Sunday, April 23, 2006

Wordstock II

Wordstock has been fun. Got to meet several new people, including Clem Stark (who has great poems about his work as a carpenter), Joseph Stroud (CCP poet from Santa Cruz), Amy Uyematsu (who is also a HS math teacher in LA, as well as a former 60's activist), Matt Yurdana (a Portland poet whose first book was just published by U of Tampa(?) press, and who happens to work in medical software). Saw Joyce Carol Oates and Ed Hirsch in the green room, but was too shy to introduce myself. Also caught up with several old and new friends including Martha Silano, Kevin Craft, Scott Hightower.

The reading was a hoot. I loved Jeannine's poems! Her female supehero stuff works on several levels, from pop culture kitsch, to the more mythic and profound. My reading was a little problematical, as I found out about an hour before that I had left my second book manuscript at home! I suppose I could have just read from Saying the World, but I really wanted to read from the new book, as well. After looking for a place to print out a few pages from my lap top, and coming up empty, I decided to read directly from the laptop . . . and it actually worked out fine, once I got a handle on the scrolling.

Then, a dear friend in the audience had her cellphone go off just as I started to read the first poem. Not just a subtle little ring or buzz, but a choo-choo train song playing fairly loudly. She had to dig for a while in her purse/backpack to find said phone, as the song continued to play and she mouthed to me with an anguished look on her face: "I Am So Sorry!" It was actually kind of funny, really. And if I had it to do over again I would have stopped reading the poem, and made a joke about it, then asked if there was anyone else who had a song they'd like to play before we started, or something silly like that. And then started the poem over again. No worries . . . Next time . . .

Went out for drinks after at the author's area and met a memoir writer whose new book is called "FBI Girl." About growing up with a father who she discovered later was an FBI agent. Sounds fascinating.

Not sure I'll make it to much of the fest today, as I have to drive home, and work early tomorrow . . . and it is sunny out! I'd like to get outside.


Anne said...

I was at a reading once where someone (and I can't for the life of me remember who it was!) read from some sort of PDA device for the whole reading. It worked, but it was a little weird at first. Between your laptop and the cellphone, sounds like a very high-tech reading! *grin*

Kells said...

Sounds like a great time. I recently met Clem S and he is a really great guy.

BTW, I recognize that choochoo phone!

oddangel said...

Saturday was the first time I have heard you read, and I have to say I loved your material. The only drawback of the event is that I had to leave the reading right away to see a friend, and when I came back to the book table an hour later, all your books were gone(!) Looks like I'm going to have to resort to ordering it from the Copper Canyon site. (Oh well!)

Btw, I'm glad you decided to read from your laptop, as awkward as that might have been. I'm really looking forward to that book's release now. Thank you!

Peter said...

Thanks, Oddangel. Whoever you may be?

lasansei said...

hi peter -
it was a delight meeting you at wordstock. hopefully, we'll see each other again - seattle? los angeles? i'm reading your book now and really enjoying it.
happy may,
amy uyematsu

oddangel said...

Hi Peter!
To answer your question, I'm a freelance technical writer/editor who also moonlights by writing for local newspapers. I love poetry, but I'm more a fan than a writer of it.

We haven't met, but we do have a mutual friend--I guess she's played Scrabble with you before. Best of luck in your writing endeavors!