PUSHCART NOMINATION & OTHER NEWS: Although I've known about it for a few weeks, SubtleTea made it official today that my poem Credentials has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. This poem has been controversial from the moment it was first read at Java Monkey and continued to stir folks up after it was published in SubtleTea. I must take a moment to thank Tea editor David Herrle for his monumental support of me, my work, the work of others and creating such a beautiful space as SubtleTea. Here's my fellow nominees and links to the nominated work:

Collin Kelley - Credentials
Daniela Buccilli - Race In Indianapolis
Milner Place - West of the Missouri
Louis Brodsky - Hiroshima
Tonya Kelley - Random
Tom Sheehan - Knickers

This official news today, came after I got an email about the possibility of reviving my play, The Dark Horse. The play won two major awards (Deep South Writers Award and Georgia Theatre Conference Award), but has only recieved a staged reading and one full production. That was six years ago. I was dicked around by a number of theater companies (hello Southside Theatre Guild) who promised to produce the play, but were basically blowing smoke up my ass. I should have pursued having the work published as well and been collecting royalties all this time. Hopefully, all that will be righted in the coming year.

This possibility of having The Dark Horse staged comes on the heels of my old friend Merci Howe accepting the belated physical award for the play from GTC. Back in 1997, they gave me a check and did the staged reading, but there was no certificate or trophy. At last month's annual conference, I finally received tangible proof of the award. Merci has been on my ass for ages to get the play back out there, and my old flame Ken (who played one of the main roles in the first production) dug out his script, and even my mother encouraged it. I think it was a sign from the universe, so this time I'm listening. I'll keep everyone posted.

Speaking of theatre, I had a "hot date" with Cherryl Floyd-Miller for the opening night of Suzan- Lori Park's Topdog/Underdog at the Alliance Theatre. It's a hard-hitting piece of work and it kind of left both of us speechless, although we both knew how it ended. The set was a radical idea (a one-room fleabag apartment separated from the audience by a cage) and the burning photograph of Abraham Lincoln gave me shivers. The play centers on two brothers Lincoln and Booth (think about it for a second). They were abandoned by their parents at an early age and forced to take care of themselves. Lincoln was a card hustler on the street, taking tourists and gamblers for all their cash, but then decided to go straight. He got a job working as Abe Lincoln (in white face) at an arcade where people can come in and pretend to be John Wilkes Booth shooting the president. "It's a sit down job and it's got benefits," is Lincoln's refrain, but the job is obviously destroying him on some level. Booth is a loud, unemployed, bum who dreams of becoming a card hustler, but doesn't have his brother's moves. When Lincoln gets laid off from his job playing the president, he falls back into the hustler life and it leads to a devastating climax with Booth.

As Cherryl and I were leaving the theatre, we didn't have a lot to say. It was that kind of play. One to take home and ruminate over. Parks' has created such a multi-layer story that it has to be peeled down like an onion to get to the heart. Sibling rivalry, race, sexual abuse, abandonment and the inability to escape your own name play a huge part in the play. I may have to go see it again.

On Sunday, I recorded interviews with Cherryl and John Amen for The Business of Words (click the link at left to get the air dates) and then met up with Cecilia Woloch, Kodac Harrison and Gary Corseri for dinner with Ethan Gilsdorf, the featured poet at Java Monkey that evening. I got challenged to be in the slam that evening, so I did, but was blown out of the competition by amazing sets from Jon Goode and Gary. I'll try again sometime. It's a fun event, and even if I don't make the slam team, I can at least say I was in a slam once.


Anonymous said…
Congratulations! That poem is a killer!

BLUE said…
you are werkin' it, HBW. make me proud ... or better yet, keep making YOU proud. this is what i mean by CoUrAgE. light! ~BLUE
Anonymous said…
Congratulations on the nomination!

Teamaster said…
Woo! :)

Thanks for the thanks, Collin. Appreciated! I feel likewise!


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