A very busy and poetry filled weekend has come to a close. On Friday night, my good friend and brilliant poet Cecilia Woloch was in town. We met up with some other friends for dinner and finally went to see Juno (better late than never) at the Midtown Art Cinema. Juno was a scream and we laughed until we cried. Diablo Cody definitely deserved the Oscar for best screenplay and Ellen Page as Juno is one to watch. I have a feeling she's going to be one of those great actresses still amazing us 30 or 40 years from now. After the movie, Cecilia came back to my place and sat up talking until 2 a.m. about recent travels, poetry, writing fiction and a zillion other things. So good to catch up with her. Now I've got the itch to get back to my second novel, which I haven't touched in a year.
On Saturday evening, I met up with Lisa Allender for dinner and then to 7 Stages to see Kodac Harrison in Reach for the Moon. Kodac and the theatre's artistic director, Del Hamilton, collaborated on taking Kodac's songs and poetry and turning it into a narrative, if not always linear, storyline. Kodac and Kristin Markitan sang and spoke, while dancers Blake Dalton and Erin Weller acted as their alter-egos, performing acrobatic modern dance. Kodac has a number of songs and poems with a character named Rudy, and it was Rudy's (and Kodac's) story being told -- from losing his father at an early age, to tramping around as a musician, to falling in love with a waitress. The set was bare except for a few cafe tables and giant screen, which was used to set tone with patches of color, grainy video imagery and a moon that slowly arced across a night sky as the play progressed. I've never seen anything quite like it on stage before. Hats off to Kodac and everyone involved for such an amazing evening of poetry and music.
On Sunday evening, I guest hosted Java Monkey Speaks, since Kodac was doing the play, and it was a fun to be back at my old stomping ground and hearing all the great poets who turned out. Amena Brown featured and she had the audience hooting and hollering. She's really an amazing performer. My friend and great poet Agnes Meadows is coming in from London next weekend to perform at Java on her way to the Austin Poetry Festival. If you're in the metro area, you don't want to miss Agnes. She's a dynamo.
Also spent numerous hours this weekend on the Java Monkey Speaks Anthology Vol. 3. We're getting close now and it should be out in June. Some amazing work in there by Beth Ann Fennelly, Jackie Sheeler, Tom Lux and something new from the great Natasha Trethewey, that we were thrilled to receive for this collection.