When poetry is good, it begs to be slowed down and read aloud, each vowel and consonant and intentional pause treated with reverence. Great poetry is meant to be spoken — with emphasis and passion and emotion. Maria Melendez, the editor and publisher of Pilgrimage magazine, is a great poet. She reads her work tonight at the Writers Place (3607 Pennsylvania, 816-753-1090). Listen to verses from How Long She'll Last in This World, which received honorable mention at the 2007 International Latino Book Awards and was named a finalist for the 2007 PEN Center USA Literary Award. This free reading is part of Park University's Ethnic Voices Poetry Series. It begins at 7 p.m. and includes a reception and book signing. See park.edu/ethnicpoetry/2009-2010.html for more information.