In my experience, a literary event or party surprises everyone who attends. Who expects a meal where people read poems or sing songs to be anything great? What amazes me, and what I enjoy watching, is how the guests at a literary party rise to the occasion to read or recite a poem, participate in a song, share something original, and end up accepting, enjoying, and maybe even being transformed by being “on stage.”
Literary parties all center around a theme, include good food and drink, and give guests the opportunity, and even encourage them, to participate. One example is a Burns Supper. Another is the poetry party we threw as a 50th birthday party for my wife. There are others I will explore.
Unlike memorizing poems or writing, literary events aren’t things you do all the time, daily, weekly. They’re special, they’re rare, they are once a year or quarter shindigs a group of friends, family, neighbors do to celebrate an event, commemorate a historic literary figure, or just to enjoy a certain area of the literary or cultural: poems, mysteries, books, great music.
Literary events take a little preparation but they’re worth it. Guests leave happy, satisfied, and with a sense that they are a part of something bigger: a history, a tradition, a train of thought or expression of art.
Among the many suggestions and ideas in The Life Literary for ways anybody can add things literary to his or her life, you will find ideas for literary events and stories about ones we have hosted. Click the link for Literary Events in the list of categories on the right-hand column for ideas.