First, a nod to the obvious: For the number of readings given, let alone for the luminosity of the authors invited, no local reading series can compare to that hosted by stalwart independent Left Bank Books. Still, it's refreshing to head across Euclid Avenue to Duff's restaurant (392 North Euclid; 314-361-0522) to hear some of poetry's most celebrated voices as well as some intriguing new talent. These folks haven't come to move product but for the love of the harmonious line, the shockingly incisive image and the company of those who truly appreciate them. St. Louis' own River Styx
magazine has hosted these gatherings at Duff's for three decades now, and while poetry may never be the most remunerative vocation, the crowds who pay $5 a pop to pack Duff's once each month demonstrate that it is rewarding nonetheless.