Before April–I had the great pleasure of reading from my new book, Living in the Love Economy at Berl’s Poetry Shop with Erica Hunt and Anselm Berrigan, two great poets and very good friends. Joey Infante, et al brought my vision for this collection to a bright fruition. I am so very proud of it and the chapbook Swimming to America, from Red Glass Books both serves as a platform to my New & Selected coming out in 2015 from White Pine Press.
As I’ve often said, April is Cruel to Poets Month–there were so many readings and so little time esp if you are a poet! So I did my best. Heard Cyrus Cassells in conversation with Charif Shanahan at NYU. It was a lively and reflective dialogue after a fine reading by Cyrus. It was great to hear him talk about finding his voice after early and high praise. His new poems are taking even more lyric leaps.
Earlier in the month, went to the CUNY housed Chapbook Festival. My new chapbook, Living in the Love Economy was on display and sold! Song Cave, CUNY’s brilliant Lost & Found series-a must have for serious poetry scholars and readers–and of course Overpass Books were there. Amiel Alcalay, et al read and discussed the latest Lost & Found series including 2 booklets of Adrienne Rich’s writing about teaching at CUNY in the SEEK program.
Brenda Hillman was in town and I got to hear her read at Berl’s Poetry Shop with Evelyn Reilly–a great evening brought to us by Belladonna Collaborative.
And finally, it was really wonderful to attend A Painter and His Poets: The Art of George Schneeman at Poets House on April 26. Maureen Owen was in town from Denver; Bill Berkson, co-curator from Boston, Alice Notley in from Paris, and Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman, Larry Fagin, et al from NYC. Padgett who was the other c0-curator was an affable presenter and the readings and comments conjured a world where spontaneity and chance were as much a part of collaboration as talent and the ability to take risks. In an era where folks are waiting for funding for . . . these poets worked with a painter who was open to words as they were open to his artistic vision.
I read in very disperate events: the Ruth Malaczech Art & Impact event at the Martin E. Segal Theater Center at CUNY Grad Center where the living members of Mabou Mines and other avant garde theater people discussed the life and art of the great actress and founding member of Mabou. The Reading of the Inferno by Dante at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Maundy Thursday organized by Marilyn Nelson–saw some wonderful friends and it ended before midnight! And an Alice Notley tribute reading for the Downtown Literary Festival; and finally for Nita Noveno and Sara Lippman’s fine series, the Sunday Salon with Terence Degnan, et al. They posted a video. http://www.sundaysalon.com/video
And now it’s May–the sun is shining FINALLY and on May1, I saw photographs from The Birmingham Project by Dawoud Bey at The Mary Boone Gallery on Fifth Avenue. Bey has grown as an articulate and fierce documentary photographer of the Black Experience. His artistry is at its best in these works that were done in Birmingham in response to the legacy of the Black Alabamans who struggled for civil and human rights and the children who now live in the city. It is a major work and should be seen and housed in a major museum and soon.