"Letter To West Virginia" and Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods

It's been a big week for writing and West Virginia. 

At least, I think so.

Ann Pancake, a writer I admire so very much, allowed Keegan Lester and me to publish her "Letter to West Virginia" at Souvenir I can't even say how excited I am that she allowed us to share this through our journal. To say I'm honored doesn't event come close to being enough.

I hope you will take time to read it.

Also this week, there has been several events around a new anthology of West Virginia writers from the WVU Press: Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods. Thursday there was a reception sponsored by the WVU Provost and Friday night there was a reading at 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown. Stay tuned--there will be other upcoming events!

Somehow I didn't get nearly enough pictures this week, but here are a few to share:

Here's the book's cover. Isn't just gorgeous?

Doug Van Gundy took this pic of me waiting to read. I had to read between two real master writers/readers--after Mark Brazaitis and before Jim Harms. Let me tell you, those guys are pros!

But everyone who read was a real pro. 

Dominique Bruno, the best PR-gal for writers, snapped this photo of me reading. 

In two days, I got to be among so many friends--old friends, new friends, new friends that feel like old friends!

Here I am with John Hoppenthaler, a friend of over 20 years, a terrific poet, in town to be a part of the reading. 


The Eating O' The Green

On Friday night, I attended a lovely reading by fiction writer Jonathan Corcoran (The Rope Swing, WVU Press) sponsored by the Taylor County Arts Council. And Friday night was also St. Patrick's day. And in Taylor County, there were plenty of green things to eat and drink!

Yep, that's green punch!

Now, there was a whole banquet table of other delicious items to snack on post reading, but I have to say I was impressed with the St. Patrick's day spread. And the luck of the Irish was with Jon--he sold lots of books (he gave a lovely reading, so who's surprised?). A great way to celebrate the day of green. 


Bay to Ocean Writer's Conference

Thanks to the Eastern Shore Writers Association and the Bay to Ocean Writer's Conference for including me in this year's event.

Special thanks to Meredith Davies Hadaway for inviting me to be on the panel "Perfect Words for an Imperfect World" with two other poets, both lovely people and smart, engaged writers, Le Hinton and Amanda Newell. There were also two great sessions, one featuring poet James Allen Hall (Poetic Apertures: Condensing and Expansive Strategies for Writing Poems) and the other featuring poet Erin Murphy (Writing Documentary Poems), among many others in prose, travel writing, etc. And a great book sales partner, too!

And "Hi!" to Harpo the cat. 

Also, if you've not been to the Eastern Shore of Maryland--it's fabulous! A pretty drive from my home in Morgantown out there. 


A night at the West Virginia Folklife Center

Friday night fun: Natalie Sypolt, Dominique Bruno and I hopped in the car and headed to the West Virginia Folklife Center where our friend and WV poet laureate Marc Harshman was being honored, along with the musician Bill Stalnaker (Bill, thanks for the T-Bone Walker and all the rest!)

We also took in a very cool folklife botany exhibit, and saw a Doug Van Gundy poem on display.


Writerly Events

So, instead of being a gregarious hermit, I've been out and about this Feb. 

First, I was at AWP, where I subbed on a panel about writing workshops, and made some lovely new pals.

Then, I needed a break, so with Dominique Bruno and Natalie Sypolt, I headed over to the National Gallery of Art. 

Then, on Saturday, Feb. 18, I read with Keegan Lester and Co. for the release of his new book, at 123 Pleasant Street. 

From the reading and new project: Gaudy and gorgeous, like one hit wonders of years past, like my body easing into its womanhood, surely a dream, a world I didn’t quite yet understand, if I ever understood her, ever, at all. 

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