Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Warm Welcome

Went to my first Chicago reading last night on, weirdly enough, Cornell Avenue—the series A reading curated by Bill Allegrezza, one of the nicest poets I've ever met. Not realizing exactly how damn far Hyde Park is from Evanston I was too late for Simone and Lina's readings, but I did hear from them in the sense that it was a reading of exquisite corpse-style collaborations the group had done together—overall an assemblage of the raunchy and poignant. Memorable figures and phrases: Ray Bianchi and his "hot sausage" (don't ask), to which Kristy Odelius added "mashed potatoes" as well as a presentation of "the Latin for birdshit"; Tim Yu's preceding his reading with "apologies to fans of Lorine Niedecker" (again, don't ask); and Bill's "bumped out donuts for coffee" (what does that mean?). The crowd was quite appreciative. Afterwards I went out to Bar Louies (a popular local chain I'll probably be seeing more of) to hang with the poets, who impressed me with their friendliness and high spirits: at first blush, it's the least neurotic poetry scene I've ever been exposed to. Everyone made me feel very welcome, told me how much I'd like Chicago, invited me to readings, etc. Nice!

Today I've set myself the task of finishing at least two of my syllabi. Tonight I'm going to another reading, because why not? I might as well get out to as many of these things as I can before I'm buried beneath my new responsibilities professorial and parental. (Speaking of the latter, we had our first midwife appointment yesterday, and I got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. That kid is FAST!)

Hoping to resume thoughts about poetry here sometime soon.

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