I knew there was a good reason I was sleepless tonight. Just finished chatting with my little sis, my favorite sister... though she hasn't been my favorite for months now, not since she told me she was going to see Depeche Mode in August at the Hollywood Bowl--coolest of all LA venues--with SOMEONE ELSE! But now he can't go, so I'm in! I do hope Dave Gahan wears his leather pants!
And that's not all that's super cool tonight. I've finally begun my stint as, get this, the Creative Writing Program Director for WICE--a continuing education institute here in Paris--and our first course is all but on the books for this fall. This responsibility is the main reason why I didn't go home last month, but I'll make good use of my time since I also have a great lead on a job a language school. Thank you, Ellen Fujioka--my little go getter friend! I might have to go see her psychic while I'm in Long Beach.
I'll also be sitting in for David Barnes at The Other Writers' Group at Shakespeare & Co on July 11th and 18th. Come if you can... five copies of a work in progress, or just listen to the fine writing that others bring in. We can always use fresh eyes and ears.
Other great things that have happened in recent months: This spring I had the honor of working with Cecilia Woloch again to organize her Paris Poetry Workshop--click to see the video I made. Cecilia has such a great group of friends and poets every year. The themes of place, image, and collaboration always make for a very rewarding experience, so if you ever need a(nother) reason to come to Paris, I can highly recommend this week-long workshop. This year we also did photography with Jennifer Huxta, the Montparnasse Cemetery with Heather Hartley, a day in the country with Jeffrey Green--read French Spirits!--and an afternoon of collage poetry with Jen K. Dick. We finished up the week with a participants' reading at S&C, then dinner--Au Chien Qui Fume, where else?! The highlight of my week was reading my recently anthologized tribute to Alan Ginsberg's "Howl"--it's called "Wail"--at a reading we organized at Berkeley Books. There was thunderous applause and the owner of the bookstore complimented me on my bravery... They didn't put me in the "Woman as Freedom Figter" section for nothing! I left him a copy to read and/or sell, but if you can't stop in there, buy it here! The anthology is called Not a Muse, a global anthology of post-feminist poetry published by Haven Books in Hong Kong.
Then... I had my 39th birthday. He took me on a dinner cruise on the Bateaux Mouches--not even overrated. Can't believe it's taken us four years to finally do it! He even muscled us up to a table at the front of the boat, which made for a lovely video ;) Miles Davis' Blue In Green made the perfect soundtrack, even the title, given the colors of that evening. The clouds cleared when night fell, and then it was over.
But not my birthday! It went on all weekend long 'cause he took me to Amsterdam the next day. We just showed up at the train station and boarded the next train, wandered around town for two hours looking for a hotel that would allow Filou to stay, too. Then I got sick. Boooo... So, we're going back tomorrow/today. Seriously, does it get any better?! Ok. Depeche Mode at The Hollywood Bowl is pretty damn good.
Oh yeah, and this week Filou turned two. Of course we had a little party... and two of my MFA gal pals came! Thank you, Filou, for the great excuse to open up the Old El Paso Burrito Kit. He even got to lick his Raspberry Charlotte birthday cake. Oh yeah, and I made a video to celebrate his first two years. See it here.
I guess that just about catches you all up. 5am... time to go take my bath and head for Gare du Nord. See you soon!