The Weekend That Was
I've decided to apply for a residency at a writers' colony next fall. I'm not going to say which one(s) yet, but I've already downloaded the application(s) and a wonderful poet is writing my letter of recommendation. My goal is to spend three weeks there hashing out and reworking the manuscript formerly known as Wake, and maybe reworking my second novel that has long been in progress. With my new duties at the day job, finding long stretches of time for a vacation or retreat is going to be difficult, but by next fall things should be humming along and I can slip away. I've never done the residency/retreat thing, and I want to experience it.
Today, we had a big Atlanta Queer Literary Festival meeting and starting putting together the reading schedule. It's going to be exciting to have Mark Doty, Kate Evans, Kate Bornstein, Alex Sanchez, Ed Madden, Daphne Gottlieb and Dan Vera all on the same bill, along with a gaggle of other fantastic poets, fiction and non-fiction writers. Surprisingly, we also have a big theatre component, with a full production of a new play, two staged readings and workshops. It's all clicking into place.
I received Dorianne Laux's brilliant Superman: The Chapbook in the mail yesterday and read it in one sitting, then read it again. The only way to describe this handmade book is sumptuous; I barely wanted to pick it up for fear of blemishing the cover or interior pages. Red Dragonfly Press only printed 350 copies and Dorianne said they are nearly sold out. There's only six poems in the chapbook, but each one is a bonfire...blazing hot and intense. Also in the mailbox was Rachel Mallino's new labor of love, Tilt, a chapbook-style literary journal featuring poets like Susan Culver, Steve Mueske, Sarah Sloat, Cheryl Snell and John Vick. It's also a gorgeous chapbook on beautiful marbled paper. Congrats on getting this off the ground, Rachel, and for selecting the perfect set of poets (and poems) to debut your new press. Check it out at www.tiltpress.com.
A couple people back-channeled to ask why I hadn't said more about Joe Biden being selected as Obama's VP running mate. I think he's a good choice, but the Republicans are already using Biden's soundbites against him in attack ads. Remember it was Biden who caused a frenzy when he called Obama "articulate and clean" and said on numerous occasions that Obama wasn't ready to be president. I don't think Biden was being racist, but like McCain, he's known for opening his mouth wide and choking on his own foot. But on the plus-side, he appeals to some of the Hillary loyalists and plays well with blue-collar workers and he's not going to take shit off McCain on foreign policy. I still think Hillary would have been the slam-dunk for Obama, but that obviously was never going to happen. Biden will definitely keep things interesting, and he's already come out slugging against McCain. You go, Joe!