Information about the Desert City Poetry Series, contemporary poetry & poetics, and poetry readings & events in central North Carolina.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Chris Vitiello on January's Reading & A Wish-list

Hot damn -- I love these guys. Chris just posted his own review of Saturday's reading (the ghost of Ken Rumble, indeed - is that a line from Anchorman?)

Thanks, Mr. Vitiello.

So I promised the wish list -- here's a beginning (in no particular order):

Nathaniel Mackey
Brenda Coultas
Claudia Rankine
John Taggart
Jennifer Moxley
Ed Roberson
Emmanuel Hocquard
Harryette Mullen
Ron Silliman
Brent Cunningham
Chris Murray
K. Silem Mohammad
Juliana Spahr
Christian Bok (how do you make the umlaut in blogger?)
Sarah Manguso

The DC season follows (surprise) the academic year, so readings happen Sept, Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb, March, & April. Once a month, so seven readings in a season. It's not very many. This year, as you may notice, I've got a couple months with two readings. Last summer, I put together another wish-list of folks and emailed invitations to them all. I figured I'd have a hard time filling the slots, getting folks to come.

Within a week or so, nearly everyone I invited had accepted. Yikes. There was no way I was going to say "sorry I'm booked" to Cole Swensen, Kent Johnson, Brian Henry, or any of these people. So I didn't -- I doubled up a couple months, and I don't regret it at all. It's been a terrific season so far. And even more to come.

So I'm not sure what to do about this coming year. I suspect I won't change the approach -- I'll invite everybody I want and then work it out once the acceptances start coming in.

Having more than one reading isn't really such a big deal. The real issue about scheduling is that I run the series out of my pocket and on donations from friends and family. I do it because I love to do it, of course, but I've got work that folks pay me for, a family I love, various communities that I'm part of, my own writing to do, etc. etc. So it takes some work to run the series, and my time fills up pretty quickly.

What surprised me (and makes it all worth it) last year is the enthusiasm, graciousness, & interest the people I invited had for the series. I worried that an independent, non-university affiliated, unfunded reading series would not seem appealing. It did, and folks (both the poets and the audiences) have been really enthusiastic about it. Running the series is a great pleasure for me.

Anyway, please feel free to suggest other readers for next season -- you can post a comment or email me.

So I'm going to sign off, but another idea I'm toying with is to let some of the local folks do the intros for the visitors next year. Currently, I do all the emceeing/introducing. My vision for the Desert City, though, has always including involving other people in its production. If Evie Shockley, for example, wanted to introduce somebody that was coming, I think that'd be super.

In other reading news, check out the new Durham 3 series.


Blogger Laura Carter said...

To post an umlaut, go into Word or Wordperfect, produce one, & then cut and paste. It works with other accent marks, less common ones too, up to a point.

Looks like a great reading series!

1/19/05, 4:50 PM

Blogger Chris Vitiello said...

Ken, if you somehow get Emmanuel Hocquard here to read, I don't know aht I'll do. I'll... I'll... I'LL OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT! AND GIVE FREE ICE CREAM AND PROPHYLACTICS TO EVERYONE!!!

1/19/05, 9:26 PM

Blogger Tony Tost said...

Tom Raworth!
Mary Margaret Sloan!

Great list, hot lips.

1/20/05, 2:43 PM


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