Back to Reading in KS

November 14, 2013

I’ve been back in the US for a little over three months. This astonishes me. Time seems to be moving so much faster this fall than last, though that’s probably just a perspective thing or a busy-ness thing or a “I live in a place that’s more familiar and therefore, relatively less difficult” thing. I’m finally getting into a rhythm/schedule. I’m finally finding time to see friends on a more regular basis and not just a “I’m back from Russia! Let’s get coffee!” visit. Finally getting a handle on workload and learning how to grade student essays more efficiently and how to abandon work at 8 pm…or sometimes earlier. I’m finally starting to write again more regularly. Finally starting to make sense of the last year and a half of my life, what I’ve learned, what Russia means to me. I have not, however, found time yet to make an eye doctor’s appointment, wash my new car before winter sets in, or fully unpack my apartment–winter break?

SONY DSCWhat I want to write about, though, is finally making it back to Lawrence for a reading. The things above will likely take a few more weeks (months? years?) of reflection to come together.

While I was in Moscow, my chapbook Attachment Theory  was released, so I never got to have an “official” release reading/celebration. Finally, after three months back, I got around to doing that. The Raven (which became my favorite bookstore almost as soon as I moved to Lawrence, not just for its selection and atmosphere but also for the way it support local writers), agreed to host. I invited fellow writers (more importantly friends) Ben Pfeiffer and Mary Stone Dockery to read with me. I saw no better way to introduce my chapbook and celebrate my “return to America” than with them.

SONY DSC I don’t have a lot to say about this reading except that it felt great. I was so happy to be in Lawrence. I was so happy to read with Mary and Ben and to look out and see an audience full of friends. When I stepped up to the mic, I realized that I was less nervous than I’ve ever been for a reading. It’s likely I gained some confidence living abroad for a year; Russia requires a bit more directness, a harder shell than the Midwest. But it seems more likely that when I looked into the audience, I realized that with the exception of a few folks, everyone was a friend…friends sitting there, glad I went but glad I’m back, smiling, waiting to hear poems and stories about Moscow.

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51b635d02e972_80495nI’m happy to announce that my chapbook of prose poetry “Attachment Theory” has just been released from dancing girl press in Chicago. Click here to read a sneak peak poem and grab a copy.

If we’re on the same continent and we see each other, I promise to sign it.

 

 

Greetings from Missouri.

What with the planning and excitement about visiting home and then being home and taking a break from writing, I’ve been absent from the blog-o-sphere.  I imagine you’ve found other things to read on the internet, though. But if you haven’t, here’s a link.

I haven’t posted about writing for quite awhile. Midwestern Gothic is one of my favorite lit journals. The editors work hard to feature the best Midwestern writing and to create a beautiful product, a journal you want to own/hold/read. I first learned of it two years ago, and since then, have been published there twice. Quite a few of my Midwestern friends have been published there too (read: Mary Stone Dockery, Ben Cartwright, Caleb Tankersley, and probably more I’m forgetting).

So, when the editors asked me to answer some questions for the Contributor Spotlight, I said “yes.” You can read that here. You can/should also order a few issues. You’ll be happy you did.

I’ve enjoyed my short break from Russia. However, after my triumphant return next Sunday (!!!), I’m almost certain something write-worthy will happen to me and then I will share it with you.