Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tropical Poetry Saturday

So the rest of you in the upper 47 states (notice how I didn't include Alaska) are enjoying lovely Spring weather or terrifying Spring weather--we, here on the lowermost edge of the U.S. have been plunged back into summer.  It's hot, hot, hot--almost 90 degrees with blindingly bright sunshine, the intense sun that means we should really put on sunscreen just to go between house and car.  Ah, well.  Hot, with blinding sun, is our weather default setting here, after all.

(bougainvillea against April sky)

I was determined not to let the heat get me down.  I had a full poetry day yesterday--complete with poetry surprises.  Yesterday's post from The Writer's Almanac featured one of Martha Silano's poems from her new collection--what a treat!  I must go back and give Silano's collection The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception the complete attention it deserves--but that will have to wait until May.

For several days I'd been working on press releases.  Yesterday morning, I finally finished one part of my promotion project, and I'm happy to say that the first press release about my new book can be found here.

Then it was off to spin class and back. 

As you may or may not remember, Dave Bonta and I are reading a book a week during April, which we've invited others to read with us (for the schedule, go here) and we're doing a phone interview with each author, which Dave will turn into a podcast.  Our first book was Diane Lockward's Temptation by Water.  Dave live-blogged his reading here, and I reviewed the book here.  Dale has also reviewed the book here.

Yesterday was the interview with Diane.  I woke up feeling kind of nervous, and I wondered why.  I've talked on the phone with Dave before, and Diane and I have communicated via e-mail and blog postings before.  I've never had an unpleasant encounter with either.  So why was I feeling anxious?

I worried that we might run out of things to say.  I worried that the technology might fail us.  I worried that I thought I understood her work, and maybe I would find out that I really didn't.

In short, my high school era anxieties had reasserted themselves and were raging about in full form.  I felt like I was going to get to hang out with the cool kids, and my anxieties were all about blowing it.  Don't I ever get to graduate from high school?

And yes, I understand all the ironies implicit in the idea of poetry cool kids and technology-proficient cool kids.  But in the interest of living an honest life, a life that will allow others to say, "Oh, intriguing, I'm not the only person who feels this way," I will let the above paragraphs stay.

As usual, I was fretful for nothing--we had a GREAT conversation.  We talked about poetry, about careers, about technology, about the future of publishing, and about Temptation by Water.  Dave will post the podcast later, and I'll let everyone know when it's available, so that you can enjoy it too.

And then, later in the day, I met with real poets in real time and real place.  Two poet friends came to my house and drove down to Miami to see Emma Trelles read at Books and Books.  We went early so that we could have dinner in the courtyard.  And even though it was blazingly hot, the courtyard was shady, and we had a lovely supper.

During the ride down to Miami and during our meal, we talked about our work, about our future work, about the reading that we'll all three be giving on May 11 at Hollywood Vine (in Hollywood, FL)--more on all these things to come.

And then, it was time for the Emma Trelles reading.  What a treat!  She read beautifully, and she gave just the right amount of introduction. 

I also picked up her two books, and I look forward to reading them in more depth later.  The reading did what a good reading should do--it introduced me to the poems and whetted my appetite for a deeper intereaction with them.

And then it was time to come home, by way of downtown Hollywood, where we'll be giving our reading in a month.

Yesterday was one of those embarrassment-of-riches days, a perfect balance to my administrator days when I have to deal with all manner of absurdities; one reason I wanted to create this post was so that I could remember this kind of day as I'm suffering through other kinds of days.

No, not every day is like my Tropical Poetry Saturday.  But I feel fortunate to enjoy them fully when they come along.


how to oil paint said...

I like your blog. Great Article....Daniel

Kathleen said...

What a blazingly wonderful day!!

Diane Lockward said...

I loved our conversation. I'll confess to being a bit nervous, too! What if they forget to call? I've never been interviewed by two people at the same time. How will that go? It went fine, and "interview" isn't even the right word. "Conversation" is.

I love your photo of my three books. How nice to know they're all at your house. I've snatched the photo. Okay if I use it?