Thursday, August 09, 2012

Your Olympic annogram

I admit only watching the opening ceremonies—except for a moment of fascination with synchronized divers.  I thought I heard Jacques Rogge in his opening remarks talk about athletes committing to the impossible.  It struck me that’s what writers do.  When something calls that I feel l have no blueprint or ability to achieve, then it must be done.  As a friend loves to quote, “You make the path by walking.”  No sprints, leaps or shot puts, but opening a notebook and applying a pen—like first moments on the high dive.

Shakespeare's Garden
Central Park
Photo by Linda Simone
St. Agnes redux

I am happy to report that the title poem of my chapbook, “St. Agnes, Pink-Slipped,” was accepted in The Lives We Seek: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints. This anthology, edited by Mary Ann Miller, will also include work by Dana Gioia, Edward Hirsch and James Tate. St. Agnes finds herself in good company! 
Cancer Project update

As mentioned last month, my poem “Landfall” won an Honorable Mention in this year’s Cancer Poetry Project contest.  Editor Karin Miller tells me another of my poems, “Breast Imaging,” will also be in the Volume 2 of the Cancer Poetry Project as well as “The Breast and the Brightest” by poetry pal Cindy Hochman.  Yay Cindy!

Vermont Institute of Contemporary Arts (VTICA)

Linda and Sarah inspired
by the 60s music inside the gallery
When I entered VTICA, I asked the director if she could “turn up Morrison,” as a Doors song was playing softly.  Rarely do you hear the Doors at a gallery, but this opening exhibit by Jack Dowd featured his paintings of rock stars who died at 27:  Morrison, Joplin, Hendrix, Cobain, and Winehouse and Jean Michel Basquiat, Robert Johnson, Alan Wilson, Brian Jones, and Ronald “Pig Pen” McKernan.  Abby Raeder, who gladly pumped up the volume, then warmly welcomed my friends--award-winning writers Terry Dugan, Linda Simone (left), Sarah Bracey White (right)—and me.  See the exhibit before its August 19 close.

That Dorothy Parker

 If you are near New York City in late August, That Dorothy Parker, a one-person drama, will be performed as part of the annual celebration, Parkerfest. The performance is scheduled for August 23 at the Arclight Theatre. (courtesy Poets & Writers).

‘Round the Net
Congratulations to:
·   Diane Gaston on the publication of her 17th Harlequin romance, A Not So Respectable Gentleman?
Diane Gaston thrilled
to publish her 17th book!
·   Red Glass publisher Janet Kaplan on the publication of Kate Greenstreet’s our weakness no stranger
·   Lucas Klein on his new translation blog, Notes on the Mosquito
·   Linda Simone on the publication of two poems in Cyclamens and Swords
·   Frank Vitale on the praise received on his ground-breaking CD-ROM, The Metropolis Organism

Thanks to Poets House:

·   Mark Doty on Walt Whitman and Bill Murray reading Wallace Stevens
·   A New York Times review of Poets House exhibit on founders Elizabeth Kray and Stanley Kunitz
·   Poets House featured on Channel 13

From Poets & Writers Daily News
 ·   The late Gore Vidal originated “No good deed goes unpunished;” read his other quotes here

James Agee
·   Poet Leigh Stein explains how to read in public
·   Humanities magazine looks at the life and work of James Agee
·   New Yorker recently published a never-published story by F. Scott Fitzgerald
·   Novelist Colson Whitehead shares eleven rules of writing: "Rule Number Eight: Is secret."
·   Check out Open Culture's extremely rare video footage of Rudyard Kipling on truth in writing
·   The New York Public Library publishes a scan of a Walt Whitman manuscript on Tumblr
 And my own discovery: Why we introverts may have more going for us than Freud would have us believe

Ode to a dog 2
After lunch of beef and broccoli
With profound sadness we had to say farewell to our 15-year-old pit bull-lab mix last month.  His name, Buddy, could have easily been Mahatma or great soul.  When we first met at Elmsford Animal Shelter (Pets Alive Westchester), he was the shelter manager.  You would enter the lobby and see a human behind a desk, another, and then Buddy sitting up in his own chair with a serious “May I help you?” look. 

As we volunteered, we watched him console roughed-up elders and discipline unruly puppies. An ascending white dove on his black chest indicated his priesthood: Dogs would lie down half a block away whenever they saw him. Only a year ago he pulled Michael in an opposite direction on their walk, hearing cries from a woman locked outside an upper porch. Thanks to Buddy, Michael alerted someone inside to unlock the door.  We will always miss his wise and brooding presence.  If you’d like to honor him or his amazing breed, please make a contribution to Pets Alive Westchester or Bad Rap.

Until next time,