Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Glorious Week in Review

Photo by K. Iuppa.

This was last week's panorama of the pond. Steadily, the days have grown warmer and warmer.
Trees are starting to bud, peepers are singing, a loud shimmering song: alive, alive, alive. First flowers have popped. It was a very busy week. I had the good fortune to read at two events. On Wednesday,March 14th, I read at Hallwalls in Buffalo NY with John Roche in the Earth Daughters' sponsored reading series; Gray Hairs. It's such a great space to read. This theatre space is a warm and intimate black box, with tiered seating. It has a great sound system, and Hallwalls records their readings. I bet they have a fabulous archive. Before the reading we met at a neighborhood restaurant called Betty's for dinner. I enjoyed my end of the table's lively conversations, and wish I could maintain a dialogue with these bright women.

Our reading went well because our audience was so attentive and responsive. I know John knew many of these people because of his Buffalo roots. He earned his PhD at University of Buffalo. So his pleasure was sharing his new Joe Poet poems with all of us. I thoroughly enjoy hearing ( and reading) poetry sequences. It gives a listener a true poetry experience, which I think happens when a poet is given 20-25 minutes to read.

Peter and I arrived home around 11 p.m. or so. I did a few things before calling it a night.
Up early again, back to my residency work and classes and independent study students. The days, like daylight savings time, are leaping forward at a clip. Soon, it will be April 30th and the end of the semester. How does this happen?

On Thursday, Tony Leuzzi read at St. John Fisher. This was my second time hearing poems from his newest collection Fake Book. My students, who read his collection, enjoyed how Tony
presented his work. I have five maybe six English majors is in this class. The rest come from a diversity of majors, education, business, nursing, history, sociology, and so on.
This semester's class is exceptionally bright. I've been enjoying their responses to our encounters with the arts.

Friday afternoon, was another reading at St. John Fisher, this time we had the opportunity to hear Jennifer Egan speak about her writing process and read the first chapter of a visit with the goon squad which, if you haven't read this novel aka linked short stories aka concept album, you need to do so. I've been distilling how it works-- often going back to reread chapters.
Egan was elegant, poised, witty, seemingly honest-- all which made her reading one of the best we've had a Fisher. She was also the keynote speaker for the NeMLA conference that was hosted by St. John Fisher College but held in downtown Rochester at the Hyatt and Riverside Convention Center.

Lastly,Saturday, St. Patrick's Day, with a parade downtown that lasted 3 hours and sunshine to match. Made it tricky to get the NeMLA conference, but with Peter's willingness to drop me off and pick me up later in the day, it turned out well. I read with Sarah Freligh, Steve Huff and B.K.Fischer. Again, we had a warm and attentive audience. I loved the way our sections , spoke back and forth to each other-- all by serendipity. I'm so grateful to Bill Waddell, who has been such a literary supporter and advocate. I'm so lucky to have him as a colleague at Fisher and NeMLA is lucky to have him as their president.

Now it's Sunday. It's another gorgeous headstrong blue sky. Have work to do but plan on getting out there to enjoy some of this weather.

Next reading is in approximately three weeks. I will be traveling to the North country, SUNY Potsdam to celebrate the journal Blueline.

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