Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Good News Comes All At Once

Incredible mail week!

My poem “Autobiography” arrived on broadsides. The poem was chosen for the first annual William Dickey Memorial Broadside Contest. San Franciscan Larry Lafferty was influenced by William Dickey as a student. Dickey was lost in the early AIDS epidemic that devastated San Francisco, and Rafferty said he’s been wanting to honor his mentor for a long time. The judge of this year’s competition was Tony Hoagland, whose work I have long admired. I don’t know Dickey’s poetry, and Im taking a liking to it. 

The broadsides were crafted by Lisa Rappoport of Littoral Press, also in San Francisco. They are beautifully designed and I love the deckled edge on the light gray French rag paper.

hit & run press in NYC, founded by Rafferty, will host a celebration of William Dickey’s work at the Housing Works Bookstore April 13. Poet Mark Doty will read.

It is thrilling to have this work made tangible, and to be connected to such a meaningful project. 

As if that weren’t enough happiness, my new chapbook arrived! I am a big fan of Kattywompus Press, directed by Sammy Greenspan. I am in amazing company of Kattywompus authors. I am also mad about the art on the covers by Akron artist Chris Meyers, so talented, and a kind and generous human.

Black sand beach was just a short walk away from the Headlands Center for the Arts where I was in summer residency a few years ago. Although I’ve always loved the ocean, I’ve been largely land-locked my whole life. Walking the trails along the shore and down on the beaches made of black basalt was personally renewing, yet also troubling. Even in a place that seems like paradise, there is trash on the shore and signs that marine life is struggling. I felt compelled to take some action, even as I was exceedingly grateful I had the chance to live and write in that beautiful place.

My endless gratitude to my professor at the NEOMFA who encouraged me to apply for an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellent Award, to the OAC for this award and the residency, and to Headlands Center for the Arts for a memorable experience.

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