Are you a writer? I am.
I checked out the Burlington Writers Workshop on a warm Wednesday night in June of 2013. I was part of other writer’s groups in the distant past and I hoped to find a nurturing community here in Vermont. Was it even possible?
The address written on my hand was 136 1/2 Church Street. I set out. Where was Church Street? How can an address be 1/2 of something? I needed a map. The map Google showed me was dated 1822. Really? I trudged up and down.
Eventually, I found Church Street but not the address I was looking for. Was it hidden? Why? I searched the crowd for the helper whom I knew was likely to appear, the ingenue, the innocent who would hold the key. Soon I noticed a young woman walking alone and asked if she knew how to get to 136 1/2 Church Street. She eyed me with surprise and said, “I’m looking for it too.” Ah.
I followed her through the twilight until she pulled open a heavy old lead-paned street door near the Red Onion Cafe. I too stepped carefully inside.
We crept through dim light down lumpy stone stairs into a long narrow room. There were five small tables with thirteen people seated around, all of them chomping. Biting. Savoring. Devouring. Sipping. Masticating. Sampling. Smacking their lips. Picking their teeth. Swirling new and old flavors in their mouths. It was not everyday food that focused their attention, however, but chunks of original writing. Poems. Stories.
With this company I fed on strong words and left satisfied. Thank you BWW. I have a place at the table. I have a place to be at home.
Are you hungry? Are you ready?
—Darlene Witte-Townsend, BWW member since 2013