Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Places to Meet, People to Read

Working backwards from yesterday, well day before yesterday, I had a great lunch with Rae Armantrout. We discussed poetry, the scene, jobs, when we write, our children, our fates, money and poetry. I wasn’t able to make it (schedule conflicts) to her readings here of her new wonderful book Versed but saw her read it twice at AWP and was made extremely glad both times.

Rae Armantrout

Then Friday I was working my dogs off at SPD when I discovered that Norma Cole’s new book Natural Light has just appeared from Libellum. It is gorgeous. You just want to sit right down and read it, which I have done this weekend. Norma is also interviewed by Robin Tremblay-McGraw in X Poetics.

The reason I had to work so hard Friday was that I was in Seattle, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I read twice (thank you Jeanne Heuving!), had meals with poets, stared out my hotel window at my great view because, darlings, hotel rooms are really cheap right now.

the view

I debuted one of the vampire stories I have been writing lately to some positive feedback and continued my vampire research by watching Twilight on the hotel TV. It was not as bad as I thought it would be. I loved the makeup and am entirely a sucker for the North West woods schtick. It was like Wuthering Heights lite, which is completely fine when you are unwinding from reading and talking loud with poets. Brent and I are planning to teach a class in Vampire Poetics soon. Actually it might be a weekend Vampire Intensive depending on interest. More on that (also) soon.

Below is Michael Cross, transplanted Bay Arean who we very much miss here and Jeanne, looking a bit Jeanne Moreauy I think. I was fortunate to read with John Marshall of Open Books, practically a rock star at SPD, known for his patient, detailed, perspicacious and grand ordering (and selling) of poetry books and yes, even poetry magazines. I visited Open Books for the first time and we talked shop. It was a thrill to be there. The terribleness of the picture I tried to take of him will allow John's legend to remain mysterious.

Michael Cross and Jeanne Heuving

My last day I had lunch with Robert Mittenthal (below) and I was struck by how pleasant it is to be in the community and be able to have lunch with a person you’ve only met once before 10 years ago and yet you have a lot to say to each other.

Robert Mittenthal

Now back to working my dogs off.


Blogger John Moore Williams said...

I will so very attend a Vampire Poetics weekend intensive!

In a tangential note, my fascination with the word verification continues: this comment's: sublit.

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