That Time We Read at Roan & Black

I lost track a while ago of all the “Once Ever” experiences poetry has brought my way in the fifty years I have been in this one art.

This past weekend extended and enriched this list because of the great and lovingly generous souls at Roan & Black Gallery–John, Doug, Angela, J, Rian, and Sophia–where within the gallery’s understated but bounteous gardens the luminously soulful poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and I read, accompanied by Rob Kenagy, the gently awesome improvisational guitarist/poet/friend.

We played before an audience (150 of you?!?) who welcomed each word and note with a warmth we soaked up and savored. Imagine–the gardens, a huge lawn for chair or blanket, flowers and lemon water on the set, incense keeping any gate-crashing bug at bay, the sun glowing down its way within weirdly accommodating weather, Prosecco, gourmet cookies, sighs and laughs, and good folk lingering after, enjoying just being with one another. Thanks to everyone who came and for your part in creating an evening that is already a sustaining memory.

Then on Saturday I got to be Rosemerry’s sidekick for an all-day workshop planned and hosted by the inexhaustible Colette DeNooyer at Colette and Bob’s welcoming home on Lake Michigan, where winsome and intelligent folk gathered in Rosemerry’s ideas, sparks, encouragement, insights, and perceptions — all fresh and valuable.

Do visit Roan & Black–it is truly a visit —  the gallery, sculpture gardens, the home store, and the soulful hosts. Being there brings to you something endangered and much needed– Quiet joy. Our books are still available there, but of course, that’s only one of many reasons to go!

And now before I place yet another exuberant adjective before you, I’ll sign off with two words that we sometimes overlook. But they contain the ineffable.

Thank you.


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Visit Roan & Black to find Jack’s books in West Michigan.

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And, of course, click here to visit, check out what Jack’s been up to, maybe say hi!

10 thoughts on “That Time We Read at Roan & Black

    • Patti, to know we were able to give this to you makes me very very glad.
      Sending all good hopes for your settling into your new nest.

  1. An unforgettable evening. John & Doug have created a comfortable, welcoming, stunning artistic space – and those gardens! And that artwork in the galleries! Thank you Jack and Rosemerry and Rob for an evening of entertainment/performance that I’ll never forget. Indeed you were/are healing and loving forces.

  2. My comment is a little late but I was not. Getting there forty-five minutes early earned me a front row seat. And Oh, what a view of two so very talented poets with very different styles play off each other with such grace, humor, and respect. Rosemerry introduced me to the first poem I have heard sung and with great tenderness. I kept waiting for Jack to croak out a few notes but maybe he needs “the undertaker” present – just in case.

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