Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Former Student Makes Good


I have said it before, but this blogging thing is good for something. And that something has primarily been connecting with the past. Oh the past, it's not even past...or some such Faulknerian thing.

So now, a former student of mine from when I was a grad student TA at UNCW, of all things, contacted me. Despite my youthful ineptitude, he seems like he's actually doing stellar. His name is Jeremy S. Griffin, which is a fine name because I admire anyone who includes an initial in their name, let alone the initial "S." Check out his writing and comedy doings at his Web site.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

First Queens Reading Series: Susan Ludvigson


Tonight we had our first official installment of the Queens Reading Series with the poet Susan Ludvigson. She wowed them with poems about the Landsford canal lilies (pictured) and one of my favorites: "Man Arrested in Hacking Death Tells Police He Mistook Mother-in-Law for Raccoon."

At the after dinner, I got to meet her husband the novelist Scott Ely (his latest is The Dream of the Red Road) who had a great story about a guy throwing his back out picking up a bale of marijuana. Also, I had the "pleasure" of eating at a French restaurant...okay actually the food was great--I got a Cesar salad with grilled lettuce...no kidding, they grilled the lettuce...oh and sans condiments, of course.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back at the NCWN


I'm back at the Main Street Rag table at the North Carolina Writers' Network table. No puppies. And no people. The economic downturn hurts everywhere, friends. Even essentials like the arts.

But what happens when we run out of arts. When we are thirsting for sestinas and surrealist drip paintings? When we are digging through trash not for food, but found art? Then, we will be sorry. We'll all be sorry.

I'm grumpy in the morning...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What I Am Doing Right Now!

So there are conference writers hovering around, so naturally, I'm pretending to be too important to talk to them and staring at my laptop. What's on my laptop? Puppies. Live! Live puppies! Yep, puppies.

NCWN, or why I am awake Sat. morning


It's 8:30 and I've been up an hour already. Not of my own volition. No, no volition on my part. I'm at the North Carolina Writers' Network Conference in Durham, manning the desk of Main Street Rag Publishing Company with my associate editor hat on. Not that I have a hat. But I should make one. One with a feather. Or a bowler. Or a press hat, but instead of the card that says "Press," I would have a card that reads, "Assoc. Ed."

The good thing about MSR is that we have a rack of books large enough to hide behind. I'll probably nap soon.

I am a naturally born salesman. When people come to the table, I ignore them and type furiously, which, of course, makes them think I'm very important and so in an effort to impress me they'll buy many books. So far, these impressed people have left to get more cash, I can only assume, and will, I'm sure, be back any minute.

I have met plenty of cool people though. Sara Claytor, one of our excellent poets, and Keith Flynn, the embodiment of cool, a jazz-infused poet and poetry purveyor. More good times to come.

Well, all the browsers and potential customers are gone to panels so I can stop typing....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Me in VAIN


No need to sing the song about how vain I am...I do have a blog, after all ("Dang, boy, you got you a blog"--that's for Heather). No actually my story "An Introduction to the As-Yet-Unpublished Story Collection Dead Grandmothers" is in the new issue of Vain Magazine, "a new form of collaborative art." And I must say it's both a literary and visual feast (barring my bit).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Morri Creech shares his Field Knowledge


The literary week continues with a reading by the University's new poetry professor Morri Creech at the local independent bookstore Park Road Books. He read mostly from his book Field Knowledge (Winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, 2005). One of my favorites, "His Coy Mistress" is a response to Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" and begins "Spare me the high-flown. Everyone knows that ploy/ you tricky swains work up to lift a skirt." That is why I tried my hand at poetry, but, of course, that never really worked out for me...who knew limericks weren't sexy?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tanzer Continues to Change Lives with His Newest


Whatever way you go, you'll want to go out of your way to get a copy of Ben Tanzer's new novel Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine (out from Orange Alert Press). Did you see what I did there? You see, I'm using words and diction in the title in this different way where I...

Anyway, Tanzer of This Blog Will Change Your Life and This Zine Will Change Your Life fame, has written a novel like his first, Lucky Man, focusing on the lives of four characters. The relationships are just as precisely drawn as before, but this time he displays more of his wit and humor. With the recent release of his story collection Repetition Patterns, Tanzer is busy creating an impressive body of work. Work you should check out, no matter which way you're going (sorry, just couldn't help myself).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Me on THE2NDHAND


Mere days after Heather is on Six Sentences, my story "The Fat Goths" (that's right, the fat ones, not the annoying skinny ones) is live on THE2NDHAND. Check it out, unless you're a weightist.