Heather Stimmler-Hall & I are about to begin the October edition of the Travel Writing Workshop here in Paris... and I am having a tremendous time going through all my favourite travel memoirs, guidebooks, and online travel writing. I used to think travel writing was frivolous, much as I enjoyed doing it. It's difficult not to feel a bit trite, arguing about which macaron au chocolat is really the best. But these days, I think there's a larger goal with this industry, most succinctly phrase by the great writer Maya Angelou:
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” - Maya Angelou
If travel writers can contribute to that goal, count me in.
I'm working on this video project of Poem Reels - each short video is a poet friend reading work out in the world. This is "Velocity" by Megan Burns. She is reading in front of the building where her brother Dylan Burns shot himself in 2014. He was 29 years old.
Megan has published three books of poetry; she is the publisher at Trembling Pillow Press. She is also the host of my favourite New Orleans reading series, Blood Jet. And she is the co-founder of the New Orleans Poetry Festival.
Off to Los Angeles for the WRITING AS A DAILY PRACTICE workshop that I'm hosting with Cecilia Woloch. Really looking forward to discussing journals, daily writing, and all kinds of literary ideas with a great group of people. And I'm hoping to squeeze in a visit to Venice Beach, to stroll along the shore and visit one of my favourite bookshops, Small World Books, on the boardwalk. (I imagine it will be warmer than it was in January, when I was last there!)
in my travels this year, i'm working on a series of short video poem reels: poet-friends reading one of their poems, somewhere out in the world. i'm really pleased to have the first one up now: Cecilia Woloch with "Girl in a Truck" (filmed when I was in Los Angeles)
The poem is from Cecilia's collection, Carpathia, out with BOA Editions.
Not one of Chaplin's better films...but I really do like her hat.
Autobiographical writing / generative memoir workshop Monday, May 2, 18h - 21h
Presented by authors Jennifer K Dick and Lisa Pasold, this workshop is in partnership with Ivy Writers Paris, hosting a reading and discussion dedicated to the Poetic Memoir on May 3rd. Sign up and get details/price/location address via the contact page!
This workshop will explore our variegated ways of putting our selves—re-membering ourselves--onto the page. We will make use of old letters/emails/blog entries, journals, scrapbooks (if you desire), and the memories we often hide.
This spring in Paris, I'm leading three writing workshops with author Jennifer K. Dick--who is a good friend & who helped edit two of my poetry books. Both Jen and I have taught creative writing workshops in Europe and North America, and we're thrilled to have a chance to work together in our favourite city. We're looking forward to talking about your work, sharing methods we've used to hone our writing practice, and discuss the wonderful books we continue to learn from. So far, we have three workshops on offer, each different. Check out the details... And note the special deal: If you sign up for all three, you get a 15euro discount.
Every now & then, I get to read at the long-running series,Spoken Word Paris. Though I can't click my heels and bring you to the downstairs "cave" of Le Chat Noir, I can offer you this link to the brand new Spoken Word Paris podcast --I am thrilled to be part of their first recording:
Take a listen—it’s almost like being at the Chat Noir.
"Whenever the devil harasses you thus, seek the company of men, or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing...” - Martin Luther, 1530. Now we are past the darkest days of winter and the light is growing--let's dance! The Martin Luther quote comes from this wonderful article about Little Richard in the Oxford American, written by David Ramsey. So, to spite the devil, here is Little Richard himself with 'Long Tall Sally'...