Sunday, April 03, 2005

Idol Worship (AWP wrap-up)

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).

Random Notes

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.


  1. I have many "brushes with greatness" to report involving MO, Howard Norman, and Wallace Shawn. I'll try to post today, but I have springing forward/jet lag! I got up at 3:45 this morning! Thanks for the complement! :) Also I will update on Anne Carson (she was so fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!) I don't think there are enough exclamation marks in the world. This will def. be the focus of my next post!

  2. Mmmmm. Starbucks. Mmmm. Scone...

  3. I tried to post a comment to Lynn's comment and it disappeared into the ether. It basically had to do with my extreme envy about the Anne Carson reading, and then I confessed that envy was definitely my deadly sin.

    Okay, that is all for now.

    By the way, I read The Devil Wears Prada on this trip, and it's not worth the time, but the evil fashion editor says, "That is all" all the time. (awkward gloss on unimportant allusion)



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