Saturday, March 01, 2008


I had a great time Thursday in South Bend, and met some wonderful people there. I got into town early--I had been worried about the snow but didn't encounter any on the way down--and passed the afternoon in the coffee houses of South Bend, including the legendary Chicory Cafe. Around four, I checked into the Cushing Manor Inn, a really nice--and very quiet--bed and breakfast on the edge of downtown. Kelcey Parker from IUSB picked me up for dinner (at a restaurant/jazz club called, if I remember correctly, Trios), which was very good. I had a great time with Kelcey, Sally Smits, Nancy Botkin, and David Dodd Lee--talking and laughing about poetry, teaching, blogging, and a surprising number of friends-in-common.

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.


Blogger Anne said...

Wish I could have made the drive up there, but the timing just didn't work out for me to take a long weekend. Maybe some other time -- I'm in SB several times a year...

Glad to hear it went so well!

7:35 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Certainly, I would be honored to be on your blogroll. :)

11:46 PM  
Blogger IUSB Creative Writing said...

Greg, We loved having you here! We're still talking about it this week. Thanks for being a part of our writing community. Glad you got home safely!


9:44 PM  
Blogger sallylynn said...

I second kelcey's comments -- and thanks again so much for coming. It was a terrific reading, and it was so very nice to see you again!

I think we should get all these blog folks (I just joined the ranks...) together for a panel at AWP. Don't you think? I think. :)

Thanks, again, Greg.

5:59 PM  

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