Monday, November 24, 2008

Over the Weekend

A few notes and photos from this past weekend.

On Friday, two distinguished writers and three graduate students affiliated with the university's MA/MFA program read their work at the new Center on Halstead in Lakeview, easily one of the sites most seeing in the Boystown-Belmont area of Chicago. MA/MFA faculty and Center for Writing Arts visiting fiction writer-in-residence Sefi Atta read from the opening of her novel Everything Good Will Come (Interlink USA), while Chicago Tribune columnist and Brenda Starr comics writer Mary Schmich offered three short essay-columns, one of which involved hang-gliding in Rio. (She captured the experience perfectly.) Aubrey Henretty (creative nonfiction), Nate Zoba (poetry), and Kelly Burgess Mayer (fiction-creative nonfiction), one of my past and current students, presented their works as well.

MA/MFA co-director and author Sandi Wisenberg introducing Nate Zoba, Kelly Burgess Mayer, Aubrey Henretty, Mary Schmich, and Sefi Atta

On Saturday evening, a group of Joshua Marie Wilkinson's poetry students from Loyola University in Chicago, led by Charles Gabel, invited me to read with them and Loyola professor Terence Boyle, at a poetry reading-salon they regularly host in Rogers Park. It was tremendous fun, an honor to read with Terrence, and also so encouraging and exciting to hear these young poets, whose interests range widely, who're publishing chapbooks and journals, and who're collaborating on projects of all kinds. One highlight was when one of the writers (a student at Columbia College) and her girlfriend performed Chris Stackhouse's and my "unreadable" poem, "Index," from Seismosis, giving (doubled) voice and body/ies to the concrete-ish poem and its twin image. Thanks again to Charles and all these poets, and we must do it again!

Terence Boyle reading his work

The performance of "Index"

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