As you can see from the the IUSB Creative Writing Blog here and Talia's blog here, there was a good turnout for the reading and it went well, I think. I read "Homer, Faulkner, Noir" from A Path Between Houses and then a number of poems from Figured Dark, including "In the Great Field at Mount Holyoke, Under a Dome of Stars," "Lost-Love Ghazals," "Exile Valise,"* "Figured Dark," and "Discontinuous Narrative" (my vasectomy poem), which prompted a discussion of William the Conqueror and the Bayeux Tapestry.
It is a bit hard to explain the William the Conqueror part, but I did my best. I finished up with "Studies for the Blue Morpho" from my Martin Johnson Heade series (prompting my second book report) and a short poem about exile, set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Afterwards, I answered a few questions, signed books and had a chance to talk with audience members. I met (for the first time) bloggers Talia Reed, Charmi Keranen, Chad Forbregd, Rachel from "The Confessional," Neil Kelly, Nakao Fujimoto, the blogger "Psychoflowers," and IUSB faculty member Joseph Chaney.
NOTE: If it's okay with you guys, I will be adding those of who are bloggers (and who are not already there) to my blogroll.
The profs at IUSB are doing a great job. They have their students not only excited about creative writing and poetry, but also writing so well. Many of the students are already publishing in great places--both print journals and on-line.
It was snowing when I got up Friday morning. I waited around a bit and (rather than drive straight north through the lake-effect snow belt of Michiana), headed east on I-80 on the theory that I could outrun the worst of the snow and come north into Michigan on I-69.
So much for my theory. There were many cars in the ditch on the Indiana Turnpike.
As long as I was headed east, I also went on a Secret Mission. More on that anon.
And I did get home, safe and sound.
My special thanks to Sally Smits and Kelcey Parker for putting all this together and to Talia Reed for both the interview and the wonderful article that ran in the IUSB student newspaper. If you ever get a chance to read at IUSB, go. It was a great, great experience.
*Featuring Tobias, the Archangel Raphael, and the dog (below) from the Book of Tobit.