Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Josh Corey's North American Tour 2005 concludes tonight at Dixon Place on the Bowery in NYC. The reading takes place at 258 Bowery on the second floor at 7 PM; I'll be reading Fourier Series and a few other things with a poet named Matthew Burgess. Come by and I'll regale you with scandalous tales from the AWP!

Actually it wasn't very scandalous, just a fun, hypersocial weekend. We had a very gratifying response to our "New Nature Writing" panel, and I think I've gotten all the panelists to agree to send me their papers for posting here—I'll get on that after I'm back in Ithaca. We had expected a low turnout and catcalls from the Mary Oliver fans in the audience; instead the room was packed (well over a hundred people) and people we met afterwards kept telling us what a great panel it had been. I was thrilled to be approached by Forrest Gander with some very complimentary remarks immediately afterwards. Strangely unnervous chairing the panel; maybe the readings earlier in the week had helped me to get my game face on. It also helps that my brother in poetry Richard Greenfield was on the panel and had my back in case a band of disgruntled ecocritics rushed the table. Anyway that happened on Thursday afternoon and the rest of the trip was mostly a party. Too many books at the book fair (I'll list them later) to add to those I'd already acquired at Powells and Open Books. Meeting or re-meeting such bloggers as Laurel Snyder, Shanna Compton (good god, what an awful experience she and Sean had with JetBlue), Paul Guest, Kasey Mohammed, Janet Holmes, and Robin Reagler (apologies if your name not here). This AWP also served as something of a University of Montana reunion: in addition to the three Musketeers of Richard, Trevor Toland, and myself (someone proposed that we more resembled the trio of Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion: guess who was who!) we were reunited with old friends Nils Michals, author of Lure, blogger Deborah Wardlaw-Pattilo, and Marisa (whose last name shamefully escapes me). Also there was Bob Baker, one of my favorite Montana profs and the reason I came to Cornell (he was a comp lit PhD there and is one of the most brilliant people I've ever met), Joanna Klink (she wasn't teaching when we were there but she's Bob's partner now), and our old creative writing teacher Patricia Goedicke, who amazed us all by boogieing on the dance floor on the last night until well after midnight. The three of us were treated to lunch by Cal Bedient (who read some amazing poems from a new manuscript; you may also know his books Candy Necklace and The Violence of the Morning) and his friend 'Annah Sobelman (author of The Tulip Sacrament) who while a visiting prof at Montana introduced us to the work of Brenda Hillman and other innovative writers (including Cal, who came to Missoula for a memorable reading/visit wearing a ponytail and an acid-green shirt). Perhaps most gratifying was a long night of drinking with some current Montana students, including Brandon Shimoda (who I see has a collaborative poetry blog) and two guys whose last names I didn't catch but whose faces and passions I will not soon forget: Nathan and Chad. (Also met the Nabokovianly named Siobhan Scarry and a number of other current or former students.) We had an epic bull session about poetry, evil, politics, Montana, Baudelaire, Fanny Howe, Mennonite theology, friendship, and numerous other topics until closing time at a pub on Pender Street. Then of course there was Vancouver itself, all glinting green glass and Hong Kong crenellations. How staggering the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is; how subtle, if not anemic, the East seems by comparison.

More reminiscing to come once I'm back in Ithaca with my best dog and best girl.

No comments:

Popular Posts