Wednesday, March 26, 2008

So You Think You Can Write?

This Saturday, 3/29, I'll be participating in a one-day publishing festival sponsored by Old Dominion University. They have a bang up MFA program and fabulous teacher/writers like Tim Seibles, Sheri Reynolds, and Luisa Igloria. The festival will run all day and will have a series of panel son publishing in small and large venues and on techniques to get your work noticed by editors. Please come out to the festival if you're in the area. You'll find all of the pertinent details here.

You might even get more tips like the ones below ( I just love these, especially 4, 6 and 9):

Been thinking about all kinds of writing things this week, got a lot on my plate. I'll be at the ACTC Conference next week delivering a paper on August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone. Wilson is certainly one of the best and, arguably, the most prolific playwright the United States has ever produced. My paper deals with identity and spirituality, so contemplating those things on the page has made me think about the definitions I've set for those things in my own life.

Benn reading some great books in preparation for the upcoming Emerging Writers Festival at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. Right now, I'm in the middle of Emily Rapp's memoir Poster Child and I am riveted. I can't wait to hang out with some of these fantastic writers. More on that as it approaches.

I also have a big exam coming up at work, so my students are getting antsy. Breathe guys, breathe. The comic strip below is just for them (though they better be studying and not on the computer reading my blog!):

Monday, March 10, 2008

Reading at William & Mary on Tuesday, 3/11 @ 7:00 PM

The Ringing Ear at The College of William & Mary, Tucker Hall 120, Williamsburg, Virginia. Remica L. Bingham, Matilda Cox, and Kendra Hamilton, with guest poets Tim Seibles and Toni Wynn, present an evening of poetry at the nation's second-oldest institutions of learning. Professor Hermine Pinson hosts. The event is co-sponsored by The Patrick Hayes Writers Series. If you're in the area on Tuesday, 3/11, please come out to hang with us!

Dance, Dance Revelation

This weekend's performance with INSPIRIT and VTDance was amazing. The movement of the body is such an intense and introspective art. I was awed by the fact that company directors Christal Brown and Vincent Thomas (pictured above) both found ways to mold their dancers into one continuous form, but not make them a homogeneous unit. Each dancer moved in his or her own skin precisely the way it was made to move, but each dancer was in unison with the others as well.

Both Vincent and Christal used various artistic mediums in their work. I couldn't help but think of Venus Thrash during INSPIRIT moving piece "Past Her Rites", in which the dancers begin their magnificent choreography to the voice of Nina Simone. Later, during the "Isms" piece that tackles various social boxes we find ourselves relegated to, INSPIRIT used some poignant lyrics from Goodie Mob and allowed me to recite my poem "Initiation" and pen a new, extemporaneous poem during the piece. There was constant music--live and recorded--even a saxophonist who was lifted into the air while still playing during a VTDance piece. There were media images--photography, newspapers, even conglomerate ads flashed at a dizzying pace across the stage's far wall. In short, I was blown away by the constant beauty and was blessed to spend time with so many brilliant artists.

Shoutouts to some of the cool folks who came to the show, touched base or hung out while I was in D.C.: promising poet Patricia Biela, Pat Washington (of the Poem-cees), my good friend Anita Taylor, Derrick Brown holding it down at Busboys, Kyle Dargan (check out his new venture), Thomas Sayers Ellis who loves to scream a poet's name while hanging out of a car window on U Street, and my Aunt Eunice and Uncle Frankie. You know family always shows love.

Thanks again to Christal for allowing me to be a part of something bigger than all of us.