Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Geographies of Writing and Reading

This long break between posts is thanks to a trip to Israel followed by conferences/book fairs in NY and, finally, the literary festival in Manchester, Vermont. I’m always heartened by the creativity and enterprise that lurk in these mountains – especially in the spring when people finally emerge from wood-heated rooms and find each other again. We had great organic pizza from Mach’s Brick Oven Bakery of Pawlet, VT (pop. 1,400), award-winning cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm, and fine music from Red Heart the Ticker, which I hadn’t heard of but apparently was once on Prairie Home Companion. (I've got their CD on now.) Writing is definitely happening up this way. The festival organizer, Clemma Dawson, is thinking big for next year, noting she’s hoping for work that pushes boundaries since, she says, “there are plenty of venues for denial.” As Clemma also says, “We Vermonters are quiet but revolutionary.” Amen.

I read a snippet from The Therapist’s New Clothes. It went over quite well, with listeners chuckling and smiling over lines I chuckled and smiled over when I wrote them. As much as I appreciate it, getting laughs make me shy and I tend to read through the moment rather than milking it. Maybe I should get some coaching from actor friends.

I realized that I’ve posted photos of Brendan and tons—even repeats when I couldn’t resist—of Thembi but none of my husband. Here’s a shot of Tony in Israel, where you can see Syria in the background. Syria's not unknown turf for him. The last time he was in the Middle East he was part of a cultural diplomacy group through the U of Iowa International Writers Program, a whirlwind tour that included Israel and the West Bank, Syria, Jordon, Greece, and Turkey.Note the South African flag patch on his knee.

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