Monday, June 28, 2021

Day 2 of the conference went beautifully: terrific presentations from the participants, complex conversations about their topics, a dinnertime roundtable focused on setting up a participant-run writing group, and a spellbinding afternoon lesson and evening reading from BJ Ward. Nonetheless, it's been hard to do this all from the hot little back room of my house. I miss the mountains, the wet grass, the bear sightings, the bats at dusk. And every time I emerge, I have to do a chore: take down laundry, water the garden . . . Still, despite the awkwardness, I feel lucky to be teaching at all, and to be spending time with people who are so engaged with the work we adore.

I am also extremely fortunate to be living with a partner who presents me with grilled red peppers and octopus salad, served by candlelight, after I finish up for the evening, and then won't let me wash the dishes. What a prince.

Today: more participant presentations, and then an afternoon and evening spent with the poet Nathan McClain.  Nathan is the author of Scale (Four Way Books, 2017) and Previously Owned (Four Way Books, 2022); a recipient of fellowships from the Frost Place, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference; a graduate of the M.F.A. program for writers at Warren Wilson College; and a Cave Canem fellow. New poems and prose appear in Poetry Northwest, Guesthouse, Zocalo Public Square, the Critical Flame, and On the Seawall.  Nathan teaches at Hampshire College and serves as poetry editor of the Massachusetts Review.

Link to Nathan's 7 p.m. reading via Facebook Live--

Adventure boys' update: they are now in Seattle, and much less smelly than they were a few days ago.

Laconic text update:

Paul: "James quote of the day. 'Free coffee? I love Idaho!'"

Dawn: "Classic."


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