The Bard’s Town lounge slowly filled as people trickled to dark tables with their drinks, while the small wooden stage was illuminated by twinkling red Christmas lights loosely wrapped around the industrial heating pipes. One by one, people approached the microphone – some nervous, some eager, some holding paper, some note-free. They recited haikus, sonnets, open letters, verses on love, and a particular poem which consistently referenced the Woody Allen movie, “Sleeper.”
November 8th marked the latest InKY Reading Series by Louisville Literary Arts featuring guest authors Darrin Doyle, Gil Reys and Hannah Gamble, who followed the afore-described open mic hour for local writers and reciters.
Published novelist and fiction-writer, Darrin Doyle led off the evening with an excerpt from his upcoming novel, “The Deviants.” The story follows a trio of high school boys – Bobby, Stewart and Ike—who become unwittingly involved in a murder mystery. The reading began with the Latin phrase, “Crede quod habes, et habes” (Believe that you have it and you do), and intensified into Bobby’s frantic ruminations about the body of Erica Waxler. He had just seen it naked –slit open and sprawling on a picnic table in the park. The narrative following evolved into a humorous examination of the mystery set in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Next, Theatre  co-artistic director, Gil Reyes, delivered a heart-warming exploration of family connections, romantic relationships, illness, and feeling loved. In his 20s, Reyes experienced kidney failure and his boyfriend of a year, Sean, happened to be a perfect donor-match. He delved into the backstory of his conservative parents’ difficulty in grappling with their son’s sexuality and how he struggled in asking for help – “If you have a hard time asking for help, imagine asking for a kidney.” Reyes continued to detail the ensuing reactions of his family, Sean, and his journey to feel worthy of love.
Finally, the night was concluded with poetry readings by Hannah Gamble, the author of Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, selected by Bernadette Mayer for the 2011 National Poetry Series and published by Fence Books. She read new pieces; the first comparing cabanas to a particular part of the female anatomy—both are recreational structures. This collection of poems included Gamble’s first real literary survey of human sexuality. Also coming from a conservative background, one in which the human body “wasn’t really considered evil,” Gamble said with an indecisive elongation on the word “really.”
“It just wants some ‘bad’ things sometimes,” Gamble concluded with a laugh. Thus, she wanted to explore a topic that everyone experiences, but not one that many people feel comfortable discussing.
The next InKY Reading is set for Friday, December 13th at The Bard’s Town, 801 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205. More information can be found at www.louisvilleliteraryarts.org.
More on Darrin Doyle can be found at www.darrindoyle.com.
Gil Reyes’ Theatre  connects Louisville artists and Louisville audiences through great theatre, with a passion for the recent and relevant and an obsession with quality. More information can be found at www.theatre502.org
You can find Hannah Gamble’s blogs and online articles at the Poetry Foundation and the Poetry Society of America.