Friday, November 03, 2006

your fall annogram

Welcome to your fall annogram! Yes, I did let September and October slip by—so this will be full of my activities during that time. Hope you are enjoying this glorious and crisp weather.

Reading at the United Nations
What a thrill it was to read at the United Nations in early September! The event, part of an annual NGO conference, was co-sponsored by The Light Millennium, a Turkish organization; and Respectful Interfaces, a UN group. We had a wonderful cross-cultural experience—with people such as Muzaffer Baca, vice president of the International Blue Crescent, reading beloved Turkish poets Nazim Hikmet Ran (1902-1963) and Orhan Veli Kanik (1914-1950), and musical interludes from Persian Amir Vahab and his Soroosh Ensemble (see URL to sample his music). Award-winning poets Terry Dugan, Timothy Liu, Kevin Pilkington, Linda Simone and I added our Western voices.

Sea Stories
My poem, “Landfall,” is in the autumn issue of Sea Stories. The journal is a project of the interdisciplinary Blue Ocean Institute, founded by a MacArthur fellow to encourage ocean conservation. Whether you want to learn what seafood to eat, or what research the Institute is doing, this web site is full of ocean-loving facts.

Online quarterly online ActionYes features my translation of the opening to Helene Sanguinetti’s first book, Left-hand Exploring (Flammarion, 1999). What’s cool is that you can mouse-over the translation to see the original French and the page includes a drawing by Helene’s brother Alain. I am looking for a publisher for this translated manuscript and welcome any suggestions or direction.

New translation focus
A sample of Helene’s second book is on the home page of my web site and a new manifesto on translation. Let me know what you think!

What a pleasure to see the Weston Playhouse production of Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses. Zimmerman selected myths from Ovid (43 BCE – 17 AD) and updated them with an American sensibility. The result is a contemporary re-telling of common and not-so-common tales. I enjoyed hearing director Steve Stettler discuss the production prior to the play. According to Stettler, Ovid (pronounced Ah-vid) was a “New York Times Bestseller” of his day—conveying 250 Greco-Roman myths in his 15-volume work, Metamorphoses (8 AD)—to a sophisticated Roman audience. He added that the play, which deals with classic human emotions, opened in New York days after 9/11 and provided a cathartic experience for most attendees. I laughed and cried too.

Editors and Agents Panel at Manhattanville
A free editors and agents panel, on November 7 at 7 p.m. in the Dowd-O’Gorman Writing Center at Manhattanville College, offers a rare opportunity to hear publishing professionals discuss their requirements. It will feature Abby Zidle, senior editor, Harlequin Books; Eric Levy, senior acquisitions editor, Wesleyan University Press; Mitchell Waters, an agent at Curtis Brown; and Martha Hoffman with Judith Erlich Literary Management.;11;7;12;0&lastcmd=0&rt=2006;11;7;19;0;0;

Inside scoop on small presses
What’s it like to be a small press publisher? Find out at Toadlily Press Poets and Publishers Tell All: A free panel discussion on the Small Press “scene” on November 5 at 2 p.m. at the North Castle Public Library, 19 Whippoorwill Road East, Armonk, NY (914-273-3887). Refreshments follow panel and reading. Can’t make that event? Hear Toadlily poets Pam Hart and Victoria Givotovsky read at Bernard's Inn, 20 West Lane/Route 35, Ridgefield, CT (203-438-8282). Luncheon ($25) follows the free reading.

Richard Ford on the writing process
I heard a fascinating interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show and recommend it to all my fiction-loving, narrative-writing friends (you know who you are).

Eating through Vermont
I am taking a detour from the arts to tell you about Fat Frank’s in Bellows Falls, Vermont. My husband and I were intrigued to sample the food at “the wurst place in Bellows Falls.” While Michael enjoyed the franks, I had a savory veggie burger that Frank makes himself out of—vegetables (doh!). To quote Frank, he feels a veggie burger should taste like “vegetables.”

I leave you with Mary Zimmerman's quote on the message of myth: “Don’t lose sight of the fact that there is still beauty in the world, and there is still love in the world, and these simple pleasures in the world, which are indelible.”