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Some literature-loving people in Sedalia have organized an event they call “SpoFest.” It’s a poetry-reading, mostly, although when I was there Tuesday, there was also a reading from a play, from some essayish-prose poems, and even some stand-up comedy. Anything having to do with the spoken word is fair game for SpoFest.

The poets range from rank beginners to experienced writers, and the mood is “hear and enjoy” — it’s a supportive event, full of encouragement and mutual appreciation. They meet at locations around the city — the previous time I was there, we were at Wine & More downtown.

On Tuesday, the temperature was in the high 90s, and we were on the patio of the End Zone Bar & Grill. Inauspicious setting — but a whole lot of people turned up, to read, listen, and commune. Many of them were well up in years, and I admired their commitment to spoken literature. I had tostadas and a beer, then got up to read some passages from Slant of Light — and I don’t think I’ve ever had a better audience!

Sedalia should put SpoFest on its top ten attractions list — right up there with the Missouri State Fair! What a great group of people!

Reading at SpoFest

According to organizer Steve Dotson, I’m imparting words of wisdom here. I’ll have to take his word for it.

Pay no attention to the beer sign.