It’s been a jammed-packed 80 days since I last posted to the blog. It was only after this data guru did the numbers that I realized there was a balance between literary events and non-literary work that kept me busy the whole time.
- Cave Canem Retreat (June 15-22). My third and final time at this retreat for African-American poetry. We had an awesome lineup of faculty: Chris Abani, Tim Siebles, Patricia Smith, and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon joined the founders, Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady. Not to mention the coolest graduation party ever.
- Selected Poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. I landed at the RDU airport and drove straight to the book club for this Russian poet.
- Lead a poetry exercises as part of the Carrboro ArtsCenter Summer Reading kickoff event.
- Poet’s Cafe at Gather on the last Thursday on the month. This open mic is fast becoming my favorite and July was standing room only!
- Picked up a few new books at a book swap.
- LIT 101. A relatively new open mic at Francesca’s Dessert Café in Durham happens every Third Sunday.
- Third Thursday Open Mic in Fuquay Varina. I’m only able to attend this event once or twice a year and couldn’t resist participating in the Red Dress contest.
- Carrboro ArtsCenter sponsored a Maya Angelou tribute reading, where people shared their favorite poems in her memory.
- Attended the event, Two Writers Walk Into a Bar at West End Wine Bar, featuring poet Ross White of Bull City Press.
- Read 3 poems at Spark After Dark’s Circus Burlesque and Erotic Poetry show. The performers were excellent, and my fellow poets, Bartholomew Barker and Kelly Lenox, were fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dramatic re-enactment of a poem before Bart’s “Happy Birthday to Me.”
- September book club for Robert Hayden’s Collected Poems
- Chapbook readings at Backbone Press 2nd Anniversary Party at Letters Bookshop in Durham. Their poetry journal published my poem, “Fan Letter to Spider-Man” in December 2012
Throughout the summer, I met four times for the poetry one-on-ones with Kelly, submitted to one poetry contest and one anthology, and signed the contract with Hyacinth Girl Press for my chapbook, My Mother’s Child, due in early 2015.
As a double-life poet, all poetic activity takes place on the backdrop of the non-literary career, which kept its own busy schedule:
- 1 project that I led,
- 1 project started in June,
- 1 subcommittee started in September,
- 19 days of working late,
- 3 days working on the weekend, and
- 1 report completed in September but that will be presented in October.
In the interest of transparency, most of the summer was filled with all kinds of activity on the personal side including:
- 4 parties,
- 3 weddings,
- 3 houseguests,
- 9 milongas,
- 3 road trips, and
- my first mammogram
And today, I give a workshop on revision, so I’ll have more to say about that soon!