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EKPHRASTIC: Ekphrasis comes from the Greek, for the written description of a work of art. 

Into the Home Stretch

Had a break from getting ready for the March 10 opening of the ekphrasitc show "Evolution of Words & Art" that I'm managing at the Charlotte Art Leage (CAL) last night. My writing buddy, and former student Cole (Luther Kissam V) and I crushed it as the featured poets for Waterbean Poetry at the Mic. It was a lousy weather day, foggy, hard rain, and cold, but turnout was damn good anyway. (See the picture in the left column). 

 

I've been really humping it to get my own ekphrastic work together for the show I'm having as the "artist of the month" in the back gallery at CAL, running the same time as the big show up front. For some unknown reason, many months ago, running these concurrently seemed like a good idea? I'm concentrating this week on making sure all of the oil paintings I'll be using are done and have time to dry by the opening. Whew.  

 

So let this be a warning -- MARCH 10 -- be there! Charlotte Art League. 6-9:00 p.m. Two, count-em, two fantabulous ekphrastic exhibits. 

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Howdy from Weymouth's Boyd House

Greetings from the Max Perkins room at the Weymouth Center's Writers in Residence Program. I am officially a writer, in residence, in Max's room, writing away for this week in Southern Pines. I am making good use of the fine desk in this very fine old house. (And no, for those of you "in the know" I have not run into any of the ghosts that are supposed to also be residents.)

 

I've been sorting through all of the poetry I've amassed since publishing my first chapbook, and happily, there's more to work with than I had imagined. It's taken these first couple of days to excavate everything. And honestly, there are a few things in here that I don't even remember writing (!), but overall, I'm surprised to find that I like a lot of it. Maybe it's some kind of Weymouth ju-ju or something. All of my writer friends who have spent time in this program spoke so highly of the place, I think they've left behind creative ether in which I can dwell.

 

Here's an example I found in my writing notebook, it's dated 9.30.22, and there's nothing else written except this:  If there is a god, for sure she cares about bacon and eggs.

 

Now COME ON, that has to find a home somewhere in my writing, don't you think?

 

 

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Goodbye and Hello

Just now I submitted the final grades for my ENGL 2126 Introduction to Creative Writing class, Fall semester 2022. It's the last time I will be doing this. As of now, I am leaving the adjunct teaching behind and focusing on my new adventures going forward. 

 

I half expected to feel some sense of the bittersweet, winding up 10+ years of teaching. But honestly, it was time, and I've had not one whiff of regret or any second thoughts. Since my last day standing up in front of a class last week, I've been full-speed ahead with exciting projects, including helping manage an exhibit at the Charlotte Art League in March, as well as doing new work in my studio for my own show, which will also be at CAL in March. And, I'm getting my head ready for a one-week residency at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in January, where I will polish up the next chapbook and send it off into the world. 

 

However old I'm supposed to be, I'm feeling about 49 these days. I'm also sleeping well. 

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A Good Time Was Had By All

Had a wonderful time reading at BookMarks in Winston-Salem. It's a fabulous bookstore! photo: Julie Ritterskamp
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CALL TO WRITERS AND ARTISTS

When you're working on an exhibit, one that involves writers AND artists, there's a whole lot of calendar work involved. For March 2023, I'm helping put together EVOLUTION OF WORDS & ART for the Charlotte Art League (charlotteartleague.org) and we already have our first deadline:  DECEMBER 1.  

 

That's the date writers should submit samples of their ekphrastic work - words inspired by a work of art or visual image. An ad hoc committee will pair 15 writers with 15 visual artists. Artists also have a December 1 deadline to submit work that they believe will inspire a writer to respond. 

 

I've had work in ekphrastic exhibits before, at Mooresville Arts and Ashe County Arts. It's a wonderful way to inspire new ways of looking at writing and making art. I'm hoping we get LOTS OF ENTRIES!

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And a good time was had by all...

So fun you guys. Really nice turn out. Read some poems out in the gazebo behind Summit Coffee House and Main Street Books in Davidson. Many thanks to my sponsors, Adah at Main Street Books and Charlotte Writers Club North. Good buds turned out. We had FUN. No rain, and not too hot. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading Poetry Out Loud

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Old Orchard Creek Reading

A wonderful book reading/signing in Lansing, NC, on Saturday. I got to see many friends not seen since before the pandemic and they got to see each other. I received so many lovely compliments about the chapbook - a really welcoming and affirming first event. The world-famous triplet grandchildren were in attendance, too, and stole the show of course. At one point, Isabelle and Sophia stood up front with me "to help." ha ha ha 

 

Many thanks to Walter & Johnny, owners and hosts of the store, and the Ashe County Public Library who co-sponsored my event. 

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How to Make A Writers Day, Week, Month!

I don't want to brag, but damn, I just got the best email from a much-admired writer and I am definitely sharing it, because DAMN. From Judy Goldman:

 

Oh, Christine, you have done it! This book is stunning! I so admire these poems — they're complex and accessible, questioning and wise, surprising and just what we would want to know. Well done, my friend! Every poem belongs; following one another, they create a strong, strong narrative.
 

So if you need another reason to check out my chapbook, do what Judy says. And while you're at it, Judy's newest "Child: A Memoir" is brave and wonderful and scary and fine. Go get it, too. 

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Storied Charlotte Story

Mark West, the former Chair of the English Department at UNC Charlotte (where I teach), has posted his latest "Storied Charlotte" blog and it's about ME!  Thanks, Mark, for the plug. 

 

https://pages.charlotte.edu/mark-west/blog/category/storied-charlotte/

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