Hey y’all. There’s writing news to share, but I’ll get to most of it later. Right now, my heart is with Tuscaloosa, my beloved and battered hometown.
My dear friend and stellar writer Brian Oliu is putting together an e-book of Tuscaloosa writing to benefit the city’s tornado relief efforts. If you have any writing or artwork about Tuscaloosa, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute to it. The deadline is Thursday, May 5th.
If you don’t have any Tuscaloosa-centric work, I hope you’ll still consider helping the cause by buying and reading this ebook. I can promise that there is some lovely work about this place. I know many of you have seen images of Tuscaloosa this week—of its devastation, its brokenness. I hope you’ll purchase this book and take a glance at some of the other things Tuscaloosa has held, too. When details about how to purchase it are available, I will share them.
This Saturday is the Slash Pine bike/hike in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I’m super excited about this—not only because I will be reading with a bunch of very talented writers, but also because I’m just thrilled about Slash Pine in general. As a kid growing up in Tuscaloosa, I’d have loved for this sort of thing to have existed. Thanks to Brian Oliu and all the Slash Pine folks for making this happen and letting me be part of it.
If you’re interested in joining us (of course you are, right?), here are the details:
The plan is this: readers & listeners will meet at Edelweiss (on 4th & 23rd) around 10:30am on Saturday the 23rd for
coffee/greetings/various flaked pastries. We will then walk (or bike!) from Edelweiss to Capitol Park (about a mile) to have our first reading (starting at approx 11:30). At the conclusion of that reading, we will walk (or bike!) back to the Green Bar and have our second reading there, starting at approximately 2pm.
We have a really great mix of Instructors, GTAs, & undergrads at this reading, all of which are listed below:
Juan Carlos Reyes
We would love to have you for the whole event and the experience of walking/biking en masse for the sake of writing, as well as getting to know our readers, but also feel free to join us at either juncture.
So I linked to my Housefire debut yesterday, but I didn’t get to comment on it. I discovered Housefire when they published my friend Brian Oliu a while back, and I’m really excited to be part of the group. I should have more work out there later this month.
The way it works is that you’re given several titles to choose from. You pick one and write a piece that matches it. It’s a great idea, and a fun process. Interestingly, on the day I debuted with them, I was also embarking on the start of a similar project—or an inversion of it, perhaps—with my friend Jeremy Hawkins. We sort of casually stumbled into the idea that I would title his latest poem, without actually having read it. It was a lot of fun, and I ended up drafting my own piece in the process. I’ve always believed that good work need not be produced in a vacuum. So yay for collaborations!
But back to Housefire. One of the things I love about them is that you don’t write your own bio. The contributors’ notes they produce are fantastic, in all senses of that word. I love them. Apparently I am a piece of cake. Yes. That’s it, exactly. Except it isn’t at all. Or is it? (See the beauty?)
Besides that, I’ll add this: Big Red is Man O’ War. His funeral—yes, this horse had a funeral—fascinates me, and it shows up every now and then in my work. For crazy/beautiful images of it, see: http://www.drf.com/blogs/man-o-wars-funeral-remarkable-final-tribute-majestic-champion