Thursday, March 16, 2006

AWP Roundup - Colo. State - Pueblo Reading Tonight: Celebration of Women's Poetry

I'm off to Pueblo for the Women's Poetry Festival tonight at Colorado State College. I'm judging the women's poetry competitions again this year. If you're in the area, the reading is free with a reception. Winners of the competition will also be reading beginning at 7:30. Come at 7 for the food. I'm really looking forward to it. I'll also be visiting with some classes and students on friday -- spending time with La Doña of Chicana literature, one of my early mentors, Bernice Zamora.

Interesting. She has been very ill with a bleeding ulcer -- same as me -- which she's had since her early academic years. Yes. Interesting. I tell T we can share war stories & war wounds. Right now I'm much improved with aloe vera juice & kombucha -- and po chai pills.

But Austin was a bust. It's like I did and did not attend the AWP. Wednesday night I started vomiting. My flight was delayed and I didn't get into Austin until 6 pm instead of 3:15. Thursday morning I was torn between birds (Gerry Stern) (I liked what I heard -- you can never go wrong with birds) and the 7 people who showed up for Nick Kanellos's keynote address. Amiri didn't show up for his presentation -- I hope he's alright. It's been a rough year or two. The highlight was the one full panel I heard, an excellent one on healing and poetry with po'blog buddies Peter Perreira, C. Dale Young, Ann Caston (with whom I read at the 92nd Street Y a few years back) and my former colleague, Marilyn Krysl. It was a really interesting panel loaded with good poets. I had just loaned Ann's book to one of my students, so it was nice to hear her as, in a way, I was already hearing her in my head for a week. But then, at the end of the panel, I started getting sick. I walked out as the Q & A began with just a warm nod to Marilyn. Then I got sick in the bathroom -- the first of many times. (If you heard or heard about the woman throwing up in the bathroom, it was me. So many writers are so kind: offering me water or moist paper towels for my head, or whatever I wanted. But at that moment, there is nothing but wretching, and the rest of the wretched universe. And, why would anyone want a glass of water at that point?) I just had to climb in the nearest cab and go back to the hotel where I soaked in the tub and moaned on the bed with the covers pulled over my queasy head. I missed my Con Tinta reading. I couldn't believe it. I kept getting out of bed and putting on various articles of clothing only to fall back with covers over my head. Or, throw up. I spent about the first 3 days without being able to hold down food or water. Not good. I was so disappointed to be missng everyone -- especially raulsalinas. And disappointed to miss hearing Diana Delgado, my Taller Ixchel "Scholarship Girl" and Brenda Cardenas. I spent most of that night composing my panel presentation, an essay. I got up about 7pm and wrote it out. I was feeling well enough to present it, and it wasn't until after that the vomiting returned, and worsened. I went to the book table to sign after the panel, and went back and forth between there and the bathroom. But I so love the books & publishers & editors. I'm going to have to go back to AWP in Atlanta just to get another book fair fix.

But it was not all in vain. Just as the poet/ visual artist, Wolff said to me in the airport as we exchanged books on the way back monday: You run into people for a reason. I read his self-published volume on the way home and liked it a lot. I ran into 32 Poems publisher/ editor, Deborah Ager with lovely Olivia strapped to her early on thursday morning and it was nice. I ran into Alan Soldolfsky from San Jose days and we had a productive chat. The rest a rush of random reunion from the past several decades beginning with the Dallas connection into Austin when John-Oliver Simon from Poets in the Schools (where I firs got on this bus 30 years ago this year) was standing behind me in the boarding line. Even an old boyfriend -- sheesh. Maybe I'll come back with more. I know it was pert'near heart-breaking the people I didn't meet up with: Alison Stine whose fine poetry manuscript I have and was prepared to go over with her (Ali, I'm so sorry I was too sick to call you. Expect it in the mail soon.) And Bill Allegrezza.

But, more soon. Welcome back. I'm off again. And, Dallas Writes of Spring 3-day intensive workshop March 31 - April 2. Portland Reed College Social Justice Festival on April 8. UC Berkeley Poetry for the People class on April 26. See you there. Po Chai or bust!

6 Comments:

Blogger C. Dale said...

OMG, Lorna. That sounds awful. Hope you are feeling better now.

16/3/06 10:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pray for you.

16/3/06 15:43  
Blogger Peter said...

Oh Lorna: I am so sorry you were sick. I wondered what had happened to you. Hope you are feeling better now.

18/3/06 07:43  
Blogger Lee Herrick said...

hope you're feeling better and better each day.

18/3/06 17:15  
Blogger bill said...

sorry to hear about your sickness.

one day i'm sure we'll meet up.

19/3/06 19:27  
Blogger Juliana said...

Lorna, It was such an amazing night to meet you in person and hear you read your poetry and speak about your poems. It was a night I will never forget. I hope you made the trip home safely from Pueblo. Thank you from all of us at CSU-Pueblo. I will be in touch. Gracias por todo.

21/3/06 13:17  

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