” He read several poems from his chapbook, “Hawaii Slides,” which was published by Pudding House Publications after he attended a chapbook publishing workshop at the Writers’ Center. His poems were numbered instead of titled; I’m not sure which poem this came from but here it is anyway:

…I hooked up with an all American college girl out on one last fling
engaged to a dentist-to-be like her daddy
and she used me to fill up this big cavity she had in her life
before she could say I do and kinda mean it…

Pearson stressed “the importance of the people who come before us” which reminded me of a speech I heard years ago by Maya Angelou. Though I came to find out it was an oft-repeated speech, her reminder to the audience that “we had all been paid for” has stuck with me since that night.

Pearson’s reading was followed by an open mic. Award-winning poet Shari Wagner read some of her new work and disclosed her next reading, which will take place on October 27 at the Strand Theater (215 South Harrison Street, Shelbyville). Contact them at 317-421-2787 for more information. For more information about the Muse series, email mail@indianawriters.org or call 317-255-0710.

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