A Lake of Light and Clouds – Launch Party
To those of you who came to my book launch party for A Lake of Light and Clouds (Press 53) on April 3, thank you from my heart, for being with us to help celebrate poetry, art, and music, and to raise money for the Novant Health Derrick L. Davis Simstein Memorial Fund for cancer patients with financial needs. I am told by the lovely Director of the Historic Broyhill, Kristin Johnson, that 250 people were in attendance. They had to use every chair available at the Broyhill and there were still many people left standing.
And by the way, Kristin spent hours covering every chair with fabric backs because she thought it would make the room look better–and it was gorgeous. She is amazing… If you ever need to create a lovely event, please call on her skills!
A big thanks to Ed Broyhill for attending the party, and for bringing the stunning Historic Broyhill building back to life.
A huge thank you to my husband, Leonard Erickson, for endlessly toiling to do just about anything you can imagine to make this party wonderful, except write the poetry!
Thanks also, to the amazing Ron Powers, Emmy and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of many fine works including Mark Twain: A Life, for his brilliant and entertaining Introduction. I wish I had a video recording of this great man comparing my poetry to Mark Twain’s writing!
To my fellow R.J. Reynolds High School graduates, Susan, Anna, Laura, Johnny, Fowler, Stan, Mary, John Paul, Tim, and Fernando, I was so thrilled to see you all. Each and every one of you looked like a million dollars to me…all as handsome and beautiful as you were when we were 17. I am so touched and honored that you came out to support me.
John Paul and I were together from first grade on up, and it was so great to see him there…
Also from my first grade class, Tim Plowman, who was my high school sweetheart—who helped my husband bring in more chairs when the ones that were set up, were filled. We’ve been friends since we were six, and it meant a lot to me for him to be there.
And the parents of one of my dear friends who passed away some years ago, were there, and brought me almost to tears with their kind comments.
At least one of my teachers was in the audience, two of my doctors, and one of their nurses! There was a cousin, some second cousins, people who were in poetry classes I have taught, people from the Delta Kappa Gamma sorority, people I’ve worked with, friends old and new, some of whom have been my friends for 35 years like Debbie Joyce Kincaid (and her husband, Richard).
And there were many fellow poets, some who drove long distances to be with us…Jan Parker, Sara Claytor, Rosalyn Marhatta, Helen Losse (and her husband), Maureen Sherbondy, Emily Herring Wilson, Keith Flynn, Felicia Mitchell, and perhaps others I didn’t have a chance to see. I am so grateful to them for understanding what an important event this was for me, and were there to support me.
My friend, Shane Williams, CEO of AMAA Sports & Entertainment Complex, was there with his lovely wife and a friend, and I am so grateful to him for tirelessly promoting my party!
There were people who worked with or went to school with my husband, people who have worked with me, friends of my parents, my parents and my daughter, my uncle, former neighbors, and of course, many people I didn’t know who were there because they wanted to hear some poetry, music, and eat a few cupcakes!
There were photographers and reporters—my friend Jay Sinclair who took the photo for my book cover, and Benita VanWinkle, one of the most talented photographers in our area, who took photos of the event for the price of a book…
Legendary author John Ehle was there along with his beautiful wife, award-winning actress Rosemary Harris.
And my friends Susan and Betty, did the catering and flower arrangements and wouldn’t take a dime for either… They said it was my birthday present this year! They did a beautiful job!
And to Mrs. Beverly Simstein and her lovely daughter, Jessica, thank you so much for your support, for attending, and for creating a fund that helps so many people. It was wonderful to see nurse navigator Sue Mason and Chaplain Joanne Henley of the DLD Cancer Center, too.
Thanks also, to the wonderful Lee and Susan Terry, for making such beautiful music for everyone present, and to my uncle, artist Stephen White, for the exquisite painting for the book cover, which was on display and so lovely. He is not fond of crowds so was hiding in the back of the room, but he was there.
I know there were people I didn’t get to see and don’t know were there…and I wish I could thank all of them, individually.
Thanks also to the Winston-Salem Journal, Journal West, Relish, Winston-Salem Monthly, WSJS, and WFDD, and Novant Health for all of the advertising. It was just amazing…
It was a magical, wonderful evening, and I will never forget it or any one of you whose faces I memorized, even if I didn’t know you. I hope you could feel how grateful I was to have you there, and left the building with a deeper appreciation of the life-changing, healing force that is poetry…
Also, thanks to Kevin Morgan Watson, my friend and publisher, for his presence and for publishing my books! And to his beautiful wife, Cathy.
Thank you so much, again, to everyone who was there, and for all of the kind notes of support. Please forgive any oversight if I have left anyone out.
My only regret is that there were too many people to get to and to hug, but I did my best to make everyone there feel welcomed, warm, and loved…
Photo by Benita VanWinkle
A Lake of Light and Clouds
(Press 53, 2014, cover art by Stephen White, cover design by Kevin Morgan Watson, cover photograph by J. Sinclair), with praise from Peter Tork of blues band Shoe Suede Blues, formerly of the MONKEES; Jill Conner Browne, THE Sweet Potato Queen and #1 NY Times Best Selling author; Dr. Felicia Mitchell, poet and teacher; and Theodore Wiprud, composer and Vice President of Education for the New York Philharmonic.
CONTACT TERRI KIRBY ERICKSON AT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photograph by Superieur Photographics