Sunday, December 28, 2014

On the Road with my New Chapbook

I was thrilled to pieces when so many friends and supporters came to my release for my chapbook I Left My Wings on a Chair (Kent State Press). We had a beautiful space, the studio of painting professor Dragana Crnjak. Her paintings would make a phenomenal book cover, right?

It was great hearing so much laughter. Some of my poems are grim, I know, but I like messing around with humor as well.
I brought a lot of food that night. I enjoy planning a big spread and trying new recipes. One of the new recipes was Martha Washington’s Great Cake. It called for something like 10 eggs, so much butter and sugar, lots of fresh fruit and nuts, wine and brandy. After baking for an hour, it was spread with a layer of meringue and baked for another hour until it was enclosed with a crackly crust. Mine was weird, though: the meringue stayed tacky, and wherever we bumped it, it made a mess.

Before the reading, someone cut a piece and the whole molten center came pouring out. I realized later that because it was an unleavened cake, the usual tests for doneness didn’t work. I think at some points in my life I would have been undone by this culinary failure, but we all just rolled with it. The outside was tasty, and someone suggested the batter would make an incredible pancake. Reader, it did. I scooped it out, added some baking power, and voila! 

I had waited several months to schedule that reading, since Americorps VISTA prohibits participants from any outside income. I finished my (great) VISTA year on Nov. 14, the reading was on Nov. 16, and I’m really excited about the readings coming up in this new year and grateful for the invitations.

On Wed. Feb. 11, I will be reading with fellow Wick Poetry Center chapbook winner Alex Fabrezio at 7:30 in the May Prentice House on the Kent State campus.

Tues March 3 at 6:30, I will be at the boutique micro-winery Your Vine or Mine? at 154 Main St., Painesville, Ohio.

Mon. March 9 at 7:30 I will be reading with Megan Erwin at Mahall’s, 13200 Madison Ave. in Lakewood, Ohio. I love this historic and charming bowling alley. Megan is a good friend and former classmate, and I'm a big fan.