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  • The event for the Millay Colony was wonderful. Honour Kane did a Camille Paglia performance/embodiment that practically blew the roof off, and made my head spin. Jerome Kitzke, a composer, did this great jazz piece on the piano to a poem by Allen Ginsberg about Colorado and Denver that I just loved. Everyone who read was great, Drake Patten, who is the new director there, is full of ideas and energy and said she wanted people to know that they should apply and come and get engaged with Millay, so if you're an artist in any media and want to consider it, definitely check it out. [ profile] final_girl recently applied and got in, but has so much else going on that she can't make it, which is great news and sad news, both.

  • [ profile] beccawrites has fabulous new vintage glasses.

  • Scored one black, longline strapless bra in the correct size. Those who have been following along at home know that this has been a quest. I am wearing it now with my crinoline slip and I feel like I'm in a ballgown -- I'm definitely bringing it on my trip to the West Coast -- maybe for Writers With Drinks -- and wearing it, more quietly, under clothes and all, to the Lambda award ceremony, too. Thanks [ profile] misia, [ profile] beccawrites and a little story in the front of the New Yorker years ago for helping me find the tiny, cardboard box filled store full of expertise in fitting that is Orchard Street Corsets on the lower east side.

  • I stayed with Dorothy and Phil Green, wonderful, generous, interesting friends, who fed me salad with pears and avocado and also roasted vegetables (fennel! sweet potatoes! beets! butternut squash! all really good!) and let me look out their apartment windows at truly beautiful cityscape views, and gave exquisite, clear directions for subway and walking, and were even able to tell me what Toni Morrison wrote her Master's on (the work of Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner, which I am intrigued to know.)
  • So great to see them and to get to talk.

  • Christo's gates in Central Park truly are a gift. I walked from 59th street to 72nd under them on Monday, Valentine's Day. It was cold, grey, raining and spitting snow. The gates were so bright, so much in motion, so respectful, following existing paths, definitely more openings than banners, and people were smiling beneath them as we walked. As I paused at the entrance to the park at 59th to get my bearings (Dorothy had given me a map of the park!), a couple put a little stuffed dog wearing a yellow shirt that said "I heart something or other" on it on the low concrete wall to take its picture in front of the park, and so had hundred of gates in the picture, too. A guy coming up to the park looked at the dog and the touristy people, laughed, and said, in a British accent, "But is it art?" He jumped up and stood on the same stone wall where the stuffed dog and I were sitting. I said, "It's definitely art, if you ask me," but, obviously excited, he wasn't listening, but went on into the park. The (other) tourists said, "It's for a commercial. We're from Baton Rouge, and this is for a dog show we're associated with, for one of the advertisers. It's Fido goes Westminister." (It took me a while to figure out that it was the big famous Westminster dog show they were talking about, not Westminster Abbey.) We were all excited. And that was before I even went in and had the meditative experience of walking beneath and between all of that bright, saffron undulation, with young people dressed really warmly waiting patiently with long sticks that looked like scepters with bright green tennis balls on the ends to reach up and untangle any fabric that might become disarrayed.

    PS Did anyone hear my piece on the radio yesterday morning? If you did, could you tell me how it sounded? They edited it, and I haven't heard the final version, but I was on the subway on the way to the park, and couldn't listen.
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WAMC 90.3 FM is airing an edited version of the piece I wrote for my parents' 50th anniversary on Monday morning between 10:20 and 10:50 eastern time. I'm going to have to miss it, but if you're local or in the range of this Albany station, you can tune in and hear it, if you like, or, if you've got a high speed connection and are interested, you can listen to it then at the station's website.

It won't be archived, so can only be heard on Monday morning at this time. My parents are very lovely -- I hope that this isn't making them nervous.

I'm off to New York City to read at the Millay Colony benefit in Brooklyn this Sunday. I'm excited about it. I got in touch with Alice Sebold, who I met there in 1991, and she brought up embarrassing stories that I had forgotten (and am not repeating). I've matured, I swear! She also said to remind folks of the importance to writers of places like Millay that don't demand instant product, because, for example, when we were at Millay she was working tremendously hard on a novel that hasn't been published.

From reading my friendslist, I've realized that I might get to see Christo's gates up in Central Park, which are especially interesting to me because my brother, Don, is a landscape painter who has been painting land art sites, and he's helped me see a little bit about how much emotion, history, information and specific human identities are visible in landscape -- and then, there's the whole question of ego and public spectacle, public pleasure -- anyway, I'm interested. And to see friends.

And one more reading has been added to my West Coast trip: A Different Light, San Francisco, Thursday, March 17 at 7pm.
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So, I just learned that Venus of Chalk was reviewed on this week's edition of the lgbt radio show, This Way Out. But even though I have RealPlayer and Windows Media Player, both, I can't figure out how to listen to it to hear what it says. Can anybody hear it and tell me what it says and who's doing the review?

Or maybe tell me what to do to hear it? Thanks!

Here's a list of stations in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere that carry the program, and when it airs.

Here's the description of the show:

About This Way Out

On the air since 1988, This Way Out is the award-winning internationally distributed gay and lesbian radio program, currently airing on over 125 local stations around the world and on short wave station Radio For Peace International. Produced in Los Angeles, the weekly half-hour "radio magazine" is distributed via satellite to stations around North America, across Europe and in Australia, on tape to other stations overseas, and on the Internet exclusively on PlanetOut Radio.
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I recorded the piece that I wrote for my parents' 50th anniversary for WAMC, the public radio station in Albany, which can be heard in Western Massachusetts and a bunch other places, too. They're going to get back to me with the air date, but the producer said that she was thinking of holding for around Valentine's Day, which never would have occured to me as relevant. They don't post commentaries on their website, though, so, no listening from other continents or time zones this time.

I'm taking a great $5 poetry class at Smith College -- it's every afternoon for a week, and the instructor, Patrick Donnelly, is giving this really lovely, beautifully structured and inspired overview of what poems are and do and various strategies for making them work, backed up with all of this great poetry as examples, and it is all blowing through me like a good stiff wind, all that heightened language and those lyric leaps and the beautifully rendered impulse to get things said.

And I'm going for a week to a writer's retreat on Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota in August. I've never been to Minnesota before.


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May 2009



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