Monday 4 February 2008

Poetry reading breaks ticket sales records.

Beloved poet Mary Oliver has made my day. Her recent readings in Seattle and Portland created ticket buying frenzies, selling out large, 2000-plus seat theatres, and sending fans into a tizzy looking for tickets on Craigslist and demanding a return engagement. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Here's a Seattle popular culture quiz. Pick the item that doesn't belong:

a) Seattle's 2,500-seat Benaroya Hall sold out in record time.

b) The box office besieged with requests for more tickets.

c) Anguished fans seeking tickets on Craigslist.

d) A reading by a poet.

Smart money would be on D), but smart money would be wrong. Poet Mary Oliver's appearance Monday at Benaroya Hall is the fastest sellout in the 20-year history of Seattle Arts & Lectures. It is sparking ticket action on the local Craigslist, where tickets to rock concerts and sports playoffs are regularly bought and sold, but rarely to poetry readings.

Take that, Minneapolis. The Twin City may have supplanted Seattle as the country's "most literate city" in an annual survey but the Oliver sellout demonstrates that Seattle still has its zealous literary enthusiasts.

So does Portland, which did not merit inclusion in the top 10 literate cities. Oliver's appearance there on Tuesday is also sparking a ticket frenzy. The 2,700-seat Schnitzer Concert Hall for Portland Arts & Lectures has already sold out.

Read the whole story here.

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