I saw W.S. Merwin at the Friday night reading--he was there to listen. I hadn't seen a recent photo of him, so I was a little shocked to see how old he looked, though I suppose I knew that he was in his 70s. He was with a younger blonde woman, but only younger than him--she was probably 50. It turns out he'll be reading in SLC at the Library Tuesday night, so I don't feel as ripped off for not getting to hear his AWP reading. Anne Carson is another matter. No sightings, and no SLC reading in sight, so I do feel ripped off about that. But staying for the reading would have meant prolonging the trip, and even though it was a good conference, I was tired of being away.
Susan Musgrave, the Canadian poet who read prior to Michael Ondaatje, was just great. I didn't know her work, but will seek it out now. For one thing, she was hilarious. Michael Ondaatje was wonderful. He read a poem by Robert Creeley, two poems of his own, a scene from The English Patient, and a couple of scenes from Anil's Ghost. His voice is calm and inflected with his various provenances. His hair is white. A beneficent grandfather--if your grandfather is a genius.
Olena Kalytiak Davis presented in the transgressive post-confessional poetry session, which I forgot to mention. She was awesome. She read a poem called "The Lyrical 'I' Picks Up Her Children from School" (that's close anyway).
Attended Dr. Write's session--it was one of several I attended that had a focus (at least partial) on multimedia productions as part of the creative writing curriculum. I had the thought that what we call "creative" and what we call "public" might be separated, if at all, by a very porous boundary. It was a good session, and Dr. Write looked great, I might add (not that that's supposed to matter--but who are we kidding here?).
Canadians pronounce the title of Barthes' book S/Z "Ess Zed."
I walked over a long bridge to Granville Island, where they have a fantastic public market. By the time I got over the bridge, I was starving, as I hadn't had any breakfast, and my sturdy constitution requires breakfast. So I stopped at Starbucks, the first food purveyor I saw off the bridge, and had a warm beverage and a scone, both of which were slightly too sweet. Ordinarily, I don't like to patronize Starbucks (ditto B & Noble, Wal-Mart, blah blah blah), but I was so hungry, dear reader, I really was. So I made my way to the market, which was, of course, a food market. If only I had had the patience! I'm still irritated about that.
The Vancouver Art Gallery had two very cool exhibits--one of photographs ranging from the early 19th century to the present, the other of a contemporary Canadian conceptual/video artist Rodney James.
I am buying a mini digital video camcorder with the money I make from doing a reading at UVSC this week.
That is all.