Archive for March, 2008

Car Woes

March 31, 2008

My trip back from Charlottesville aborted when I tried to start my car. Ended up staying another day in C’ville. Sue cooked a risotto from one of her new cookbooks.

March 31, 2008

My trip back from Charlottesville aborted when I tried to start my car. Ended up staying another day in C’ville. Sue cooked a risotto from one of her new cookbooks.

Virginia Arts of the Book Center lecture at VA Book

March 30, 2008

Johanna Drucker, Robertson Professor of Media Studies at UVa and advisor to Artists’ Books Online, brought all sorts of examples from her collection to share with us. Then I went back to sue and robs and fixed dinner for them, Lily and Dora, a Waldorf salad with chicken on a bed of spinach with chocolate for dessert.

Marc Estrin at VA Festival of the Book

March 29, 2008


After doing the saturday lineup for NewsTrust and eating noodles at the Asian cafe on the mall, went again at the Village School to hear Marc Estrin read the bar mitzvah scene from The Lamentations of Julius Marantz. He was extradinairily entertaining, despite the fact that he told me he had never acted during his theater career, only directed. I had had the opportunity to finish the book, along with Golem Song, when I visited Marc and Donna this past summer in Burlington. Also appearing were:

  • A.J. Jacobs’s, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible;
  • Adam Mansbach, The End of the Jews; and
  • Peter Charles Melman, Landsman. Interestingly, he teaches at Hunter College High School in Manhattan, mom’s alma mater.

Got to talk with Donna for a bit before Marc and Donna left to talk with his editor fred at Unbridled, as well as schmooze at a reception. Instead, I returned back to Rob and Sue’s for a pot luck and sing along.

Heather McHugh at VA Festival of the Book

March 28, 2008

Photograph of Heather McHugh (email) from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she is a professor in the English Department.

McHugh read from her poems at UVa Harrison Institute / Small Special Collections and then attended the beginning of a reception at the Colonnade Club. Both locales are on the central grounds.

The Academy of American Poets has a recording of her reading “What He Thought” on April 21, 1992 at the French Institute/Alliance Francaise in NYC, along with a slightly diffent version of the text, as it was published in Hinge & Sign: Poems 1968-1993 (Wesleyan University Press, 1994).

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Later in the evening, I got to hear Charles Wright reading along with Poet Laureate Charles Simic.

Va Festival of the Book on Evil and Sin

March 27, 2008

After a dinner of baked potatoes with all the fixings, Sue, foreign exchange student Dora, and I attended the event they had selected, “Evil and Sin,” which Jacob Goodson moderated at the Village School on East High Street. The panel consisted of:

  • Jennifer Geddes, editor of Evil After Postmodernism, a research associate professor of Religious Studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at UVa and editor of The Hedgehog Review: Critical Reflections on Contemporary Culture;
  • Dr. Barbara Oakley, author of Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend, who is professor of engineering at Oakland University in Michigan; and
  • John Portmann, author of A History of Sin: Its Evolution to Today and Beyond, and assistant professor of religious studies at UVa.

A bit dry and Oakley thinks her sister has evil genes. As Dora said, “What does that say about her?”

Va Festival of the Book on Digging Coal and Moving Mountains

March 26, 2008

Went to Digging Coal and Moving Mountains at Gravity Lounge. moderated by David Bearinger.

Paul Kuczko, the Executive Producer of Music of Coal: Mining Songs from the Appalachian Coalfields along with my friend Jack Wrigght, is the Director of the Lonesome Pine Office on Youth in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

Penny Loeb, author of Moving Mountains: How One Woman and her Community Won Justice from Big Coal, was senior editor at U.S. News and World Report and an investigative reporter for Newsday. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

Michael Shnayerson is the author of Coal River, a book about the environmental lawyers and advocates fighting to stop mountaintop coal mining in Appalachia. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair, he has also written The Car That Could and The Killers Within.

Afterwards. Penny and I went out for coffee at the Mudhouse.

Enroute to Charlottesville for the Virginia Festival of the Book

March 25, 2008


I’ll be staying with Rob and Sue, as in past years. Stopped by Trader Joe’s on my way out of Springfield to buy them some goodies including artichoke and tomato spreads, Tofurkey italian sausage and asiago cheese.

Touring the Newseum w. th eMedia Bloggers Association

March 24, 2008


The photo is of Media Blogers Association Founder Bob Cox standing in front of the exhibit that features his photo, as pointed out by First Amendmentment Center Executive Director Gene Policinski.

Thank to my colleague Rory O’Connor, I received an invitation to a pre-opening tour of the Newseum. Here’s coverage from another blogger, which I posted at Newstrust…

Split this Rock Sunday

March 23, 2008

After a meeting at Busboys and Poets to hear about DC Poets Against the War from Sarah Browning, Esther Iverem, Joseph Ross, and Melissa Tuckey and discussing how to continue the work of the festival, we reconvened at George Washington University at noon for a reading by Naomi Ayala subbing for Sharon Olds who was sick, followed by Galway Kinnell, who before getting to his own poems, read one by Walt Whitman and another by his friend Richard Bly, substituting Iraq for Vietnam.

Steve had gone to Easter service, so he joined us late and we walked in silence for the five blocks to Lafayette Park, across from the White House, where we compiled a Cento consisting of 12 words read by each poet.

Afterwards, Len, Steve and I got together for coffee and an impromtu reading, after we were joined by two others from the festival who I beckoned in as they walked by. Since the Starbucks was closing, we actually read part of our poems at a table outside.

I drove out to Springfield and visited Mom and spent the night. Carol was also visiting.