about the Louder Than a Bomb slam-poetry competition among Chicago public high schools. It was SO inspiring – the power of words to change lives. I’m thinking that down the road I’d love to become involved.
I recently edited a poetry book by one of the Louder Than a Bomb cofounders. What a privilege!
I’m going to have to be vague about it right now, because it’s still very much in the brainstorming stage. But I’ll say it involves public radio, travel to Colombia, radio documentary, poetry, art, & exhibition. It looks to be a new, amazing opportunity to draw together my poetry, visual art, skills in Spanish interpretation, & activism. And it’s not something I’m trying to make happen; a producer friend has dreamed up the project & is basically planning to be my patron, finding funding & organizing the project.
He has already forged a bond with a woman who directs a foundation & has discussed possibilities with her. For his next meeting with her, I had to beef up my bio with material about my poetry, art, & activism & send it to him.
I’m just pinching myself. Feels like a fairy tale!
about writing one’s racial autobiography. There was a good turnout & people responded really well. One of the ongoing group leaders, an African American man, feels strongly that we should have an ongoing workshop where each of us can continue working on his or her story & share & get feedback. I’m thinking that could start up in early spring!
that I hadn’t posted about the outcome of the RHINO workshop on 9/26. It got rave reviews! People were very attentive – it helped that I was telling them about a very affordable annual workshop where one can work with highly respected poets, novelists & memoirists. Some people took very assiduous notes! :-) I think I gave them some helpful pointers for poetry of protest too. The critique session, which always occupies more time, was also lively & we stayed focused. There were lots of thank-yous at the end.
That morning I had had responsibilities at church, & after the workshop I had to hurry home to finish prepping to host my condo neighbors for our association meeting. What a packed day! It was all good, but I’m an introvert & not used to so much group activity. Took me awhile to wind down!
Because of travels & guests, most people in the church group couldn’t meet last night. So my autobiography workshop has been rescheduled for mid-November. I think we’ll make a general announcement so the whole church knows about this workshop; it will likely attract some folks who don’t normally come to the group meetings.
It was a bit disappointing at the time, but on the other hand it gave me the time I needed to watch Departures, a movie that I found utterly endearing. :-)
Based on my work in recent years on my “I have a Nazi name” poem, which is now turning into a poem cycle, I was asked to talk to church friends about writing one’s racial/cultural autobiography. This is in a group that has been meeting twice monthly since the Sunday before Martin Luther King Day last January to work on issues of racism in ourselves, our church, our community.
I have just put together the outline for tonight’s meeting, & I think it’s going to be a really helpful experience for the group – I’m including a writing exercise to get people started recording their own stories & learning from them. I love doing stuff like this!
September was the month for my poem “After you” to be posted on the upper inside walls of buses in Highland Park, north of Chicago. It’s an affluent suburb & I’m told that the people who ride buses are mainly workers who clean the homes & care for the children of residents. I wonder whether any of them actually read my poem!
Yesterday, my work-from-home day, I finally drove to Highland Park, armed with the map of one particular bus route. I drove along the route until I finally saw a marked bus stop – they are remarkably rare. Having parked my car, I got out & waited at the stop – & a bus arrived in less than a minute! Fortunately the suburban bus system accepts CTA passes, so I didn’t have to dig out cash. The bus was empty except for the driver & me.
It turned out that two poems from earlier months were still posted in this bus – but when I looked toward the back, there was mine too. I told the driver I was there to see it, & he said that when he finished his route he’d go back & read it. :-) I took a photo with my camera (can’t upload it because I’m lacking the cable to do so, but if I remember I’ll do it eventually) & then hopped off at the next stop & walked back to my car.
The whole adventure took a couple of hours, as traffic was pretty heavy. But how often does one’s poem get posted on a bus? It was worth the time & effort to go see it. Yay!
will be Sept. 26; it’s being promoted on FB & the website, & a number of people I don’t know have signed up to attend, including someone from Finishing Line Press! FLP is a very good Kentucky-based publisher of poetry chapbooks – maybe my racial/neocolonial chapbook will find a home there down the road.
I’m the new TQ copyeditor, hurray hurray!
new things are happening!
Some months down the road, I may become one of the literary editors of a local journal. That’s really kind of amazing, because I don’t have an MFA, nor am I working on one.
I will be facilitating the monthly poetry workshop associated with that journal on September 26.
And the newest: The directors of another highly respected literary journal in my area, which has had to go completely online because of budget cuts, are meeting me Saturday to talk about my becoming the ongoing copyeditor for the journal! This would involve a pretty regular stream of work for me, & it would plunk me right in the middle of a lively segment of the poetry world. Fabulous!!!