WATCHING LOUISE & OTHER NOTES: Atlanta poet and choreographer Louise Runyon read from her book Reborn at the Chapter 11 bookstore over by Emory this evening. There was a small audience of folks I had never seen before at any poetry event, including a young mother and her attentive son. Louise read some of my favorites from her book and also performed several choreographed pieces. She closed by reading new poems that were quite strong. I spoke briefly to the manager of the Chapter 11 branch and told him I was glad to see a poetry reading at the store, and he commented he had been wanting to do more of that. Another possible venue for a reading and signing all you poets out there!

I stopped by Maddie's BBQ on the way home. I was leaving the reading and was suddenly craving Brunswick Stew and Maddie's is pretty damn good. Of course, the best is still at Dean's in Jonesboro and Fresh Air BBQ down in Jackson, but I rarely get down there anymore.

I spoke to poet Tonya Kelley on the phone tonight. We were both nominated by SubtleTea for a Pushcart. She's published through Wasteland Press, which is on my short list of possible presses for whenever I have the next book ready. Although I don't plant to have the next collection ready until sometime at the end of 2005, I started putting feelers out now, and the responses I received were just as I expected. The small presses are booked two to three years in advance. Suspect Thoughts Press, which I had high hopes for because they seem to like my work, is booked through 2008! Of course, I'll probably enter a few select manuscript contests next fall, but at $20 and $25 a pop, it gets expensive quickly. That's one of the reasons I used iUniverse for Better To Travel. I had been waiting around, spending a fortune and getting nowhere. Last night, I wrote up yet another proposal for my novel, Conquering Venus, for possible submission to another press. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but the novel has been shot down so many times, I've become immune.

On a different note, I wrote my first grant proposal to Poets & Writers to see if they will give funding to my open mic/reading series at Barnes & Noble at Tech. That would be a real coup and allow Georgia Poetry Society to match the money and pay all the talented poets who feature each month. I was also pleased to find out that the grant I wrote for Poetry Atlanta had the least amount of errors/need for extra information than any other that had been submitted, according to PA's Dan Veach. It was a lot of work, but I'm quite proud of that. If we get the cash, it will go toward funding the Atlanta Slam Team (which is currently being selected through monthly slam competitions at Java Monkey), money for the 2005 Voices Carry event and for the second Java Monkey Anthology. All three of these things are near and dear to me. It will be an honor to have had a part in making them a reality.


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