T Minus 6 and Counting

Six days from now, the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium will begin. In the meantime, I’ll have lots to keep me busy, but the main tasks are taken care of. Now it’s down to tying up loose ends and getting everything ready. The perfect time for a little preview or two. I’ll be giving one, a reading of my poems, on Sunday, October 18, at the Tennessee Williams Birthplace and Welcome Center on Main Street in Columbus. I promise not to repeat myself, so don’t be shy about coming out! The reading starts at 2:00 p.m. and lasts until 4:00 with plenty of time for questions and refreshments.

This morning, I had coffee with Melissa Delbridge, who is in town for the Common Reading Initiative and the Welty Symposium. She is as delightful in person as you might expect from reading her memoir, Family Bible. We talked about writing and publishing, and I learned her book was picked up by the University of Iowa Press after their editor spotted three of her essays in Southern Humanities Review. We agreed that the old adage that you need to publish in little magazines first still is true. I’m looking forward to having more time to spend with her this week, and I know our students in the Honors College and UN 101 will enjoy meeting and talking with her.

In my poetry class we were reading Frank X Walker last week. Walker was a revelation for them, I think. They responded well to his declamatory style in some of the poems and his ability to pull the reader in and take them along for a ride. We discussed voice in his poems and were awed by the different voices he could take on. Some had read his Buffalo Dance in another class and talked about how he took on the voice of York from the Lewis and Clark expedition. We are looking forward to hearing him read his poems aloud next week.

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