Sunday, March 20, 2016

Changing Color of American Literature @ Teton County Library

I have just returned from an amazing three-day trip to Jackson, Wyoming, where I participated in a several events sponsored by and held at the Teton County Library and the Teton County Library Foundation. Poet and exceptional host Leah Shlachter was the organizer, and brilliant poet Tyehimba Jess (whose masterpiece Olio drops from Wave Books very soon!) invited fellow brilliant poet and thinker Tonya Foster, author of Swarm of Bees In High Court (Belladonna*, 2015), and me to join him in exploring the topic "The Changing Color of American Literature," through a group reading and lively panel discussion at the Teton County Library. It was a pleasure to join Tyehimba and Tonya in conversation over several days, which also included a visit to and writing workshop with Matt Daly's creative writing class(es) at the Journeys School of Teton Science Schools.

A huge hug and thanks to Leah, who was an incomparable host and showed us (around) Jackson Hole, which included encounters with real wildlife (see below), though no skiing, and spent much quality time with us, even introducing us to "pig candy," which I brought a box back for C; to Katherine Gulotta Ward, who brought me to Journeys School and joined us for the workshop (documenting it with some of the photos below); to poet and University of Wyoming MFA student Randall Tyrone, who moderated our panel and spun off quite a few good lines in the process; to the Library Foundation; to KHOL 89.1 radio's Cassandra Lee, who interviewed us; and to everyone who came to the events, including a number of people who attended both nights, and asked though-provoking questions at each event. (It was a special delight to see Lost Roads Press's Susan Scarlata, for whose press's poetry award I'd served as a judge a few years ago.) A huge thanks goes to Tyehimba, who made the event possible, and to Tonya, who together keep me thinking hard!

My interview with KHOL is here.  Some photos below!

Moose in a field on the way from the airport to Jackson
A closer view of the moose
National Museum of Wildlife Art, on the way
from the airport to Jackson
A view of a butte
Me, under one of the antler's arches
on the Jackson town square
The Journeys School
During our workshop (I
was writing with them too!)
(photo by Katherine Gulotta Ward)
With the Journeys School student writers
(photo by Katherine Gulotta Ward)

A marvelous origami bird that Ci-Ci,
one of the talented poets and students at Journeys
School made for me as a gift
One of the buttes
Leah pointing out an exhibit at
the Teton County Library
Tyehimba discussing and reading from
one of the syncopated sonnets
in Olio
A ski slope looming above town
Bighorn sheep
Several bighorn sheep, including a ram
resting and keeping an eye on us
Panoramic view
The Grand Tetons in the distance
The snowy landscape (no buffaloes, though)
More buttes and cloud-shrouded mountains

The landscape around Jackson Hole
Randall, Tyehimba and Tonya
before our conversation
The Grand Tetons the day I flew back
(the clouds had dispersed to reveal
the  mountains in their full majesty)
A closer look at Grand Tetons

No comments:

Post a Comment