Reading your poetry in front of an audience is always a little nerve-wracking, so just imagine reading in front of an audience of 2,200 people in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall as an opening act for Bill Bryson. I took this photo from onstage before the audience arrived, and my camera didn’t even capture the seats to my left and right:

Last night, Open Meadows student Bronson Enos read his poem, “My Insecurities Hide My Good Intentions,” from this podium. The poem can be found in the anthology Take My Hand, I Want to Show You Something which will be released at the WITS Anthology Release Party & Fundraiser on December 8, 2010. Copies will also be available for purchase at local bookstores.

Enos was certainly not the only PPS student in the hall that night. During the opening remarks, Literary Arts’ Executive Director Andrew Proctor welcomed students from Open Meadows, Metropolitan Learning Center, Cleveland High School, and Jackson Middle School. Each section in the audience cheered when their school’s name was mentioned. The cheering continued throughout the night, first in thunderous applause after Enos’ excellent reading, and in spontaneous eruptions whenever Bill Bryson mentioned one of his book titles. “It’s like a rock concert,” remarked Bryson after the first couple occurrences. “Will you wave lighters in the air as I read excerpts?”

WITS Program Director Mary Rechnor, Bronson Enos, and Bill Bryson