Monday, April 04, 2005

Still Life With NCAA Championship

Bad Poet No Donut, Part II: I found out that Ishle Yi Park's reading on campus was at 7:00, not 8:00 as I was originally told, and since I didn't get home from running errands until after 6 I decided not to go. I swear I'm going to hear Li-Young Lee next week come hell or high water, though. Although the MFA program is making it darned hard to do so, since they have yet to update their website with a time or location. Maybe I'll call the MFA office tomorrow, much as I hate making phone calls to people I don't know.

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As has been noted by several bloggers, news sites, et cetera, Ted Kooser has won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and Marilynne Robinson in fiction. (I really do need to pick up both of those books, as well as Brigit Pegeen Kelly's Pulitzer-nominated volume. Do you suppose people could stop publishing books for a few years so I can have a chance to catch up? Bloggers excepted, of course -- y'all can publish all you want. I'll just read faster.)

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Had a headache for three days. After work I had to run out to the vet clinic to pick up some Cosequin (tuna-flavored glucosamine chondroitin powder for the arthritic geriatric cat), and on the way back I took a spontaneous detour into a Starbuck's drive-thru. Mind, I don't patronize Starbuck's that much -- their coffee isn't that great and I'd rather support locally-owned establishments, although I do love Panera for some reason -- but my aunt gave me a Starbuck's card for my birthday almost a year ago, and I still haven't used it up yet, so I may as well. Anyhow I got a caramel frappuccino. As soon as I had finished half of it, I realized my headache was entirely gone. Mmmm. Magic caramel frappuccino. We'll just ignore the fact that those things have about 179463 calories in them.

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In today's mail: new books by Lucia Perillo and Mark Doty. I have been looking forward to Doty's book ever since I heard him read some of these poems in Provincetown in the summer of '03. "Heaven for Paul" in particular has stayed with me since that reading. I can just picture the two of them on that plane. And the combination of humor, tenderness, and understated wisdom in that poem blows me away. (I suppose it's best when he's reading it out loud with Paul in the audience though.) His "Heaven for Stanley" was especially moving as well that night, in the room named for Kunitz, the night after most of us in the audience had heard Kunitz read in that same room. It was pure serendipity that I managed to be there for those readings; I'd thought I wouldn't be able to afford to visit P-town that summer, but a semi-last-minute bargain airfare popped up, and when I checked the FAWC website to see who was reading in the next few weeks and realized I could hear Kunitz and Doty, I booked that puppy in a hurry and flew out for a long weekend. Well worth it -- both readings were truly special.

I'm pleased to have Lucia Perillo's book, too. I took a workshop with her at the IU Writers' Conference a couple of years ago -- 2002, I guess it was -- and enjoyed her immensely. Amusingly enough, I originally tried to get into Mark Doty's workshop that year, but sent in my application too late and his was already full. I was terribly disappointed at first, but as these things usually turn out, Lucia's workshop was absolutely the right one for me.

Also got the Indigo Girls' "Live at the Uptown Lounge" DVD -- I've had this on VHS since the early nineties (in fact, if I recall correctly, I purchased it with my winnings from the office NCAA tournament pool, the one and only time I won!), and am happy to have it now on DVD.

I am such a consumer.

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Speaking of consumerism, Jenni is in so much trouble. Caveat Emptor, our good used bookstore, is having a "Spring Cleaning" sale this week while she is in town -- 30% off all used books. I don't know if she has internet access where she's staying. Maybe I'll be kind and not tell her. Ssssshhhhhh.

She and I are going to try to meet up at the Runcible Spoon tomorrow evening to drink coffee and talk poetry, or to drink poetry and talk coffee, I'm not sure which. Although I've met tons of "Internet people" over the years, from various BBS's (I never know how to pluralize that) and from livejournal and from various listservs and such, this will be my first "blogger person" meeting.

So with any luck, by tomorrow night I will have Official Blogger Person Verification that I Am Not A Half-Crazed Axe Murderer in person. Er, I hope so anyway.

4 comments:

Charles said...

Doty read that poem at the Academy of American Poets reading at AWP. It is truly, truly fabulous.

the machinist said...

damnit--charlie beat me to it. The following was going to be my comment: 'Doty read that poem at AWP--amazing, nearly had shed a few tears.'

But alas, my moment in the sun ruined; instead I'll say that I, too, stay away from sbucks, but was tempted in this weekend.

Erin B. said...

Doty ranks, period. His 'Homo Will Not Inherit' is a permanent part of my consciousness. Especially those last few lines. I'm itching to read his new work, and am so happy for you that you got to hear him read.

Will you be at FAWC this year? I'm applying for a fellowship, so we'll see.

Anne said...

Totally envious of everyone who went to AWP. Totally.

Erin, yep, I'm going to be at FAWC the last week of June (arriving 6/25) for a workshop with D.A. Powell. I can't wait! Olga Broumas and Robin Becker are also teaching that week, so I imagine they will be reading -- am looking forward to hearing both of them. When might you be there?