Well, yours truly had one heck of a summer. Back in London with my nose to the grindstone and turning a new corner as is my wont.
I was, to steal from the Beatles, "workin' like a dog" and didn't get to see my UK friends I'm ashamed to say. Busy bee. I only had a minute to have a little fun one sunday and see the amazing Waiting for Godot directed by Sean Mattias with Patrick Stewart (got an autograph!) and Ian McKellan (omg!). It was a great, great show. And Beckett's writing...that left me happy in and of itself. The performances were like the icing and cherry on top of a delectable cake! (and I win the award for corniest simile in a blog!) Yeah, a bit gushy but it was really wonderful.
Despite my long-standing disdain for the weather and the food, I've fallen in love with the city this time and the weather was better than NY's June July and August so the natives here tell me. I also have to say, pubs rock. Totally different from the bar scene in the US irrespective of locale -- okay I'm not a drinker but I can still tell!
(h/t bridgew.edu -- Bridgewater State College website)
Home again, school's back in and my students are lovely. Feel like I'm finally settling into the semester. I enjoyed London as I said, when I got off the plane... realized how much I missed Brooklyn's habits and inhabitants.
My hometown was in full force during the Brooklyn Book Festival. What a huge event! The annual Brooklyn Festival ("BoBi") award winner this year is Edwidge Danticat -- now MacAuthur genius -- Edwidge Dandicat, who was there with her family. I recall using excerpts from Breath, Eyes, Memory for a class years ago and the students were quite moved by it. Couldn't happen to a lovelier writer. She lived in Brooklyn for a while, too. This borough is a lucky charm, in my humble opinion.
(h/t New York Timeout.com)
(h/t Brooklyn Book Festival official Facebook site)
I was on a panel at the festival with a great group, very eclectic: rapper Lupe Fiasco, a very smart cookie, rebellious writer Matthew Zapruder, the well-read, sharp, and yes, really tall Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and little, much shorter me. Rob Casper from Poetry Society of America kicked off the conversation which was then moderated by culture maven Toure. It was super fun and the audience was really excellent. Very nice mix of folks from hoity-toity poetry types to slam kids to celebrity admirers and journalists. I was impressed by them.
Also stopped by the gathering for a great new anthology called Poetry and Cultural Studies: A Reader edited by Maria Damon and Ira Livingston. it's a wonderful, helpful book that'll really contributes to both fields of Cultural Studies and Poetics.
Hmmm...what else? Miscellany: My mother made me watch (by buying me the first two seasons on DVD) Mad Men, so now I've joined the rest of humanity. It's a well-crafted show. Nice to see something besides reality tv on basic cable.
(h/t biggest mirror blog)
Got a couple articles coming out in various publications soon and being a horrible publicist of my own work, will try to let y'all know about them. Writing, gigging and stuff. Now that I'm back back, as we say, I'll be checking in more regularly. See you 'round this web.
How like a winter hath my absence been (Sonnet 97)
by William Shakespeare
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness every where!
And yet this time remov’d was summer’s time;
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow’d wombs after their lords’ decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem’d to me
But hope of orphans and unfather’d fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And, thou away, the very birds are mute:
Or, if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer,
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.