Not running around. Not starting new programs. Not acting like it is always warm and easy and why isn’t it quiet. Well soon it will be-snow mentioned in the forecast, but all there is is a chilly November rain. Despite that I went to Harlem for a program on the Life and Times of Albert Murray at the Schomburg Center. A smallish crowd was there, but what was heartening was a smattering of young people as well as people more of his contemporaries. Good panel, but the best was watching Mr Murray read about “Taking the A Train” that examines the issue of “home”. And of course it was a love letter to Harlem, a place he lived for over 50 years.
Each Sunday now I go to church which has been a great solace–have been missing my Mother a great deal and then I run back home and prepare to host a new series I curate WORDS SUNDAY at Calabar Imports Bed-Stuy Popup. The shop brings some brightness to a rather drab part of Tompkins although slowly Tompkins Ave. is becoming a “destination” for certain types. More and more I feel this neighborhood losing its style, its cool as the hipster types have morphed into Eurotrash or corporate go getters. It makes for odd moments of levity or tension depending. Last week featured Michael Broder and Rachel Levitsky, who on their own called it the queer Jewish reading. So be it. They were great. I particularly loved Rachel’s prose–crafted, learned, funny at times. This coming Sunday Jason Schneiderman and Cheryl Boyce-Taylor. I hope I have enough energy to do them justice.
The other great thing is I got written up in two different places in an article on WORDS SUNDAY at http://www.bkmag.com/2014/11/04/crossing-border-in-the-brooklyn-literary-scene-with-poet-patricia-spears-jones/ and I think it actually brought some people into the store!
And then I got to be BROOKLYN POET OF THE WEEK by Jason Koo and his Brooklyn Poets crew. I got to pontificate and do some shout outs. I said nice things about a former neighbor who passed away and I wrote a poem based on Jay Z’s Brooklyn Go Hard–not something I’d usually do. So check it out http://bit.ly/1zGTOQI.
Did I mention teaching and a great reading at Pace University with Monica De La Torre? No, well did that too. That I am teaching at Poets House? That I wrote a few mini-essays and even did some volunteer fundraising work? Oh November, aren’t I supposed be prepping for hibernation?