Reading at Quetzalcoatl Gallery

The reading last Saturday at Quetzalcoatl Gallery on Beacon Hill was a great experience.  I really think it was a success, even if only a total of eight people showed up (including readers and gallery owner).   The subject of the reading and art exhibit is “A Book About Death”, a potentially difficult one to get people excited about.  It is, however, a fascinating subject.  The poems don’t have to be sad.  In fact, I found them to be beautifully moving and meaningful.

Title of the exhibit and poetry reading

Rick read a number of his poems.  He is such a good poet and reader.  Earlier, when he was sorting through his poetry, he came across at least 45 poems that would have worked out perfectly for the evening!  (I think he has a complete manuscript there!!)  I read In My Dreams, dedicated to Jeanie.  I was so proud  to be able to share it with everyone present.  Mitsu Sundvall, Doug Cole, and Herb Sundvall read their moving prose and poetry.  The readings were filmed by one of the artists present, Kathleen McHugh, and can be seen at

Rick reading his poetry, Doug sitting next to him

Herb reading his poetry, Mitxu next to him

Here is a Langston Hughes poem that Herb read (I love this!):

As Befits a Man
By Langston Hughes

I don’t mind dying—
But I’d hate to die all alone!
I want a dozen pretty women
To holler, cry, and moan.

I don’t mind dying
But I want my funeral to be fine:
A row of long tall mamas
Fainting, Fanning, and crying.

I want a fish-tail hearse
And sixteen fish-tail cars,
A big brass band
And a whole truck load of flowers.

When they let me down,
Down into the clay,
I want the women to holler:
Please don’t take him away!
Please don’t take daddy away!

And other than great poetry, the art exhibit at Quetzalcoatl Gallery was well worth seeing!  I met two of the artists.  One of the artists is Kathleen McHugh.  The other artist I met is the owner of the gallery, Almendra Sandoval.  I enjoyed talking to her and seeing her art.  Below are various photos from the gallery exhibit, A Book About Death:

Gallery owner, Almendra, sits in front of her artwork.

Kathleen McHugh's art: Gaugin's Desdemona

Very powerful piece titled: The Empty Chair

One of Rick's favorite pieces, Stairway to Heaven

View of some art from the gallery wall, including Kathleen McHugh's "A Prayer for Japan"

Collage I put together from the art exhibit. Many of these works are Almendra's.


7 Responses to “Reading at Quetzalcoatl Gallery”

  1. frangallo Says:

    One of my new subscribers, Kathleen McHugh, one of the artists featured above, wrote this:
    Thank you for the amazing article. I want to make sure all the artists you mentioned see it. I’m going to post it on facebook and put a link to it on your blog post. The Stairway to Heaven is done by a Croatian woman who is a medical doctor and now lives in Italy. Somehow her picture of faith was a comfort to me as I think most of the doctors I’ve met in Seattle are sort of unimaginative technicians. I have met the most interesting people via this project! The “pages” are conceptual. Your readings are “pages”. I’m going to see Forever before the end of the weekend. I look forward to it. Thank you Fran! Your response to the project means so much. All the artists will appreciate it. Kathleen McHugh


  2. Sonja Benskin Mesher Says:

    I also have shared. Much love and Thanks Sonja


  3. Jadranka Carluccio Grbic Says:

    Dear Kathleen, i am pleased with your worlds. Thank you. Jadranka


  4. tobeimean peter Says:

    This is a good review of the reading (which I missed), and teaser on the Book. I hope to be able to attend some of these kinds of readings here – because that’s how terrific poetry is shaped and crafted. Not having been to one of the Quetzalcoatl’s poetry events yet, I think this is somehow reminiscent of the early days of Red Sky.


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