On March 3, 2013, I had a book signing and reading event featuring my memoir, The Girl in the Iron Lung, and my book of poetry, The Regret of a Flower, selected poems. I was excited to share my story of growing up as a disabled child and my ultimate triumph.
The people were wonderful and full of questions for me. They ranged in all ages, and some recalled the epidemics of the past while others were surprised to hear how the situation in the country at the time was full of the fear of polio.
I read the first chapter of The Girl in the Iron Lung and four poems from The Regret of a Flower. The most wonderful feeling for me was to go up to those who had been listening and wondering. Almost all of them bought books. I hugged and felt the tenderness with those who knew family members or friends who had had the disease and also those who knew little about polio. The book begins with a forward from the World Health Organization.
I read the title poem from the Regret of a Flower, and one titled The Native in Us. To lift some of the heaviness in the room, I chose two humorous poems to read as a finish. I read Lady Neighbor and The Mechanic’s First Love.
I had done poetry readings before but this reading with such wonderful and heartfelt people was truly special to me. I look forward to my next reading at the Canton Public Library on July 11.