I am temporarily parking archived blog posts here while I redesign my site and change servers. For current content, please visit blog.shannacompton.com.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Uh, am I going to blow up?

A fireman, with an ax, just rang the doorbell

He said there was a gas leak reported downstairs

He came upstairs and sniffed around

He said i should be fine


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Help for Humpday

I was going to reprise last week's slump-obliterating instant anthology yesterday, but C. Dale Young put out a call yesterday before I got around to it, and--ta da!--here is your remedy.

Big smooches to you peoples.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Emphasize the Why. Improvise the How.

I just posted these thoughts over at Paul Goyette's place (see blogroll) and thought I would also put them here, expanded a bit.

Paul speculated that some might find Chris Hamilton-Emery's piece (which I referred to a few days ago) depressing, but I hope not.

I think it is refreshing to see a (smart and also funny) poetry publisher talking about the difference between the art of poetry and the business of publishing it. Listen: folks who do not discern the difference between "why" and "how" are set up for the most disappointment.

Poets are crazy, but truthfully, poetry publishers are just a little bit crazier. We persist because we believe we can beat the odds, the indifference, the market pressures, or at least break even. And many of us do. (And some of us do it by publishing a teeny amout of poetry in a list full of other better-selling things.) Salt's POD model is fantastic, I think. They've demonstrated that an alternative model works and in the process disproven some very outmoded ideas about production values.

I have long known that most of the poetry (etc.) that I value isn't equally valued by the market--a market that as an editor for a small press I can't ignore. But you have long known that too. What I love as a poet/reader is sometimes different--and I should emphasize always more--than what I can afford to take a risk for on behalf of the press. So I am thrilled to see micropresses, self-published chapbooks, blogs, and other DIY outlets popping up all over. All these good nuts! Each of these new (or newly rediscovered) routes reduces the art's dependence on a market that has proven itself indifferent if not unkind.

The realities of the (poetry) publishing business are not new. But there are all kinds of new options for poets (etc.) who want to make their work available to the audience it deserves/deserves it.

Poetry is not a business. Publishing is a business. Does that seem like a subtle difference to you? Can you see the division between the two? If you prefer to offer your art for appreciation without becoming a hustling self-sales rep playing the po-biz game--or in addition to becoming a hustling self-sales rep playing the po-biz game--you may do so. Grab thee a saddle stapler. Get thee a blog. Sign up for PayPal or organize a swap. You crazy kids who enjoy discovering and promoting the work of others, get thee a low-cost web journal or simple zine. Voila!

It should be liberating to realize that you don't have to worry about the bottom line...and all that goes with it. So you're an artist, not a businessperson--that's cool. New technologies like desktop publishing, blogging software, low-cost webhosting, and the distribution possibilities of the internet with its wide, wide reach mean you can be a poet more freely than you could before. Find your way if the way is not the way. Your ideal reader (who is superintelligent and unflaggingly hungry) will follow her curiosity to your door. Get busy on that invitation.

Harry Mathews tonight!

I can't wait to read Harry's new book, My Life in CIA.

Tonight at 7:00 he will be reading again at 192 Books.

See you there, unless you are crazy.

Here is an interview that ran yesterday in the NYT.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

NaPoWriMo: April 26

[Made you look! Removed for further study and/or wastebin.]

Tonight: CAConrad & Cori Copp!

I almost forgot to tell you!

Tuesday, April 26 2005
CAConrad reads for the Battle Hill Series at Below in Brooklyn!

CAConrad, author of Deviant Propulsion (forthcoming from Soft Skull) reads with Corina Copp at Tracey McTague's Battle Hill Reading Series. (Please note that Battle Hill has moved to a groovy new location!)

Battle Hill at Below, every other Tuesday
209 Smith St Brooklyn NYC
Cross Street: Baltic Avenue
(718) 694-2277
8:00 PM
$5 goes to the poets

Friday, April 22, 2005

NaPoWriMo: April 22

[Still doing them, but the last several have been flabby and tasteless. This week I am a much better cook than a poet. I'm gonna go spice-rub a salmon now.]

If you haven't already...

check out the comment thread to the "Help for Humpday" post below. We basically created an instant anthology of recommended poems. Some awfully good stuff there, and the enthusiasm is contagious.

Might just have to make this a regular mid-week feature. Perked me right up!

Thanks again, y'all.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Whew! Got all the blurbs in now.

I think it's going to the printer on Monday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The world is dumb & mean

...and I was feeling it too sharply today, but there are poems, and you people, and you love them too!

Help for Humpday

In the comment box below, I beg of you, please list one poem you've read recently (or not so recently) that just knocked your knickers off.

Thank you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

NaPoWriMo: April 19


Score: 1/2/3/X/5/6/7/8/9/10/X/X/13/14/15/X/X/X/19. Fell off the horse, but back on now. Hi-ya!

Elsewhere by Gary Sullivan

This comic is so much fun. "Grab a wave, homy" and get yrs right now. [Sorry, link updated. Just click his "Buy Now" button in the sidebar.]

I'd say more, but I'd hate to ruin it for you. After you read it, "hunk if you ♥."

Monday, April 18, 2005

Page proofs & panel

I got beautiful PDF page proofs from Winnow this weekend and spent some of yesterday going over them. Almost ready for the printer.

Tonight I am joining Gavin J. Grant of Small Beer Press, Joanna Yas of Open City Books, and Patricia Carlin of Barrow Street at the New School for a panel discussion on independent publishing, moderated by Helen Schulman.

Monday, April 18 at 6:30 PM
New School University
66 West 12th Street
Room 510
Free for program students/$5 general public

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Boo hoo hoo

I missed it!

Poetry on the radio, aw yeah.

Listening to My Vocabulary right now.

The Waldrops were amazing.

Right this second I am being treated to "the impossible to pronounce" Geof Huth.

Hey, and now it's Ivy Alvarez. I had forgotten to imagine Ivy with an accent!

So cool. Right on, y'all.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Friday, April 15, 2005

NaPoWriMo: April 15

[Time's up.]

Score: 1/X/3/X/5/6/7/8/9/10/X/X/13/14/15. A poor flawed rough parody of this...or the first two stanzas at least.

LIT 10: Spring 2005

It's going to the printer today!

Amy Allara * K. E. Allen * Jonathan Ames * Neil Azevedo * Andrea Baker * Eric Baus * Mark Bibbins * Sherwin Bitsui * Malachi Black * Ana Bozicevic-Bowling * Oni Buchanan * Erin Burke * Dan Chiasson * Billy Collins * Joshua Corey * Justin Courter * Laura Cronk * Christina Davis * Jordan Davis * Ceri Eagling * Thomas Sayers Ellis * Landis Everson * Emily Farranto * Miranda Field * Ryan Flaherty * Joseph Freda * David Gates * Adam Golaski * Justin Goldberg * Paul Guest * David Hajdu * Anthony Hawley * Bob Hicok * Cathy Park Hong * Lauren Ireland * Major Jackson * Shelley Jackson * Tennessee Jones * Ilya Kaminsky * Valeri Kiesig * August Kleinzahler * Mark Lamoureux * Adrian Matejka * James Meetze * Chelsea Minnis * Marie Mutsuki Mockett * K. Silem Mohmmad * Honor Moore * Chris Murray * Joshua Poteat * Chris Pusateri * Matt Rasmussen * Stephen Ratcliffe * Srikanth Reddy * Spencer Reece * Elizabeth Scanlon * Melita Schaum * John Schertzer * Zachary Schomburg * Patrick Somerville * Dorothea Tanning * Hannah Tinti * Tony Towle * Catherine Turner * Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon * Sally Van Doren * Jonathan Weinert * Emma Wunsch * Stephanie Young * Matt Zambito * Cover art by John Evans * Six drawings by Elizabeth Zechel

Stay tuned for an announcement about our launch party at the New School, scheduled for Friday, May 13.

LIT 10 is my last issue. It's been a lot of fun. I'll stay on board as one of those mysterious "editors at large" for a little while, but the fabulous Justin Marks will be running the show come LIT 11. Send him your best stuff in September!

Not that I've done mine yet...

Seattle Public Library, March 2005.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

NaPoWriMo: April 14


Score: 1/x/3/x/5/6/7/8/9/10/x/x/13/14.

Grab some chalk y'all

Check out this cool idea for celebrating National Poetry Month (and NaPoWriMo too). Three cheers for this (unidentifiable?) blogger.

Why not grace a sidewalk near you with a chalked poem? Ya got 2 weeks+ left!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Any title I could come up with just wouldn't do this justice

One day during our recent vacation, we drove up to a stop sign in this little village on an island in the Puget Sound: we had a great view of the ferry dock straight ahead, above which a giant American flag flapped splendidly in the breeze. (The island is very near Canada and there are international ferries.) Above the flag was a perfect double rainbow in a crisp blue sky. Just then a bald eagle came coasting by.

I didn't get a photo, but this might come close to recreating the moment for you.

TWO events this evening w/ Soft Skull authors

At 6:00 PM
Daniel Nester's Unpleasant Event Schedule featured at Periodically Speaking, with Shafer Hall!
With readers from Open City & Hudson Review
DeWitt Wallace Periodicals Room
The New York Public Library
Humanities and Social Sciences Library
Fifth Avenue & 42nd St
(Please use Fifth Avenue entrance)

At 7:00 PM
Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Eileen Myles, & Sally Bachner.
Poetics and Violence Event
The Graduate Center of the City University of New York Segal Theater
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016
$5 / FREE to Poets House members & CUNY students/staff/faculty

Monday, April 11, 2005

Already hopelessly behind...

with the "Re/reading this month" in the sidebar and it's only 3 months old. Well, I can catch up. I blame AWP and all the books and mags I picked up there. The best kind of distraction.

Susan Wheeler's Ledger is just knocking my socks off. Between that and Rankine's Don't Let Me Be Lonely it seems like a mighty fine "moment" for poetry.

More soon, smores soon. UPDATE: Caught up now--posted March notes retroactively.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Coming soon from Half Empty/Half Full

A collaborative chapbook written on a "virtually antique typewriter" by poets Christopher Connelly & Daniel Nester, one word at a time, with sexy art by Tom Hopkins. From the good folks who brought you Down Spooky: The Chapbook & Big Confetti (so, uh, basically me), this limited edition chap may look like a Faber & Faber book on the outside, but its innards don't resemble anything from that prestigious house in the least.

Stay tuned for details. Should be ready in the next couple of weeks.

NaPoWriMo: April 10

[Time's up. And sorry that was so silly.]

Score: 1/X/3/X/5/6/7/8/9/10

Some Creeley gossip...

here, plus some mighty funny lessons learned about pecking order (see the post before) and slam poetry (post after), by Gary Mex Glazner.

Blogroll spring cleaning

Goodbye...and hello. Trimmed some dead branches but spotted some new shoots too.

Check out Shana Ting Lipton's blog and her piece on the art of Bobby Beausoleil, while you're peeping.

AND, ta da! The Soft Skull home page now has a mini blog for announcements right up top. Bookmark it and please visit often, y'all.

Saturday, April 9, 2005

NaPoWriMo: April 9


Score: 1/X/2/3/X/5/6/7/8/9

Just back from the Prattstore...

where I stocked up on sewing supplies (silk thread, pinking shears, stitch ripper, fabric pencils, bias tape, zippers in a million colors, they had everything but machine needles, and even had muslin) and Charlie got some ink and schtuff. Nice! And they'll soon have a full bookstore in the mezzanine (but it's not quite put together yet). [Link--scroll to the 1/19/05 press release.]

All updated at last

The old "current" and "archived" pages have been combined into the new "poems" page (click tab in nav bar above), an exhaustive (well, almost) history of my poetry publications since undergrad. Sheesh--I am glad some of that stuff is long MIA. But for the sake of completeness, there you go. Links to new & forthcoming poems will appear there going forward.

And the "books" page has been updated too, with descriptions and cover art for Gamers & Spooky.

Now aren't I fancy?

Friday, April 8, 2005

NaPoWriMo: April 8


SCORE: 1/X/3/X/5/6/7/8. I think over the weekend I will try to go back and make up those two missed days. This one, like all poems posted here, will expire in 24 hours. A few folks have asked why I dissolve them like that. Two reasons: A) the poems are generally too new (or too bad) for permanent display and B) because some editors would consider them previously published.

How to Make a Living as a Poet

Tim Botta gives a nice little blurb for Gary Mex Glazner's new Soft Skull book, which reminds me to remind you that Gary is now blogging over at Make a Living as a Poet. Check it out and link him up, y'all. [Link fixed.]

Thursday, April 7, 2005

NaPoWriMo: April 7

Did it, but don't like it so you can't see it.

Note to self:

If you're going to play Follow the Leader, go with an infallible front man.

Hey, look who's here!

Say hello to Matthew Thorburn, y'all.

Mo NaPoWriMo

Erica has written a neato translation of my poem "Will That Be All, Mrs. Kickboxer" (scroll down) to match the translation I wrote of her poem "letter left unsent" (posted a week and half ago and dissolved after 24h, like all poems here).

We stole this translation idea from Jen & Ada, so there.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

NaPoWriMo is in full swing

Shafer's hosting the blogless players. While you're over there, gander & gawk at all the other NaPoWriMo poems by Shafer, Ada, John, Jaime, Jamison, Jen & even Jaime's chihuahua Costello. Reen's up to great no-goodness too, at Versatile. And stop by and shake yr stick at more poems than you can shake it at over at the Connecticut School of Poets by Mssrs. Schiavo (not that one) and Amadon.

Spring has like so sprung. People are goosing each other in office elevators everywhere.

NaPoWriMo, day 6/poem 4/post 1


Comment re: comments

The Squawkbox server seems to be down. This is usually temporary and they will pop up again eventually.

Now with more photos!

I've gone back and updated some of last week's posts with photos. Here are a few more from the AWP bookfair and conference.

Richard Nash, our fearless publisher

Lucy Corin & Joshua Clover

Robin Lauzon working some One-Story magic

Richard Greenfield's unique chemical composition blurs all attempts to capture him on film. Cal Bedient & Bin Ramke over to the right.

A partially decimated Soft Skull table. During my shifts there, we sold more Daniel Nester than anything else! And we sold out of Jane and Gamers too.

At this point the last day of the bookfair is a bit of a blur, but I do remember running into Tony Robinson again (as evidenced photographically here). And I talked with Marie Ponsot, who made a very good point about how AWP should not be treating the Pedagogy panels as a sub-conference. They are exiled to the upper floors and even the schedule is seperated out. Seems a little skewed to me too, and I also wondered about it last year. What's up with that, AWP? Isn't the conference supposed to be (mostly) about writing programs and how to improve them? Anyway, Marie was very indignant about it, and we love Marie. She was threatening to write some letters.

Chris Fischbach at the Coffee House Press table traded me the Anne Waldman omnibus for a pair of Nesters and I also bought Ray McDaniel, Elaine Equi, & Ron Padgett's Joe, and drooled on the rest. Brenda at FC2 traded me Michael Mejia, Cris Mazza & Lynda Schor for some SSP fiction, and I've never met an FC2 book I didn't like, so I'm looking forward to all of these. I stopped by the Verse table again to get the Gillian Conoley book and say good morning to Matthew. Also picked up the latest issues of Post Road, Passages North (at which table I chatted with Timothy Liu & poetry editor Austin Hummell...and what a fantastic cover!), Elixir, & Poetry Flash. I saw many new-to-me magazines, including some gorgeous Canadian ones, and as soon as I unearth all the postcards, bookmarks, and notes I will post a list so you can check them out too.

No doubt about it, the bookfair is my favorite part of the conference. But I'm also really happy to be home. April is buckle-down-and-spring-clean-my-life month.

Speaking of which, I accomplished my NaPoWriMo assignment yesterday. Score: April 1, 3, 5 with 2 & 4 to be made up later. All you editors (who read over the summer) better watch out in May!

Monday, April 4, 2005

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

Y'all don't want to hear about this nonsense anyway. So as soon as our recovery is complete, I will post the rest of the AWP report and the photos!

NaPoWriMo update: this bidness with being stranded fritzed out my schedule and put a gnarly kink in my psyche. But I will catch up. Did manage a little something last night in the airport bar. I will get organized and begin again in earnest tomorrow.


Well, we're home. And partially conscious.

I just finished a post about our 11.5 hour drive yesterday through a rain storm (which turned to a snow storm over Mt. Shasta) and about how the "Customer Service agent" at Sacramento thought telling me that flight had also been canceled would be a funny joke and damn near started a full-blown Texas-style brawl, but that story will have to wait because my browser crashed and I lost it.

Sunday, April 3, 2005

PSA: Jet Blue out of Seattle

We are currently stuck in Seattle-Tacoma thanks to Jet Blue, which only has one flight a day out of this airport to New York and no back-up plan or extra plane. Severe weather in the Northeast grounded one plane yesterday at JFK, which was supposed to pick us up on the return. Since it didn't come, there are no planes here. All other carriers are full and already overbooked for standby (and the one-way last minute tickets are 2300 bucks a piece--sheesh!). Jet Blue cannot get us a seat out of Seattle until April 12! So, today we have no choice but to drive 11 hours to Sacramento in the rain to catch a midnight flight that will land at JFK Monday morning at 8:30 a.m.

I wish I were joking. Springing forward is cake, comparitively speaking.

Really, just FYI. If you are flying Jet Blue from Seattle today, DO NOT BE LATE!

Saturday, April 2, 2005


We are supposed to be on a flight to NYC in 50 minutes (West Coast time). But no.

JetBlue only has one flight from Seattle a day, and outgoings are now full through 4/12. Uh, dude, that's like 10 days from now.

Looks like our only less-than-2000-bucks-each option is to drive down to Sacramento to catch tomorrow night's red-eye. 11 hours, plus traffic.

Does that sound like fun or what?

Also, JetBlue "doesn't compensate for weather" and that means they don't mind at all stranding you thousands of miles from home all the while smiling and playing uberpolite Jedi mind tricks. We are not fooled. To quote David Lehman, "'whenever someone says 'thank you' to you think of it as 'fuck you.'" Yep, and We really wish there was something more we could do for you means fuck you too.

So thank you, JetBlue! And goodnight Sea-Tac Ramada Inn & Suites.

NaPoWriMo status

Poemish thing accomplished yesterday despite AWP madness. Perhaps to post later this weekend. Am planning to do today's on the road or in the airport.

Brought to you by our sponsor, the official AWP Hangover®

[UPDATED w/ photos]

Good morning. Yesterday's better weather allowed us to tour Gastown and a bit of Chinatown before heading to the bookfair and conference hotels and the mountains that surround Vancouver are really something. Wow. It's a clean clean city, with excellent coffee and the folks are really friendly (minus one surly bartender, but maybe he's an import).

At the bookfair yesterday I finally found Marion Wrenn (who'd been talking up GAMERS with some game designers she'd met the night before) at the PBQ table with Kathleen Miller, and I also got to meet Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Jeannine Hall Gailey, Andy Day from Failbetter, and literally countless other people who stopped by (thanks for keeping me entertained, y'all!).

Marion Wrenn & Kathleen Miller of PBQ. That very clever tee says F*@$ Me/Painted Bride Quarterly. Wanna fund?

Spotted Goldbarth again, and Marie Ponsot (tho I missed her at our table), and Cornelius Eady, and Joshua Clover (who I now recognize from some New School event or other but didn't somehow realize before) and G. C. Waldrep, and etc. Ran into the ever charming Ilya Kaminsky, Lucy Corin, Josh Corey again, Richard Greenfield again, Paul Guest again, Mark Bibbins again, Joelle Hann again, Greg Pardlo, Catherine Daly again, Charles Valle of Fence, Joanna Yas from Open City, and Anna & Matvei from Ugly Duckling Presse (whose party we missed because the reading I went to at 4:30 ran very long).

Ilya Kaminsky

Josh Corey & Matvei Yankelevich at the Ugly Duckling Presse table.

Mark Bibbins & Joelle Hann

The lovely Deborah Landau signing copies of her new book. We chatted with Adrian Metejka about sexy author photos. How photogenic!

Stopped by to get a copy of Deborah Landau's book Orchidelirium during her Anhinga-table signing. Went to the Boston Review 20th Anniversary Reading hosted by Timothy Donnelly: Brenda Shaughnessy, Karen Volkman, Cal Bedient, Bin Ramke, Cole Swenson & Peter Gizzi. Unfortunately I came in after the room was mostly filled and from the back of the room with my poor ears and the baffling tendency of poets not to speak into microphones* I was unable to make out most of the poems. Peter Gizzi, luckily, knows how to deal with audio equipment and came through loud and clear--and I really enjoyed hearing his poems. (Wanted to ask about the rumored collected Spicer but had to hotfoot it out. Next time.)

Kasey Mohammad & Catherine Daly, blurred, at the Boston Review reading.

After that reading, I hunted up hubby in one of the several hotel bars** and we headed over to the Post Road party at the Steamworks Brewery where I picked up the new issue and met some nice peeps. Finally finally met up with Jason Schneiderman & Michael Broder, who'd managed to stay hidden up to that point. We had a chat about the necessity for systematic preservation of online journals and postulated the eventual rise of the rare-manuscript collector equivalent in the weblit world. Pixels are popular for many reasons, but less persistent in archival sense than print. Some online journals are doing print annuals (PBQ and Small Spiral Notebook, for instance). Perhaps some webzine editors could turn their thoughts to this problem and propose a panel for next year's conference.

We wandered over to the Verse/Open City/Fence/Swink party in time to miss the readings but catch the Merle Haggard tunes by Matthew & Joe Wenderoth. The effervescent Denise Duhamel was there and I got to introduce her to Richard--we're bringing out Saints of Hysteria and encouraged her to propose a panel on poetic collaboration for next year's conference when the book will be available. Said hi to Jennifer and Josh Beckman again and a bunch of other peoples but then realized we were starving so headed to dinner. Our plans to hit the Ninth Letter party afterward were waylaid by the sleepies, which hit hard after oysters***, crab cakes*** and [nonisinglassed***] wine.

This morning, we're hitting the bookfair for some fire-sale purchases and trades, then maybe it's over to Granville Island for sushi lunch. Driving back to Seattle to catch a heinous red-eye flight. I did manage to get several photos yesterday, but they will have to wait till I'm back in Brooklyn--dialup ain't got my smile up. AWP Booty List and recommended reading to come, too.

But where oh where are Robin Reagler and C. Dale Young? And the rest of you?

*What is this about? In a cavernous carpeted room yr syllables get absorbed by upholstery. Speak up!

**The lack of a single hotel bar location for gathering and poet-spotting at this year's conference has been disappointing. Last year the bar at the (single) conference hotel made chance meetings more likely. Between the two hotels (kitty-corner across an avenue) each with two or three bars, the odds are reduced.

***[This post has not been modified because I have since gone vegan.]

Friday, April 1, 2005

"It's a cute little country. Let's take it."

That was Albert Goldbarth's opening quip at his reading for Boulevard's 20th Anniversary Celebration yesterday. "Seriously, they have over-the-counter Tylenol with Codeine--that is kick-ass."

He read three poems, one of which was called "Rembrandt/Panties." His final poem he read in "the poet voice" just to eff with the audience, I think. The poet voice and the poetry moan are alive and well at AWP, alas. Molly Peacock reads in a more performative style than I expected, having never heard her--an animated stagey whisper-sing. ("Anybody who does one-woman shows gives me pause," jokes the husband, but really she is pretty charming.) Bob Hicok reads in a version of the poet voice. Didn't expect that, but we still love him and his poems manage to break through the distraction of that mutant cadence. Kevin Prufer's reading was very good (no poet voice, the poems all spookily bearing the grin of Thanatos). I noted that Molly Peacock spoke the phrase "finger bones" in one of her poems--that's the title of one of Pufer's books, so a little resonance bubble popped there. Floyd Skloot read an excerpt from an essay about his grandfather. Susan Steinberg read an excerpt from a short story called "The Garage;" I enjoyed her reading the most after AG's. The reading as a whole was unavoidably l o n g tho enjoyable--even when everyone is brilliant it is difficult to listen to 6 readers read for 20 minutes each, particularly after a day of chat at the bookfair.

At the bookfair yesterday I ran into the usual delightful suspects (too many to list exhaustively, but including Janet Holmes, Hannah Tinti, Matthew Zapruder, Dan Machlin, et. al.) and also met Charlie Jensen, Kasey Mohammad, and Paul Guest live and in person for the first time. (Hi guys!) Missed Josh Corey's panel (though I did get to chat with him briefly) and Aimee Nez's reading and about a dozen other things because they overlapped with table duty. At some point during the morning I looked up and saw Colum McCann standing in front of me and we both cracked up. Had no idea he'd be here. It's been ages since we've seen in other in New York, yet there he was with Joe of The Recorder so we went for a pint. Colum came up to read for the new low-residency MFA program at Wilkes University. And Miss Jewishy-Irishy Laurel kept me company, working the BOMB Magazine side of the table. Deborah Landau and Catherine Daly stopped by to say hi--Catherine's new book Locket glitters and reflects the image of the reader in the cover (you can't tell from the photo there, but it's shimmering gold metallic). I should have taken notes--I know I am forgetting people. Chris F. from Coffee House (whose table makes me swoon) and Peter Davis (whose book Poet's Bookshelf looks really interesting) also introduced themselves. And Rick Simonson from Elliot Bay Books stopped by to say hello and let us know he'd mentioned Soft Skull in his keynote address on indie publishing. (Woohoo!)

It rained all day yesterday; the lobbies were blurred with umbrellas. We spotted Billy Collins chomping on a cigar in the Hyatt Regency bar, perhaps miffed about the smoking ban/rain combination. Maxine Kumin was signing books, as was Lyrae Vanclief Stefanon, and whaddaya know there sat lovely Susan Wheeler signing copies of Ledger at the Iowa table. So I picked that up and had it inscribed. I handed out postcards for Down Spooky and Winnow Press, as well as invitations to our party last night, where we mingled with most of the list above plus newer faces American and Canadian and finally met the infamous Tony Robinson, easy to spot by his blog photo. Afterward, the husband & I went for dinner and walked through Gastown, missing the Verse party, oh well. But by that time I was feeling pretty partied out anyway. I don't know what I was thinking but I took no photos. I'll try to remedy that today, as well as hunt up more folks from my must-meet list. The skies are partially cloudy and we have a clear view of the mountains from our hotel room right now. Looks like we'll get to walk a bit and see the city today.

National Poetry Month begins today, as does Reen's NaPoWriMo challenge. I have accepted. Not sure if I will post my efforts here, but I will keep score somehow. I am usually s l o w and a daily poem run never lasts long. Why not play along?

Happy National Poetry Month

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Poet’s House, and Soft Skull Press cordially invite you to a special lunchtime reading of Rimbaud, Neruda, Vallejo, Radnoti, and Artaud by National Book Award and PEN Award-winning translator Clayton Eshleman. We will be celebrating the release of Conductors of the Pit, edited and translated by Clayton Eshleman.

April 1, 2005 at 1 pm
South Street Seaport
133 Beekman Street
Enter on Front Street