Sunday, December 28, 2008

Joy


A. sent me this---as things have been troublesome lately with worries about cousin Mere---but she's pulling through and giving us the sweet but tough as nails ladies in my family a good name. I've often thought that I come from a family of strong and wonderful women (and men too!), but now I'm sure of it. And grateful for everything I have---especially the people in my life. And ice cream outside on Christmas from The Chinatown Ice Cream shop. Can't wait to try the wasabi!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Ghetto Menorah

The Earth Room in The City and The Ghetto Menorah

S and F were in back in town and took A and I on a whirlwind winter gallery tour---this one being my favorite. A room full of earth. You have to be buzzed in and then go up to the second floor and get to peek in (but not touch)---the same person has been raking it since it opened in the 70's. There was something about the smell--murky and whole---the same effect as being outside and hiking. But here were were, huddled together in a Soho building and sharing memories of being outside. It's funny how much this one installation brought us all together, after not seeing each other in so long, we all spend the day walking around and looking at art, but we don't really talk until we're in a room full of earth. And perhaps this is the point of what an installation is all about. To bring people together. To think and reflect, to create a new sense of space, not just physical, but a plane of memory and imagination.

They also introduced us to a new bakery on Sullivan Street, which used to be called Sullivan Street bakery, but then the couple that owned it divorced and this is hers---I think it has the name of a flower now--he got the name and she has the recipes. I think that also happened to Little Red Hen/ Lady Bird (home of my favorite muffins and scones). 

A and I got to revisit the neighborhood of our first date and have an espresso and pastry with S and F before they did their own going back to favorite places. 

And all of this gets me nostalgic---though it could be this time of year, but thinking about all the rad dates (boating in the park/RAD date/classy bastard date) and the thoughtful gifts---notes at the bar, the eggling when I was blue, the Junior's cheesecake when I got poems published in Alimentum, I'm realizing what it's like to date someone who gets you in that little way to be gotten. Or maybe it's the beginning where everything we create is good. Or maybe it's about the creation of it. Of going in as partners. Of really trying to get each other.

Tonight, he put on his kippah (that he packed in his bag) before we said the blessings and he helped me construct the ghetto menorah. Shamas, totally his doing. But he makes what I do, better. 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Alimentum

The new issue has arrived and I'm waiting for it to arrive!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Facing Out

Yes, that's Barak O'Bama's head peeking out from behind my book. I was so excited to see it (in front of his!) at Busboys in DC for the reading. I'm sure by now it's shoved in the stacks somewhere but for one day, to have your book facing you, I can't begin to say how cool it is. And to have this picture of that moment makes me giddy (thanks to my rad camera happy fella)! 

It's a weird thing being a poet---when asked at the bar, if I have books and then say two, my customers are like, whoa, what are they about?

But then when they ask if they'll see them in bookstores, you feel like the 3rd string quarterback, just throwing footballs in some bull pen, knowing not many will know your arm.  So I've been thinking, why do we do it?  

When I thumb through the why and later, I know why, because there are poems that need to be written, poems that spiral in the air knowing they will hit their mark. Even if it's just one person meeting herself on the page.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I've been on the road...


more blogging to come, but here's me with my head in the clouds as usual...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

it's OK :)







This was the sign that greeted me at the Oklahoma City Airport---I was impressed and nervous. I hadn't seen Jeremy in over 10 years and I was giving a reading at his Hillel. And it was the first time I was staying with a shomer shabbos family.

I wanted to give a good impression on all levels---as a poet and as a Jew. It's still difficult for me to see myself as the poet that I am...I still feel quite youthful and in the more I'm becoming stage than the I am stage. What I'm learning is that there are levels and I need to step up my own perception of myself to where everyone else sees me.

The reading went really well. I was very impressed with the planning and the diversity---community members, students, professors all came to Hillel for the 70th Kristallnacht commemoration. There was an amazing dinner before at Hillel---salmon, cous cous, and asparagus and the hospitality reminded me of Ohio. Or maybe that this is the way it is in a university town. And it made me want to be a professor more than I ever wanted to before. Spending the afternoon on Saturday with Honi solidified that. And hopefully, this will happen Sooner (get it?!) rather than later.

I'm exhausted and have lots more to say, but for now, know that everything is OK, in fact more than OK!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Heart Cupcakes


as you can tell from the photo! This one is from Babycakes, a vegan bakery---yes, it's true, anything can be had at any time in New York---which is part of the magic and energy of this city.

The staff there is wonderful---since we (Mr. Rad who planned another rad night of mexican food with a bakery down the street, that I could see from the window so I knew something good was coming) were first time visitors, we got free cupcake tops (yes, you can technically buy half a cupcake!). Since I was able to sample 3 (the one I purchased---red velvet, plus the tops, chocolate and banana), I can say, the baking is solid, but some are definitely better---the red velvet and the carrot (which came from the free box they gave me as I was leaving!). So really, I got like 8 cupcakes for the price of one.

And they're kosher, so the box came with me to Drisha the next day (seemed like a much better place than for the roommates)---and then I had to call the bakery back to see who did the kosher certification and they gave me the number for their rabbi, who when I called him said he's the vegan rabbi and does the kosher certification for most vegan places in the city (including Blossom cafe) and he spent about 20 minutes on the phone talking with me about vegetarianism and kashrut--even told me to call him any time I have any questions about kashrut or anything else. 

Which is one of the reasons why I heart this city---the adventures that one can have on a seemingly ordinary Wednesday night. 

 

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Totally RAD Day


Everyone needs a RAD day. And Someone to make it happen. On Friday, it happened to me. A mystery subway ride into the city. Madison Park! Home of SHAKE SHACK! I love how New York is so veggie friendly. I had the 'shroom burger. Meat can kiss my fanny. This was better than a burger, though Mr. Rad was digging his no doubt. There were leaves falling and chipmunks and birds. And somehow, burgers and (not) made me swoon a little...

and then arm in arm we strolled to the museum of sex. No joke. There's a museum for everything. And while the animal exhibit was the most fascinating (homesexual penguin and monkey behaviors, reversing gender roles, panda porn), overall, there could have been much more done with human sexuality. Especially in ancient traditions---there's so much on sexual behavior in the Torah alone. But how could you not have fun at a place called the museum of sex?

And even more uptown we went to my favorite Japanese bookstore and cafe for some tea. And after finishing the tea, he pointed down from the windows overlooking Bryant Park, to the Pond! Ice Skating!

And after that, who doesn't want a taste of summer---drinking Soju from half a watermellow. We ladeled it out like soup in our tin bowls. It was a two handed affair. 


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lost and Found

Yesterday I lost my yoga mat on the subway---let me revise, the yoga mat that was left over from my last relationship. Why I had been practicing on my ex's mat, I have no idea. In the pocket was my favorite pair of red undies from a different ex. (Did I just write undies here?) But I felt lighter and joyful as I met the day after bartending before bed. It was a new day, and I was falling asleep knowing that part of my past was no longer physically present in my life. Then after a night of sleep, I started to think about the things we hold on to---the actual items and the ideas in our lives---that things won't change, that our body or our life situation will always be as it is. And that's so far from the truth. Every day is new---why should we heavy ourselves with yesterdays items, yesterday's thoughts? 

And now I get to pick out a new mat and new mat bag!!!

I had an invigorating yoga class this morning---the big kernel of wisdom: Love is wishing happiness for someone else. Yes, it is that easy. I have always thought love was a big deal, but when put this way, it seems easier---how could we not want others to be happy?

And then a great talk with Wendy about cultivating my passions for yoga and writing and becoming a more prosperous artist. Seriously, she's helped me come up with so many new options for a viable way to make an income as an artist. More will be revealed in the future as I begin to create that path, but for now, talk to her for yourselves.

And after the call, my flight and the Hillel email blast from the University of Oklahoma. I'm going to barrel into that voting booth this afternoon and carry good energy for our country...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Autumn in the Slope


It's been a quiet weekend. Made veggie lasagna and more banana bread---added chocolate chips and cranberries.

Went for walks both days and just laid low. Kicked around the leaves, watched the light fall through the trees. Turned off the iphone for a while. 

It felt good to disconnect.

Friday, October 31, 2008

It Was That Good

The other day I was walking by Madison Square Park and I had heard crazy things about Shake Shack---best burgers (not applicable) and best shakes (hell yes!) and lo and behold, there was no line. The weather was on my side. I was able to grab a chocolate shake in no time flat and head back uptown to Drisha (sans mittens) and enjoy my shake on the lovely N train. Was I making everyone jealous or was I nuts to be standing up, holding onto the poll, one hand with my shake and the other a Paul Auster novel?

~

Mums the word, say the flowers in my hair this week.

~

Susan at Drisha says Torah for the sake of Torah. And I think that's the best metaphor---anything only for the sake of itself. These are tough times. We need more moments just to live in them fully, but oh how hard it can be.

~

 Or not. 

~
An impractical milkshake on an inappropriate day makes me feel like I've somehow gotten away with something so delicious. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Squash


I wonder where the name came from and if the vegetable is related to the verb. For dinner tonight, we roasted them with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper and added some goat cheese. Maybe this is a topic Ramona will explore...

and hopefully one Jillian and I will take on when we start our country girl/city girl food blogging next year. Lots of new and old projects in the works---

most excitingly is a trip to Oklahoma to read at the university of...I have been singing OKLAHOMA all weekend. Details will follow soon...

Lately, I've been just trying to keep a balance (hence tonight's mundane activities): yoga, drisha, bartending, writing, and family and friends. A lovely handful. This picture captures a few.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Week in Review: Red Rooms to Outside Rooms

I still can't find all the right words to talk about the reading at the KGB. It was still and strong. I've heard all of my readers read, but there was something more focused about this reading that has made it my favorite one thus far. Maybe it was the crowd, the small red room, the candlelight, or maybe that I could have a bourbon (which I've learned should not be added to chocolate chip oatmeal cookies if you don't want them to drunkenly spill into each other when baking---sorry, no pretty food pictures this time...)

Beth has started the good work of building the website---not quite finished yet, but feel free to take a sneak peak and let me know your thoughts. This is a project that is evolving---between the readings/yoga practices/and the 5K, I've raised about 1000 for rape crisis centers in New York, D.C. and Ohio. It's a small amount, really, but it's an investment in doing the work, of giving back to this planet of ours, especially now, how much healing is needed. Both the micro and the macro.

And tonight, after sitting all bundled up in a sukkah with my fellow Drisha artists, I realize how much I am surrounded by astounding women. Both the ones around the table, and the ones in spirit we invited in. My own personal ones that I am lucky for especially now---Amanda, Katherine, Sandra, Dages, Debra, and Elana. Thank you ladies for inspiring and nurturing the work we all do.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Apple Bread


This is the recipe I used, though this time I added candied ginger and cranberries and instead of oil, I tried Stoneyfield Farm's french vanilla yogurt after noticing they also have an apple bread recipe on the container.  I hope it's as good as I want it to be...esp. since this is the healthy version :)

Break Fast Salad


Red Leaf lettuce
hand picked apples
cranberries
bleu cheese
toasted walnuts
pumpkin chips

dressing:
walnut oil
apple cider vinegar
honey
salt
pepper

Monday, October 06, 2008

Apple Picking


The trip up to Stone Ridge Orchard was wonderful (more pics to follow). There's something about doing something yourself...even though I didn't grow the apples, I did pick them and last night I learned a new trick---add cinnamon when you bake apples, brie, and bread. This is a picture of this morning's work with the apples.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

caught up upstate



I've been a little lax with the blog posting lately---blame it on being busier than normal or anything else you can imagine. I don't know if I actually am busier---though I have been traveling a little more than usual---Kent and Saratoga Springs (the new place I want to live). My friend Beth lives in a gorgeous old house and every week she goes to the mineral baths and fills up her water bottles from the spring. And she makes homemade everything. For dinner we picked arugula from her garden for the pasta! I've been noticing my cravings this autumn to going back to the land and the basics. This week I've made homemade pumpkin chocolate chip bread and butternut squash soup. Perhaps Jillian and Beth have made me more of a country Brooklyn gal than I realized, or perhaps the hearth mother Ramona spirit kicks in more intensely in autumn. This Saturday is apple picking :)

And I'm back to running. What can I say, give a girl a necklace and see what she'll do. Here's pictures from the race---the medal and the cupcake on Sunday afterwards from Spa City Cupcakes downtown Saratoga!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Grateful

I came home from Kent with so many words floating in my heart---new poems and new connections. I hope to post more in depth soon, but for now, check out Arlan at the Wick blog. I'm so lucky my roots landed here.

30 Love

I'm writing a book comprised of essays/fiction about love for my 30th birthday. For some reason, blogger isn't letting me paste it here so send me an email if this is enough of a tease...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Off to OH-10!

In a few days, I'll be in Kent for Wick and Why and Later readings! Check out the info on the side! 


Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Canfield Fair








It's taken me a while to post these, but here they are---photos from one of my favorite places on earth, The Canfield Fair. It's a yearly ritual and elements from it often appear in my writing. The sideshow freaks are gone and there's a hell of a lot more to deep fry---my favorite being the s'mores this year (the same booth also had the deep fried cereal). Some improvements are much better; orange shakes as opposed to lemon, Alpacas and their knitted ditties, and some Youngstown area artists!

 And some things never change---the pumpkins! I have to eat the fries with vinegar and visit the apple barn and the vegetable oddities! I'm still trying to a work a Ramona poem in there. Also chocolate covered bananas and milkshakes!

Just returned from Molly and Piotr's wedding in Baltimore to park behind a bug with Ohio plates! And Mahoning County to boot! And the owner, lives in the building next door and went to Canfield High! Ohio is in my heart tonight as I type away at poetry submissions and cover letters for that elusive academic job market. Gasp! Fall is in full effect!

Oh, and that's my friend Melissa's dog Skylar with the sea horse chew toy that I gave her at her puppy shower! 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thinking About Judaism This Fall

The air is beginning to have that hint of fall in it---there's a patch on my sidewalk where I can smell fall leaves (still there from last season on the ground?!). And Drisha is starting up again so in a way it's back to school time. In a few days, I'll be at The Canfield Fair looking at gigantic pumpkins. And I think I'll be bringing my Hebrew flashcards to hone up before I have to face Rabbi Berger after a summer off. Time for some vocab cramming! But I digress---I've been really into the Olympics---watched every night while bartending! And so this article on the Lilith blog caught my eye...

Friday, August 22, 2008

What did Delaware?

I don't know, Alaska! 

Enough of the cheesy geography jokes though today I'm ~virtually~ in Delaware and  I'm in good company today!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm on the Run!

I've decided to get back on track so to speak and run in the NYSCASA 5K! It will be my first race since high school so please consider making a donation and helping me reach my goal! My donations page is here!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Making Headlines

My friend Lia woke me up to tell me that I was famous :). I don't know about that, but this article was a great way to begin my day. I remember weeks ago meeting with Randi from the New York Jewish Week at a great coffee shop and feeling more like I was having a conversation than being interviewed. So hats of to her for doing us all justice. And quite beautifully!

I've been doing a great deal of thinking about life---how I arrived at where I am, making connections between past, present, and future (even though the Tolle book says no, only be in the present)...

I gave up quite a bit to be in New York---a very comfortable life in DC where I was teaching, in a wonderful relationship---all things that most people wouldn't trade (sometimes I'm still not sure why I did). I don't know if I want too much, but I do think that I should try for it all. I still can't decide if content is a good or bad thing. Or even if I should call anything good or bad. 

I'm not sure why any of us do anything any more. Usually, it's only a small feeling or voice inside saying move, go, yes, no.  And maybe that's Gd somewhere within. So here I am. And I know, I'm lucky for as much as what is mine right now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A New Earth

I've been reading Eckhart Tolle's book A New Earth and while normally I think these self-realization/help books are silly, I'm finding this one to be the exact opposite of what I expected. His book is the reason why these books are written---definitely the essence of the genre. Combine this with being in Maine and having a slower pace---and you realize the body could use a lot less---or a lot more, depending on how you look at it. I've been striving towards simplicity and meaning in that simplicity. And having that balance while living in a city. Yoga is teaching me that everything contains its opposite. You need to root down to elongate. You need to lift up to ground down. In every push, there is a pull, and vice versa. I really like the idea of finding grace every day. 

It's a thunderstorm day here---I did morning yoga in the living room after making a smoothie and catching up on my emails after a weekend at the beach. I'm going to make veggie Italian sausage sandwiches for lunch and then begins the week of bartending. Poems will hopefully be written, rest will hopefully be had, and the joy of day to day will take root. One smoothie, one cup of coffee, and one breath, one line at a time.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Maine Girl

After a few crazy days in New York, it's finally vacation. It was a long, sleepy journey up here, but now we're all back to being our normal selves. Ben's already connected the wireless networks so we have the most technological, but rustic cabin. I've done morning yoga on the rocks by the ocean. Isabelle has cleaned everything in sight and is out picking roadside flowers, and Andrew is full of cabin and Maine history. I've got the Maine Wild Blueberry cookbook and I'm going to make Milk Chocolate Blueberry clusters sometime this week. Ben made Blueberry Sausage Breakfast cake with my vegan sausages---it's a keeper---I'm hoping to scan my favorite recipes so I'll be able to bring home some of the goodies. 

Since I can't partake in the lobster, I've found my own smaller treasure. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

B'more Girl, Ohio Girl




Lately, I've been thinking about humble---a blog certainly isn't, but it's a way I try to live (I know, I know says my inner drama queen), but there is a shy and modest streak in me somewhere. I saw it at the OAR concert---shocked to see teenage girls running around so close to naked and yes, now I'm starting to be "I never dressed that way when I was that young!" (I waited until college to slut it up...)


And I've noticed it when other writers are talking about their work---I like to keep mine underwraps a bit, or I have to be prodded to really delve in (my roommates had no idea I was a professor).

And my friend who is in the band is the most wonderful rocker dad I know. Besides the tight pants, you'd think he was your average suburban parent. It makes me proud to be from Ohio---in fact, I named my new computer Ohio Girl, just so she would know her roots and not get too big of an ego---those hipster Macs make me a little skeptical, but you know me and trendy things---I just have to go for them, but in my own way.


Don't worry, the shoes are vegan friendly, no leather and cost me less than three digits for two pairs (yes, I got them in another color as well). And if you want them yourself, check out: Ma Petite Shoe!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Essay Draft

I've been thinking about identity in several different capacities---for panels, my life coaching, my art---and so here's a draft in the works. I'll be in Baltimore this weekend visiting my cousins and seeing O.A.R.!!!

~

Life as a Jewish Writer or a Writerly Jew

The subject for these essays reminds me of an activity from a BBYO summer program. I was 15 and in a room with Jewish teens from all across the country. Rabbi Carrie Carter posed the question: Are you a Jewish American or an American Jew? We were supposed to go to opposite ends of the room based on how we identified. I remember thinking, which is stronger, the adjective or the noun, the word or the modifier---which one held the most power? I tried to logic it out---most of my peers had already made their decisions. I was sitting in the center of the room with a few other kids. One of them asked if we could be our own category. I don’t remember if Carrie said that was ok or not, or where I ended up, which path I chose.

Years later, I find myself still trying to answer the same question, but in other terms---am I a Jewish writer or a writer who sometimes writes about her Judaism? And I think I will always be writing and thinking about this question. Writing began for me through my Judaism. One year later, after that summer program, I was on another BBYO program, The March of the Living. As part of our experience, we were supposed to keep a journal. I was a compulsive writer. I wanted to document every fact, every moment, every feeling I had as I bore witness to the largest and closest inhumanity I had ever come this close to. Somewhere, poems were born and I became known as the “bus poet.”

In 2006, my first book of poems was released. It’s a poetic sequence written in the voice of a fictitious Holocaust survivor. It was written during the last semester of my MFA, a time when my only Jewish identity was through my writing. At that point, I wasn’t part of a community---there was no BBYO or Hillel, the organizations that shaped my young adult life. I had been own my own and somehow, this voice came from somewhere inside. Even though externally, nothing about me signaled “Jewish,” there was this voice, inside telling me who I was as a writer---definitely Jewish.

We write from the places we’re from. For me, landscape is as much internal as it is external. After spending much of my middle and late twenties unaffiliated, I decided to go back and seek the source from which writing began. My religion. My cultural identity. I applied to be an Arts Fellow at the Drisha institute. I wanted once again to surround myself with a vibrant and artistic Jewish community. Next year, I will continue my explorations of Jewish texts as a part time arts fellow. What I hadn’t thought about until recently is that phrase, we are a people of the book. Judaism is one of the most literary traditions, so it’s no wonder these paths of my life are intrinsically fused together. Before this year at Drisha, I had seen my art and my Judaism as Robert Frost’s proverbial “two roads diverged in a woods,” and I thought I had to pick one, just as I had to cross to one side of the room when I was 15, declaring myself either more “American” or more “Jewish.”

But my learning at Drisha has told me that it’s the exploration of the answer and the journey there. Recently, my writing has taken a new twist. My second book, an anthology of poems in which I edited, compiling poems that women have written about rape and sexual assault, has become a social action project. I found a publisher who would agree to half the profits being donated back to local rape crisis centers. So in this way, my writing has moved from the subject matter as Jewish, to the very purpose of my writing stemming from the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam. Or perhaps that it’s that nothing has shifted except for how I understand my position as both a writer and as a Jew.

Thus, as I grow Jewishly, my writing shifts and is influenced by my learning---whether it manifests itself in the text of my poems, or the purpose behind my work, it’s impossible for me to separate my writing life from my Jewish life because both of my worlds inform each other.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Girls Gone Mild!

I remember reading Wendy Shalit's A Return to Modesty in college---it offered the counterpoint to many of my feminist classes, the phrase I remember was "giving in to your shadow slut," and now as I'm back in the dating pool, I'm finding this is more challenging for women in their late twenties. Eve Grubin had a great article in Presentense a while ago about modesty and here's another one in The Weekly Standard. It's definitely something to think about and consider, but I'm curious about the actual application. I've come up with my own dating rules---not as strict as Shomer N'giah, but a version, just like my vegetarianism is like my kashrut. Maybe J was right a long time ago on the street, maybe I will fall for the black hat type. But most likely, I'm hoping for someone who is as energetic and artistic as I am, and someone who will want to navigate this crazy journey with me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Y Town in My Town

I came across a Youngstown poem while working on a submission this morning---here's to you, Y-town!

Now, back to sauce it up for more bartending tonight!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Short List

It's quiet here---which means I've been quite busy working on projects---I'm not going to talk yet about them here, but they have been causing me to be running around a bit more than usual. For work and for play, of course! Some highlights include wine and cheese at Artisanal, drinking my father's Wild Turkey Honey Infused Bourbon out in the courtyard with one of the best people I know, shopping with mom, writer's group, and roommate bonding.

I think I've also been doing a lot of soul searching and trying to figure out how to pursue everything I want---should I focus on a few key projects, or should everything be on a slow boil? I know I don't have the answer yet, but many things are in motion.

Some exciting news thus far to share is that I will be on a panel at next year's AWP conference. Here's the panel and description: Jewish Poetry vs. Poetry by Jews: While many of the great poets of the 20th century—from Delmore Schwartz to Stanley Kunitz—were Jewish, they rarely dealt with Judaism in their work. Today, however, a new generation of poets—many of them women—are addressing Judaism head-on. This panel will look at why and how this change came about, how these poets came to write about religion and culture, what role Judaism plays in the shape and scope of their work, and how they were influenced by the generations that preceded them.

I've actually been thinking about this quite a bit lately and some of the things that are cropping up are astounding. More on this will follow---I've actually started writing an essay about this and will be posting some thoughts on the blog. My co-panelists are Erika Meitner, Sharon Dolin, Joy Katz, and moderator, Eve Grubin.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It was a BANG


and so good to be home with friends and family! These happened in my cousins' yard, and were lit off by my cousin! All of us in one row of lawnchairs---front row baby!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cupcakes Will Make Everything OK











Just like every cloud has it's silver lining, every cupcake has it's icing.


These fabulous cupcakes here are wheat free and gluten free and amazing! I'd even say as good if not better than Magnolia. And what's awesome is that many people are working on making food for people with allergies. The ones pictured here are courtesy of Pamela of Pamela's Products (I had at least 6 tonight.) At the reading, I also met Lucy whose son is allergic to many things and so she developed her own line as well---I don't know the official website, but I'm sure she's google-able. She's based out of Norfolk, VA. So for those of you looking for yummy treats, these women are sure to satisfy!


I got to the Alimentum reading early and Paulette was all: Do you want to help ice the cupcakes?
Me: Hell yes!

After that, I knew the night was going to be grand...I was even asked to read---and so I read Ramona from the iphone! Yes, I email myself my poems. I read the new one and it went over well and it looks like Ramona will be a book some day. She may even be a one woman show. Someone approached me about that too---I had never considered Ramona live, but since my Drisha collaboration, I'm open to exploring the creative options---


And I brought the cupcakes home (and even the mix so I can make more) for the roommates and they were a huge hit, so it looks like I'm back to fantastic land. And yes, that is a size 2. Traci gave me all her old bar clothes, so eat your heart out ladies.

I know I'll have my cupcakes and still be a 2!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Fabulous and Not So


Lately I've been thinking about the way we present ourselves on our blogs (as well as in our lives). The way we can make an ordinary thing seem like our life is kissed by something so great, well, we just have to explode and take photos and put it out there in the cosmos for others to come across.


My new chair came. I took it in a cab home. It was sunny and we drove over the Brooklyn Bridge. It cost me $30...I was supposed to go out last night and meet a good friend not from here for her birthday, but I couldn't. I was too exhausted and heart broken. The ex is already back on Jdate. I know, I never blog of these things---the really personal ones. I like to guard my ~real~ life and keep those private moments, well private. So I don't know how long this post will actually stay up. But I'm digressing.


And I'm also living in the past a little bit and I'm sure I'm going through all the things anyone who has ever gone through a break up has been through. This was a man I thought I could marry. I guess I was living in some deluded life that he would realize what it was we had and he would not be able to let go completely. I don't know if this is the case, but I most certainly do not have an online dating presence.


Though as a woman, I suppose these things are a little easier. Wear a cute shirt to a poetry reading and read a poem about menstruation and you will get asked for a drink afterwards. So I know maybe I shouldn't let my mind run in these circles. He did say the dates weren't good. In my mind, he was still mine...


Maybe I need to be hit over the head with this. Maybe I shouldn't waste my tears. Maybe I should sieze the day---after all, I've been in bed since 7 p.m. last night. And I'm sure that my mr. right is out there and has probably already emailed me a poem about me or spent the better half of the evening listening to me snivel, or maybe he knows the right place to have dessert, or can hang shelves. I want to believe it's out there. But I'm still tired and my heart feels like the kitchen after the restaurant's closed. Or like my new chair in the early morning light. My favorite jeans within reaching distance.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ginger and Juice!


This is the juice (from GoBo) that I had with Beth from NYSCASA that inspired so much---one, a new desk chair from Bo Concept coming my way next week---though mine will have a white slip cover. It's so comfy and my feet hit the floor while my back is supported. It's funny, even though I love my lap top, I love it most on the desk :)
And number two is my new super secret project for The Why and Later. There's much to say about the meeting, but for now, I'm up to my eyeballs in student fiction...I played frisbee all day in Princeton so serves me right to have to buckle down tonight! Let's just say, I'll have a new title soon :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Perfect Wedding





Erin got married this weekend. Here's pictures of all of us gals and of her cupcakes! No wedding cake, wedding cupcakes! It was a dream come true for me---still not as good as Sugar Sweet Sunshine, but these orange and pink flowered beauties captured my heart. What was the best part of the wedding, besides all of us together again, was the pictures---on each table they had a picture of them together and on the back they had written letters to each other about that time and their life together thus far and what they hope for the future. It was a simple wedding---you could see so much of themselves and theur families and friends in it. It was really a day about love and life, both theirs and all of ours.














~






Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Every Monday Needs A Little Roadtrip


Because I have moved, I didn't find out until last night that I was getting this award! Luckily, I was able to juggle my schedule around so I could be at the dinner and ceremony this evening upstate---eight years in the making for the anthology and eight hours on the road (there and back) today. The plaque is resting on the bed next to where I'll be laying my head in a few moments. More to come, but for now, it's a good night for me...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

My New Writing Area


The new room is coming together! Thanks to a super sweet poet/construction worker friend, I was able to hang my new shelves the other day!
The room still needs some work, but it's coming together---it's a metaphor in a way---trying to figure out what fits and what goes where...
Yesterday was Sex and the City with the gals in Brooklyn at lunch. We ended up at 12th street bar and grill and the bartender said, wow, you all just need a fourth and we'd be like the movie. Oh how true---
There is nothing in the world like laughing with the girls in the middle of the afternoon :)
I'm really starting to hang things up on my New York shelves so to speak---just found out that I'll have a why and later reading in the next KGB Bar poetry reading series in the fall! And starting to make regular writing dates with my gal pal writers, so working on creating the space that I need, the things to make me feel whole.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Big Drisha Show

I am excited to announce that I will previewing excerpts of a new work this month, created in collaboration with Dages Keates and Basya Shechter as well as my favorite dancers.

The work is based on my first book of poetry, "the steam sequence" and features performers Adrienne Barr, Rachel Lane, Sarah Lannon, Megan Sommerville, Alexis Steeves and myself.

Drisha Showcase
June 16th
7:30 PM
JCC Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY

This short and varied evening will feature the work of other Drisha Arts Fellows, including wonderful artists, musicians, composers, poets and more. Tickets are now on sale for the event. Please contact the JCC for tickets.

The event is $5 and begins at 7:30PM.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Death and Company


has some of the best signature cocktails in town! After going to the Jan Beatty/Gerry LaFemina reading at Small's, I met the gals for ladies night. The bar is of course death themed and quite dark and romantic---a HOT candlelit death! Mandy got in good with the bouncer so looks like this will be a regular spot for us.
It was a night completely needed. I'm grateful for both Amy and Mandy and that I got myself out of the house. And it was well worth it on a few fronts---I scored some po'business and a drink was bought for me, all thanks to the winning combo of my tampon poem and my MoMoFoLana shirt!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jan Beatty is my new favorite super hero poet

and so I'm excited to go hear her read tomorrow! And since I have never been to Small's in my New York life, it's a double bonus!!!

Smalls Reading Series is proud to announce the lineup for our May 31st Reading:

Jan Beatty (RED SUGAR, U of Pittsburgh Press, 2008; BONESHAKER, U of Pittsburgh Press, 2002)

+Gerry LaFemina (THE PARAKEETS OF BROOKLYN, Bordighera Press, 2005; THE WINDOW FACING WINTER, New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2004)

+Open reading featuring a host of fine NYC poets.+A little music+Your Hosts, George Guida, Lee Kostrinsky and Christine Timm

Come be part of a special evening.
Saturday, May 31st, 5 p. m.
Smalls Jazz Club
183 West 10th Street
Manhattan
For further information
visit www.smallsjazzclub.com

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

YAY!



the new bed and walls!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Moving Grace

I'm grateful for being moved in to the new place, after a long day of moving (sigh)

New blue walls and Martha Stewart bedding

and Dages and Basya, for an amazing rehearsal tonight

and Colson's spicy chocolate tart as a before rehearsal treat!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Gratitude

I'm grateful for my subway reading: Jane Austen's Emma and Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle, which I can't put down---

for SB's visit and late night tea and bourbon

for ASD and JD for stopping in to the Silverleaf (I'm wondering if I watched too many episodes of Cheers!) Had a great discussion with some gals who came into the bar about using their first name when I return their credit cards---who wants to be Ms. So and So when you're tossing back martinis? Albeit, it's a Swanky Cheers when I'm behind the bar :)

and Heidi at Whistle who knows how to make me feel pretty!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Non Committed

I've been falling behind with my gratitude. Perhaps it's hard to stick to gratitude or hard for me to just keep a routine going. Here's what brings me joy:

The JC Penny Towel, thanks to Michal for introducing me to them!

Behr Spring Rain---the color of my new room (painting this weekend)

the washer and dryer (filled with laundry right now)

Amanda and FD for a well needed get away last weekend

DP for driving down to be a part of it

My family, for so many things, esp. Uncle Scott's chocolate chip pancakes and their support of my literary happenings

Sarah and her mom for driving down for the reading

Annie for always being there to listen or email me info when I misplace what I shouldn't misplace

my mom for emailing me positive, insightful and often original quotes

~

My online semester has started and so I'm full of students' writing and remembering when I began, how exciting and scary to begin to take stock of your life and what matters most to you and then to write it down, and gasp, share it with the world, or at least a smaller version of it. I'm grateful for them right now too.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gratitude in the Heartland

It's always good to go home, though I'm on the other side of the state. The yoga/reading BG benefit was so much more than I imagined. I was really touched by Cathy who lost her daughter a year ago because of domestic violence---one week after her loss, she started Alicia's Voice. Her strength is an inspiration.

Perhaps it was one of the reasons I was able to do my first headstand in yoga class without the wall! There I was, holding myself upside down in the middle of the room and for the first time I wasn't afraid of falling.

Amanda and FD have been fabulous hosts---from vegetarian tortilla casserole for dinner on friday, my amazing super soft bed, flowers for my hair, and of course the rock star Bleu! We're about to head out to Revolver for an amazing dinner...

Monday, May 12, 2008

monday :(

i'm not feeling so hot or gracious today. it's rainy and i'm a little sad about all the changes...i know they're exciting and will be good for me, but today, these were a struggle:

franny's pizza
susan and fritz in town
annie's cheery email

Sunday, May 11, 2008

saturday's three joys and today's

cristina at work setting up the bar so i could have more time at macy's and dinner with mom

rhonda in the bedding dept at macy's

mom in town

~

carla's yoga class this am

going to see made of honor

chickpea pasta dinner plans

Friday, May 09, 2008

Celebratory List

Pilates at noon

Homemade veggie nachos with Amanda

my reading tonight at the Lucky Cat

(this is something I'm working on---to find 3 things to celebrate each day) so look for small snippets of gratitude blogging this month)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Blue

always makes me happy and it's around this time of year that I always end up with blue toe nails---tonight they're the color of the sky.

When I got home, found a letter from my father with a clipping from the Cleveland Plain Dealer---an article about Maj Ragain:

some lines from Daniel Thompson, a Cleveland poet, writing about Maj Ragain:

The heart unfolding
like a bird on the wing
asks of heaven
only for a mouth to sing

reminds me of Nancy singing Nigguns at Drisha during our artists' lunch. And in speaking of poems and songs, you'll find me in Vilna with Alicia Ostriker and Jehanne Dubrow. And as Maj always taught, gratitude can come as the honest and bastardly prophet. And on Friday, you'll find me in Williamsburg for a reading...

I'm grateful for all of this...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Confirmation

As I've been struggling with what really matters in my life and what is it that I want to do and be the most, this article confirms the work that has chosen me. Joanna brings to the surface what many of us want to bury.

You can read the entire series Beyond Rape in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

There is too much to say and too much not said and for now, it is someone else's words that sing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Come See Me

I know I've been out of touch...I have so many stories but I'm struggling with trying to figure everything out lately...sometimes I think I do so much that it's difficult to know which direction to take. But I'm not one to discuss these things via the blog. Hence the silence. So right now, here's some more shameless promotion.

DRISHA POETS Elana Bell, Amy Gottlieb, Sarah Heller, and Carly Sachs
Will Give a Reading On Wednesday, April 30th at 6:00 PMat the Cornelia Street Café

Poets and Drisha Arts Fellows, Elana Bell, Amy Gottlieb, Sarah Heller, and Carly Sachs, will read from their work at the Cornelia Street Café in the West Village on Wednesday night, April 30th at 6PM (29 Cornelia Street, 212-989-9319). The evening will be introduced by Drisha Arts Fellowships Coordinator, Eve Grubin.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Join me on the Mat in DC

April 20th
4:30-6:30 p.m.
Why and Later Benefit
Tranquil Space Yoga
one hour yoga class, followed by
a reading from the anthology
with Teri Ellen Cross, Rosemary Winslow and Carly Sachs

more details on the Tranquil Space site!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008

Yoga Benefits for Why and Later



I'm so looking forward to seeing Amanda and so grateful to her for putting this together! Tonight, I'm finally picking up the donations from Jaya and the extra T's. If you're in DC, check out the Tranquil Space event and if you're in Ohio, hope to see you in BG in May!!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Cornelia Reading on You Tube

Jackie, whiz of words and technology has posted videos of us reading so if you missed the reading, check it out here!

Even with all the yoga, I still think my arms look a little fat!?

Catching Up

It's already April, National Poetry Month. You'll find me on Nextbook! I'm so excited to appear where Erika Meitner and Gerald Stern have appeared.

The reading at Cornelia was amazing. I'm lucky to know and get to know such powerful writers. This anthology is teaching me a lot about the importance of community and the importance of art in our lives and how it can get us through the difficult times. I'm reading Jan Beatty's new book, Red Sugar, and feel a certain energy---how the poems carry you to difficult places, but lift you with redemptive wings. They are sultry and shameless. I'm metaphorically crushing again! Jan Beatty is fierce (to borrow from Christian on Project Runway!).

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Just Like a Girl



I know I've been silent on the blog lately...I'm in the middle of a lot and have a long list of what I want to be blogging about, but for now, esp. after the energy of the Cornelia reading where I was blown away by all my contributors, I wanted to announce this great book---Just Like a Girl---I assume it will carry much of the same power as writing centered around an experience. If I know Michelle, I won't be disappointed when I get my contributor's copy. And esp. as someone who just put together an anthology, I'm in much appreciation and awe.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Detroit Rock City!!

is one of my favorite places to read. James and Kim have an amazing home in the Zeitgeist gallery and a great group of friends who came out for dinner before the reading and drinks afterwards. Chris who is teaching my book (yesterday was my day on the syllabus) what a coincidence, brought some of her students. It was a lovely turnout and the first time I read in a place I wasn't familiar with in a community that I didn't know---but now, I feel very connected here. I think it was the CVS bag o'cash they presented me with---a whole different thing than passing the hat! And we had a coin toss to see who read first. I picked tails and won, so I read first---I actually like that so I can pay attention to the other readers and I'm glad I did. Robert Fanning has an amazing series of poems about America's next prophet--some haunting images of bloody birds becoming men. And all the while, I'm staring into the face of a dead moose on the wall!?

And Woodford is only $6.50! My kind of town :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Poetry in the Present Tense

I knew it was going to be a great night with Reb on Tuesday when we got to harass a famous poet in a pizza parlor! She was a rockstar on the panel and it was nice to get out of my normal night routine of Drisha then yoga class (ha ha, went to yoga in the morning).

You'll find me here, because I said so!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

What Has Been Repeated Lately

Coming off of a week of stomach flu!!! Puke count: double digits---more than my age!!! (and that was in one day).

So today was the first day since Tuesday I was able to keep down solid food. Turns out, I like homemade Ramen---made a veggie broth and added my own noodles. Ate that three times today! And two popsicles, love em!!! Then had a baked red skin potato with salt and pepper only and the tester, some spinach with lemon. So far, holding down the fort.

Enough to venture out to my Thai massage workshop at Jaya. It was wonderful. I'm relaxed and I love learning about the body and the way we move. I'm definitely thinking this will be something I will keep learning about.

And now for the most fun in repetition. My friend Rachael always calls me out for the avacados that turn up in my poems---it's funny she remembered that from grad school and called me out on it at a reading a few weeks ago. It seems so embedded now that I don't even notice that they slip in. Maybe I just like the sound or the taste of them too much. Or maybe it's the pit or the images it conjures. Apparently, for me, it's a lot. Then, I was showing Bruce some poems and he pointed out that mantles/fireplaces, melting, and breasts came up in two poems out of ten. And now, thinking about my own work, I also know I like winter, radiator, lace, anything having to do with memory and the combination of that which.

Anyone else have any thoughts about this? I feel like there should be some poem interpretation going on. Reb, where's my online quiz to tell me about this???

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Why I Love Carla at Jaya

All Levels Benefit Class taught by Carla Stangenberg
Saturday March 29th from 2-3:30 pm

To help us celebrate Women’s History Month, please join us for a yoga class to benefit The New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA). Practicing with you will be Carly Sachs, a local Jaya yogi and published poet, whose anthology, the why and later, an anthology of poems about rape and sexual assault was recently released by Deep Cleveland press. The book will also be for sale for the month of March, along with hip t-shirts and proceeds from these items will also be donated to NYSCASA. None of the profit from these items or the class goes to Jaya Yoga Center.

Suggested donation $15

If you cannot attend the class but would like to make a donation, you can do so at the front desk. RSVP namaste@jayayogacenter.com

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Reprise!












Yep, a modification of the first celebration (I didn't abandon the bourbon, just drank it at home.)My father buys Maker's Mark in the supersize bottle!). My dad and stepmom and I all have birthdays within a few weeks of each other, so every year we gather to celebrate. These are photos from our last Saturday morning trip to the West Side Market. It's too bad I was only window shopping. I love the vegetable aisles and the booth that sells over 100 kinds of pirogies! And I'm always a sucker for cupcakes and dill pickles. However, Grandma Frieda is no match for Sugar Sweet Sunshine---though I remember a cupcake shop in Hudson, Ohio that could be a worthy competitor.






I got some good inspiration for Ramona---saw the produce boxes outside that read: Andy Boy Broccoli and Head Man Cabbage. I'm still chuckling :) And here's one of her latest favorite recipes!





Sweet/Sour Broccoli Salad



Broccoli florets
Green Onion
Green/Red seedless grapes
Sugar/Splenda
Red tip lettuce
slivered almonds
red wine vinegar
soy sauce
olive oil






Combine the broccoli, green onion, grapes and torn lettuce in a bowl and set aside Saute or oven crisp the almonds Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, soy and olive oil Pour over the broccoli mixture and add the almonds. Toss to fully coat and refrigerate...preferably from 4-6 hours.

~

And some shout outs:

Susan Cronin and Octopus! I love the scratch outs in the poem---the idea of seeing a process---of being able through language to engage us in a way that shows more vulnerability.






Matthew Thornburn for his fellowship. What a guy---such a talented poet and all around good guy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New York Driver

Well, it's official---it's a new era---sans Ohio license! I'm feeling a little naked. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Yes, We Did Drink All This Bourbon!

and I'm still able to type up a blog post!!! Of course my personal favorite was the one labeled as "Hazmat" due to the high alcohol content which prevents you from putting this in your flask on commercial flights---anyone dare me to try? Hats off to you Mr. Stagg!!!

Lucky

What's cooler than the jukebox at Commonweath, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Ladybird, Woodford Reserve, and Jack Daniels and hot apple cider?

My friends and family!! This was the best birthday ever!!! I woke up quite sober (only had 3 drinks last night) and ready for yoga (at noon) and Russ's Bourbon Tasting (after that). Talk about Namaste and Nirvana!!!

Some highlights include, being sung happy birthday and getting to take bites out of everyone's cupcakes so I could try them all. I think Sugar Sweet Sunshine is the winner though...

Having the guy across the bar buy drinks for Brooke and I and send them over via the bartender. So 40's classic. He chatted for a minute with me by the jukebox and told me I was beautiful and then let me be with my friends. I've never been hit on in such a gentlemanly way. And I didn't have to shut him down or try and get out of it.

Meeting some random hipster dudes who are starting a magazine and having them think I was an MFA student!!!

And having the promise of Amy bringing a super famous and fabulous poet that I adore to The Silverleaf sometime in the next few weeks. I'll be able to write a poem called, making a martini for_____ or _____ likes his bourbon on the rocks!

but really, just chatting it up with the people I care about. I actually felt like I got to have good conversations with everyone. If this is any indication about the year to come, I'm the luckiest gal in Brooklyn.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Birthday Thoughts

Lately, I've been thinking about community and the ways in which we identify ourselves. I've also been thinking about who I am and what I want---in this moment, and what I think I will want for the future. I was making myself crazy working on this---I do miss Ohio and I know that will surprise a lot of folks if I end up back home next year. Myself included.

I haven't been the most active or observant person lately---even though I'm around them all the time at Drisha and I shy away from group Shabbats. But there is something that pulls me about Judaism. On Sunday I met Chana Rothman---who I like to call the Jewish Ani DiFranco! I'm still not sure how my religion and my art share a space in my heart, but they do---maybe in the way we articulated in our artists' class while talking about Ramban---how the body and the soul luckily work to find a synergy, but often struggle to work with one another. So even though I'm not sure how I feel about committing whole heartedly, I had to apply for that fellowship. I've been reading Patricia Weaver Francisco's memoir, Telling, and in one chapter she talks about how a rape will change your perspective about G-d and goodness. It sounds obvious, but that never occurred to me. I'm wondering how that's manifested itself in my life.

I'm also thinking about staying in New York and staying on part time at Drisha or at least to be here to collaborate with Dages and Basya. To accomplish this end, I'm back to more of a regular bar schedule as of the end of the month. I think this will mean cutting back on some classes to find a balance, but it's needed. I don't like not having a regular, steady income. I'm trying to figure out how to be the woman I am and the woman I want to be. After all, I'm 29 today!!!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Anyone up for a not so lazy Sunday

Feb. 10th
8:00 p.m. Reading at The Parkside Lounge.
New York City.
With Singer, Chana Rothman (http://www.myspace.com/chanarothman)
and a few of my fellow Drisha fellows: Amy Gottleib, Eve Grubin, and Sarah Heller.

And another reason why I love New York---was able to buy all necessary items to make an ice cream sundae tonight on the way home from the movies! Stopped at two bodegas b/c one didn't have the whipped cream :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Why and Later panel update

The panel exceeded my expectations. The room was emotionally warm, receptive, curious, and many writer friends came out to support the work I'm doing. It's strange, now knowing that this book is out there. More so than my first book, my own book. Because this one is much more personal. And has the potential to make many more waves, or at least waves in a different way. I'm bowled over. I sold 23 books and was able to make connections with so many people---women who work for crisis centers, poets who want to plan readings, and just allies in every way possible. I knew this would change me, but I didn't know what this change would feel like. I'm trying to move with it and see where it takes me. I'm grateful to my panelists for their wonderful dialogue. We did try to tape it so here's hoping it worked! I'm almost out of the first batch of t-shirts and more are on their way! I've been trying to read up more and do more yoga as a way of processing it all. There's so much to say, but when I come to the page or the screen, I can't seem to get it down.

More to come...of course, it always does...

Monday, January 28, 2008

AWP Panel with Cupcakes on Top

Just found out a friend of mine is also staying with Uncle Kimpton for the AWP opening! We'll be swirling our fancy drinks a few blocks down wind of all the hubub that night! I'm really excited---picked up the flyers for all the why and later business and on my way to Kinkos, I found an old friend on the Upper West Side! Good ol' Magnolia in a new location. How's that for kosher vittles? And how come I'm not a cupcake blogger?

~

Friday, Feb. 1
12:00-1:15
New York Suite
Hilton, 4th Floor
F146. Speaking Through Silence: Women Respond to Rape and Assault.
(Carly Sachs, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Molly Fisk, Linda McCarriston, and Harriet Levin)

Too often, rape and assault silences women, making them afraid to trust, afraid of their own bodies, afraid to name what has happened and what continues to happen. In a way, the writing of these poems becomes a way of healing. However, this can often be a challenging process---turning personal trauma into art. In this panel, female poets will discuss their poems from the anthology, the why and later. The panelists will speak to the process of writing these difficult poems, publishing these poems, and how they view their role as a writer writing about rape and sexual assault.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fiction, for the very first time!

I'm grateful to Richard Peabody for including me in Gravity Dancers, the 4th collection of fiction by Washington Area Women. I don't know what story it will be yet, but this is my first actual story publication! The F. Scott prize was great, the first recognition for fiction, but this time, a story will actually see the light of the page! Coincidentally, Richard was the judge for that contest and so perhaps that's how he found out about my not so secret anymore fiction writing...

I'm in that lovely awkward uncomfortable place where I pinch myself and say, is this really happening?! And I'm nervous, what will people think of this once it's out...I feel much more comfortable with my poetry, but as we all know, growing and change is not supposed to always feel "good," "easy," or even "right." So here goes. Richard has a great interview on WETA---I really like what he says about blending traditional fiction with experiemental, and finding a community and bringing people together through writing. I've been very lucky to have found one in DC with Reb and Sandra, Moira, and Michelle---similar introductions through being published in the same places or hanging out at the same readings. In a way, Richard reminds me of Maj, someone who plants himself down in one place and helps others to cultivate the land. Now, if only I could decide where I want my roots to go...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Whine, Wine!!!

Alas, even though I memorized, I didn't come home with the big prize. Ended up with 2 bottles of wine from the raffle! And ended up having a great night. The winner was the girl who had the most friends there to vote for her. But isn't that how the world works sometimes?

You can be the person who works the hardest, and still lose to someone who has connections. And this teaches to love your friends and family, because that will get you the farthest in life. Weird how nepotism and love dance together :) And it's all about trying new things and not worrying about the outcome of them.

I was shaking in my boots to actually perform vs. read. But it felt good...I don't know if this is the beginning of a slam career (probably not) but it was fun and sometimes, that's reason enough for me. J and I had a great conversation over dinner, how as you get older, you don't do things just for the sake of them anymore. Things have consequences and problems and outcomes...so, we'll drink those bottles and toast simply to joy (and maybe poems about tampons too!).

Friday, January 18, 2008

I Must Be Crazy

Because I am going to be one of the 15 in this:

POETRY SMACK DOWN 2008
A competition to benefit the world premier of Cherubina by Paul Cohen at the Sanford Meisner Theatre in Feb 2008.

When: Monday Jan 21st (8-10pm)
Where: Bowery Poetry Club
How Much: $20

What you get: An evening of knock-down drag out poetry competition. Fifteen poets will compete in front of a live audience to win a brand new iPhone. Comedian Jimmy Owens will MC the evening as poets fight to convince you that they deserve the Apple! Musical stylings by the Ransome Brothers. Door prizes and more!!!

How do I get in? To reserve a ticket to the poetry event of 2008, e-mail your name and number of tickets to cherubinatheplay@gmail.com

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Look for 2008


So, by now you've noticed the new look to the blog---the blue and the fun additions of "buy the books" and "upcoming readings/events." And there's more to come! Pretty soon you'll be able to get your hands on your own "why and later" t! $10 from every shirt sold (I'm going to be selling them for $20) will be going back to rape crisis centers in some way, whether it's through cash donations, or getting them books. But, if you can't wait to get your mits on them, leave me a comment with your email and you'll be the first to have one---before the anybodies can buy them via a paypal transaction. Had no idea 2008 would make me more techie...I owe the amazing design of the cover of the book and the shirts to the amazing Kristina Bilonick. She's a fantastic artist and all around great person so check her out! I'm also working on an event at Jaya Yoga for March so there will be more yoga/poetry connections. And I have a new love in my life---it's Brooklyn!!! Brooke and I have been having some serious dinner parties. We made a fabulous chickpea pasta---here's the recipe and tonight it's porchini mushroom ravioli with spinach and fresh parm. or moz. cheese. So much fun to have a friend in your neighborhood! And found a new favorite local restaurant---Little D. They have a fantastic beer and wine selection---only one beer (Corsendock) was familiar and their mac and cheese is the best I've ever had! And on the academic front---so far no bites on the tenure track jobs, but the steam sequence is on someone's syllabus at Wayne State University and just found out that someone is including steam in their ma thesis on post-narrative poetry.



Tuesday, January 08, 2008

For Sale!!!


I'm pleased to say that after over seven years in the making, the why and later is officially on the market! Press releases and everything else will be coming soon. More info for our AWP Panel and events to come...even T shirts and yoga events....so stay tuned, this is the quiet release. I just flew back from Tampa but you all know me, I can't hold anything in!


The important thing to know about the book is that half of the profits will be donated back to rape crisis centers, so not only are you supporting my efforts and the poetry of the women in the anthology, but you'll be helping people through their healing and hopefully making the world a better place.


I truly believe the writing can make a difference and that language is more powerful than we have ever thought it to be. You can purchase the book here, directly through the press.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Where To Begin?

As the year begins, I'm not sure where my writing is. I'm writing now from my hotel room before I work on a new short story---my first night in florida, strong images of Geauga Lake crept into my mind and so we'll see where that goes.

I'm working on too many projects--Ramona, the museum poems, the memorizer poems, other poems, WWPH Press stuff, setting up readings for the why and later.

I'm really excited to have a panel at AWP and I will be trying to really promote this so here's the basics:

Speaking Through Silence: Women respond to Rape and Assault
Friday, February 1, 2008
12:00-1:15PM
Panelists: Molly Fisk, Julia Kasdorf, Alice Anderson, and Harriet Levin

Too often rape and assault silences women, making them afraid to trust, afraid of their own bodies, afraid to name what has happened and what continues to happen. In a way, the writing of these poems becomes a way of healing. However, this can often be a challenging process---turning personal trauma into art. In this panel, female poets will discuss their poems from the anthology, the why and later. The panelists will speak to the process of writing these difficult poems, publishing these poems, and how they view their role as a writer writing about rape and sexual assault.


~

I've been pinching myself b/c it's hard to believe that a book I've been working on for seven years will be released this month. And having a project that will hopefully raise much awareness and money for victims of rape and sexual assault is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. There are also crazy readings and t shirts in the works!

I was asked why I picked this topic at a holiday party and even now, it's still hard for me to say it. I think the dedication of the book says it the way I want: for all of us.

This book is not just for people whose lives have been touched by the subject matter, but for all of us as we struggle through our worlds, both internal and external.

Part of why we write and need to read is because we are part of a community. We need to communicate with others about our world. Kathi Wolfe says this in a great post here.

And so begins the year, a new book, and a chance to do something more with writing. It's been getting dark early and I think that makes me focus more inside, but the light is coming, it's after the solstice and as Maj once wrote to me: Shine! Shine! Shine!

Which is also what Tyra Banks said as I was watching America's Next Top Model on the elliptical trainer. You have to Shine even when other people are putting you down.

Tonight, it's shimmery eye shadow. I am on vacation, after all!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Less: The New Year

I'm all about resolutions---I think it brings out the organization in me---I'm a compulsive list maker and love crossing things off. I'm one of those who thrives on being busy and always having something to do next. So my resolution for this year is to be less like my nature. Just a little though. I really want to try and relax or at least have relax be part of the list! I've been practicing that over break---been travelling and catching up with friends. Susan and Fritz introduced us to Franny's and it's now my favorite (in addition to Rose Water) restaurants in the city. Their bar menu is amazing---anyone know what kummel is?? Delicious, that's what! And when Susan spilled wine in my almost empty pasta, the waiter quickly came with Wine Off and a full new plate of pasta!

Today it's yoga and girl time with Brooke before we head off to Florida tomorrow! So there will be less of me online, and more of me poolside!