AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Hey, kids! I'm back from the Austin International Poetry Festival (AIPF) and it fucking rocked!!! I didn't want to come home I was having so much fun. Although it cost a small fortune to fly to Austin (plane to Dallas then connect for another 30 minute ride), it was worth every single penny. I arrived on Friday afternoon and checked into the kitschy Austin Motel on South Congress (that's SoCo for all those in the know) and took a few moments to catch my breath from all the travel. My pal and fellow poet Cleo Creech was staying at the same motel (as were many of the AIFP'ers) and went to this giant coffee house/bar called Ruta Maya for the big slam contest. All the big spoken word folks were there....Taalam Acey, Jive Poetic, Mahogany Browne and current slam champ Buddy Wakefield. They and many others blew the roof off the place. Although exhausted, we all headed over to Waterloo Ice House in downtown Austin for the Larry (as in Larry Jaffe) and Taalam Show, which showcased many of the great poets. It went on until after 1 a.m., but it was great. Cleo and I got to meet Jayne Fenton Keane and Lucy English (Australian and English, respectively) and gave them a lift back to the hotel. Jayne did this great Laurie Anderson/Kate Bush inspired spoken word and music, while Lucy's lilting accent made her slam appearance memorable.

On Saturday, we went to a workshop led by Agnes Meadows on writing and performing poetry. Cleo workshoped one of his poems and I actually did the first draft of a poem that might actually turn into something. I got a better look at Austin in the afternoon. It's a beautiful city. The arts are, of course, a big deal and the poetry scene there is amazing. My first reading was that afternoon at the Barnes & Noble at the University of Texas (on a strip of Guadalupe Ave called "The Drag"). Some marathon was being run, which prevented many people (including a couple of performers) from ever making it to the store. This was the gay and lesbian reading hosted by Scott Wiggerman and it was fun and we had mid-size audience.

Saturday night was the biggie. I headlined at Waterloo Ice House (the one on the northside of the city) with Larry Jaffe, Benjamin Hughes, Machelle Dunlop, Susan Bright and so many other great poets. Valerie Bridgeman Davis hosted the event and she was fabulous. The reponse to my reading was overwhelming. I trotted out some of the lighter fare from Better To Travel along with a couple of new ones, including "Why I Want to Be Pam Grier," which always brings down the house. That poem is going to be published later this week in the new issue of the online zine Blaze so keep an eye out for it. I want to thank everyone for their support and generosity for the "newbie." I am already excited about 2005 and seeing all those wonderful people again.

OTHER NOTES AND NOTIONS: Jessica Care Moore featured at Java Monkey this past Sunday (somehow I managed to drag myself there after getting in from Austin) and she was great. She'll be my feature on May 7 at the Barnes & Noble at Tech. More details on that soon.

My reading with Alice Lovelace at Muse Art Cafe on Tuesday, May 4 is still a go, but the time is 8 p.m.

I will be joining out poet Franklin Abbott for an evening called "Franklin Abbott & Friends" on Thursday, April 29 at Outwrite Book Store for an evening of reading classic poetry. I will be reading Auden's "Lay Your Sleeping Head, My Love" as part of this event. It gets under way at 8 p.m. Visit for more details.

On Wednesday, June 23, I will introduce Wim Wender's classic film Faraway, So Close at the Goethe Institut Atlanta's Wenders Retrospective. I am very excited about this one. Visit for more details.

The website at will be updated at the end of April to get all the new events and appearances coming up. May is going to be busy and the summer is shaping up nicely as well.


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