Friday, March 30, 2012

Say yes to Yes! TONIGHT in Albany with CAConrad, Michelle Taransky, Adam Roberts!

That's tonight, Friday March 30th,
at 8 pm
at the Albany Social Justice Center (33 Central Ave, Albany, NY)
with the Yes! Series.

Adam Roberts
Kate Schapira
Michelle Taransky

Facebook it all up in there, if you do that sort of thing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

City Change #8

Heather writes from West Lafayette, IN: "Everyone on the street put up signs that say, 'Be zen, drive ten,' in an effort to encourage drivers to slow down for the kids' safety. It's a little guerrilla traffic safety movement. I love it."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Trayvon Martin

Today I met with my 4th grade poetry students in Providence.

One group took turns reading their poems from the anthology the Writers-in-the-Schools program put together, while eating the strawberries and jellybeans I brought.

Black boys in that group: A.C., A.I., V.T.

My other group worked hard to write some new poems for their book, since many of them had misplaced or thrown out their writing notebooks "because it was full". (They also chased around a lot and bothered each other.) Their books, strawberries and jellybeans are coming next week; I'm taking a break from typing up their poems to write this.

Black boys in that group: D.L., B.W.

I want you to do at least two things today. Both are easy in the sense that you just have to click on something and then read and/or type. Sign this petition at calling for the prosecution of George Zimmerman. And read this open letter by Ajani Husbands at Urban Cusp: "The Bullet Next Time: An Open Letter to my Unborn, Black Son." The petition-signing is relatively easy -- I just did it. Reading Husbands's letter is harder, but not as hard, of course, as living what it's about.

Racialicious has a pretty good roundup of some of the things other people are saying and writing about this and the pattern of often-lethal, always-destructive racial profiling it's part of, from news reporting to personal essays like the one linked above to events in protest of the police department's handling of George Zimmerman and in support of Trayvon Martin's family.

Husbands writes, "Your greatest achievements will be fluff for your eulogy." My 4th grade students are 9 or 10; I'm 33. I do not want to live to read, in the obituaries of A.C., A.I., V.T., D.L. or B.W., "He was so funny, so smart, so insightful." I do not want to read, "He had so much energy" or "He had such a great imagination" or "He loved to write poetry."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Publicly Complex presents Miranda Mellis and Joanna Howard!

Providence-area lovers of fiction,

Joanna Howard &
Miranda Mellis

will be reading some (and it'll be good)
on Saturday, March 24th, at FIVE pm (series regulars, please note unusual time!)
at Ada Books (717 Westminster St., Providence, RI)

Friday, March 16, 2012

William Faulkner's loafers: Interview with Krystal Languell at Coldfront

Over at Coldfront, Krystal Languell (author of Call the Catastrophists and my editor at Noemi) asked me, over Skype, the questions that Jean Stein asked William Faulkner in an interview in the Paris Review. We talked about violence, scrupulousness and bourbon. Thanks, Coldfront! Thanks, Krystal!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

So this is a funny thing ...

... Kate Torgovnick interviewed me for her website Kate-Book, "by Kates, for Kates and about Kates." I talk a little about writing and more about teaching. Thanks from one Kate to another!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

City Change #7

Adam writes from Hartford, CT: "Barbara's Pizza, which was inconsistent, closed. The building was painted black and is now Joey's Pizza. Harry's Pizza, once next door to Luna Pizza, moved from Farmington to Main."

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blue Letter, March 7th, 8 pm

New York folk take note: Khadijah Queen, Prudence Peiffer and I will be reading in the Blue Letter series on Wednesday, March 7th, at 8 pm.

The reading is at Mama Maria's Restaurant / Sal's Pizzeria, 305 Court St., Brooklyn. As often happens, I'm thrilled to be part of this lineup! Please come hear us.