Dillingham featured at 'Between the Lines' reading

Storyteller to offer works from Mexico trip

Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2001

At his upcoming reading, Brett Dillingham will take listeners to villages and cities - through poetry.

It's a change of pace for the local storyteller, who will be featured in the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council's next "Between the Lines" reading at 7 p.m. Monday, at The Back Room.

"I felt like I wanted to do some of these poems that I'd written recently," Dillingham said. "When I went to Mexico this December, I got inspired to write a lot of them."

Those pieces make up the bulk of his first volume, "The Village."

"Every poem is a story," Dillingham said. "It's based on the seven summers I spent in a very small pueblo of 250 people in Northern Mexico."

Some of the stories are based on actual events. Others are more universal.

Dillingham will present his other collection of work, "The City," as a contrast.

"It's different stories, stories of things that happen to people in the cities," Dillingham said. "I got the idea for that mostly by sitting in the plazas and just watching people and taking notes and writing them into poems later."

Some storytelling will be incorporated into the show and Dillingham will be joined by a number of other performers. Three students from Glacier Valley Elementary School will assist and John Staub will provide musical accompaniment.

"I've worked with him a few times and he's great," Dillingham said. "He starts playing that bass while I'm doing a poem or a story and I begin to feel his rhythm. It's like the rhythms join and it becomes greater than the sum of the parts."

One of the stories Dillingham will share, "Raven Day," will be published by McGraw-Hill in 2002.

"It's about a boy who likes to imitate sounds - he loves to do that," Dillingham said. "He gets into a sound battle with a raven ... and then it has a neat surprise ending."

Food and drink will be available for purchase at the reading. Tickets are $5 adults, $3 students, and are available at the door. Call Alexis Ross Miller with questions, 789-1456.

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