A few more sketches from the vault.
Sydney Blair administered the MFA program down at U.Va., and was a great colleague. I think this drawing may have been at another reading, though I didn't note which one. The "de espaldas" probably comes from the fact that I was reading José Balza's La mujer de espaldas at the time.
Charles Wright is a lovely, genial person, and one of the major contemporary American poets. I drew him at one of his readings down at U.Va., where he's the Souder Family Professor, and looking at the date, it coincided with the happier period of C's and my sojourn down there. After hearing Charles read, I became a great fan, and was really happy when he was finally honored with the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Black Zodiac (FSG). I consider his entire poetic opus of the last 15 years or so to be a long and entrancing serial poetic monologue.
Charles Bernstein is another one of the leading American poets and poetics theorists, and his lecture at U.Va. was memorable for many reasons, not the least of which was that it merged the essay and poetry genres--this is much more common nowadays with the growth of the creative nonfiction genre--and at one point, he read a "warped" section of the essay in a warped manner, which is to say, he mimicked a warped tape as he read and performed the text. Perhaps this isn't so remarkable, except that rather than doing so before a room full of poets, he did so before a room full of English professors (unlike at the current university, when poets like Bernstein came to read, a sizable portion of U.Va.'s English faculty and grad students would show up). I sort of remember some of the people in attendance being momentarily surprised, but then they knew they were going to hear something different from Bernstein, and they did. (I should find out where that essay appeared.)
This young guy sat next to me on a train trip north, I believe, to New York (or was it Boston? Washington? Philadelphia?), and was fairly chatty. Then he fell asleep, and I sketched him as quickly as I could. He was quite beautiful, as I think the drawing conveys. I don't remember where he disembarked.