Still no camera (long story) today but tomorrow is looking good.
Day started with an hour in the athletic club on the stationary bike, which had its own tv from which I could watch footage of the plane crash in Buffalo. Sigh. Then breakfast at Corner Bakery four blocks away and the ritual stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way back to the sessions. I miss DD terribly in AR, which has sold its soul to Starbucks.
Folks, I just wrote a long, chatty draft that just got erased because the Hilton internet decided I needed to be reupped at that very moment. I just can’t rewrite all that. I’ll have to just give a brief rundown.
My panel, Teaching Students to Teach Creative Writing. Went surprisingly well; people actually knew my work. Moderator, Joyce Peseroff, brilliant, witty, incisive. I was the only one who didn’t comment on the color of the drapes, following her lead. Brian Bouldrey also on the panel, he of The Autobiography Box and many others, very entertaining guy, teaches at Lesley and Northwestern. Got to ask if he knew Bill Lychack; of course he does. Bill, if you’re reading this, your reading of the story about the cop who has to shoot the dog blew him away, and the rest of the audience too, apparently. I got to say I knew him when. . .
Next panel. Mentoring Creative Writing students to sustain themselves after they graduate. Well, if you can’t say something good. . .. Note to self, I should propose a panel along these lines for next year, since I’m doing a heck of a lot more than suggesting creative writing students “work at the writing center,” so they can “think” about ways to support their writing.
And then, Web 2.0 and the Creative Writing Classroom. Well, I am not a techie in the least and I was way ahead of most of the panelists. Monda, you would have been muttering under your breath the whole time. Enough said.
Arizona State MFA, Writing in the Community. Worth all of them put together. I heart ASU. My favorite panelist was the beatific woman who wanders the terminal wards of the Mayo Clinic asking patients, “if I can come in and have a conversation with them and we can write a poem together.” Some of the lines, “your hands danced with clay.” “I am a cancer factory.” Otherwise known as lyric medicine.
A few hours in the room decompressing, checking email and napping with Little House on the Prairie in the background. An absolutely delicious pre-Valentine’s dinner at Giaco, recommended by concierge, at 14th and Wabash. Butternut Squash tart for dessert. Perfection.
Made an appearance at the George Mason MFA reception where we could have won the award for oldest alums there (I think door prizes would have been apropos). I guess the prize was a lovely conversation with a ’99 alum, poet Anne Shaw. A quietly charming woman. Apparently she can’t get any Mexican food in Brattleboro VT, where she lives (she teaches at Franklin Pierce). I feel compelled to invite her to UCA just so she can get her fill of Mexican food.
Now, time to check in with the kids. More tomorrow. Bye y’all,