Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Literary Lunch with Susan, Jamie, Heather

The only book we looked at during lunch was the chapbook sized pamphlet The Manly Art of Knitting, but because we had four writers in our company, it was (in retrospect) a meeting of the Screen Porch Literary Guild. Heather Finch was the guest of honor because she drove the farthest; you might know her from the People’s Food Co-op or from Water Street Coffee Joint. Currently Heather is living in Sturgis with her ma, who will not let her have a goat. We all advised her about creating a blog called Living in Sturgis, or something like that. Award-winning poet Susan Ramsey came by with Swedish Spritz cookies—she did not bring the camel shaped cookies, but only the round ones. She was knitting a scarf even as she ate, talked and read from the Manly Art of Knitting. She suggested that Heather Finch apply to the Notre Dame MFA creative writing program. Jamie Blake, aspiring young adult author brought three loaves of French bread to assure we had the anti-Atkins lunch. She admired Heather Finch’s sweater, which had two owls on it, one that said “whoooo” and the other said “whom.” Christopher was with us, of course, and Mike Campbell happened to show up. We ate French Onion Soup and some turkey tetrazini and bread and butter and then cookies and candy for dessert, and we drank coffee. Heather told us about her bad ex-boyfriend and said we should kick him if we see him and we will.

The cool grainy photo of Susan is from her MFA graduation party; the other one is ofJamie Blake and me.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kalamazoo Art Hop

The first Friday of every month, downtown Kalamazoo has an Art Hop at which folks can view art and eat snacks and join in the fun of being downtown. The most popular Art Hop of the year is the December event, because folks like to buy Christmas gifts, and in December, the Kalamazoo Public Library invites writers to hang out at tables and try to sell signed copies of their books. In truth, few books move, and I was thinking I'd skip it, until I remembered that I should start marketing American Salvage. Though it is six months from publication, I should be alerting folks, just in case it might make a difference. So I told Marti Fritz at the library that so long as I get to sit by Andy Mozina and Elizabeth Kerlikowske, I would be there, December 5, 6 pm to 9 pm. So now I just have to figure out how to get busy Christmas shoppers excited about a book that won't exist for another six months. Any thoughts? Apparently, Elizabeth K. has organized up a kind of poetry reading also, that will be going on the Children's Room.

For more info about the library Art Hop event, go to this link:

If you want more information about the December Art Hop in general, or a complete schedule of fun and free snacks, you can get it through this link:

As self-promotion, I should mention that Kenyon Review (a few months back) conducted an interview with me, in which they talked about American Salvage and you can read that interview here.

Oh, and speaking of submitting work to magazines, I got this email the today, from Ploughshares, with the subject line "Your submission to Ploughshares." The email contained this message:

2008-12-01 17:43:39 (GMT -5:00)

This is especially interesting since I have nothing submitted to Ploughshares at this time.

This photo above is my niece Kellee on Halloween dressed as a ZOMBIE GARDENER.