Lots of writing, reading, signing, and painting going on around here...
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The box came today. It is THRILLING. The book looks beautiful. Thank you Finishing Line Press for publishing my work, and for putting my painting on the cover.
Now, if you've pre-ordered, yu should be getting your copies in the next week or so. Please take a picture of yourself with the book and post in on Facebook, or Instagram, or here on this blog!
You can order the book directly from the publisher at www.finishinglinepress.com. I'm working on getting it into bookstores (you can ask for it at your local bookseller and they can order it for you), and it's available on Amazon as well.
Inevitably it seems, the release of my chapbook "The House Inside My Head" is delayed a couple of weeks. So, look for it in early June.
MANY THANKS to my friends and colleagues who purchased the book in the presale period. According to my Henry's research into small press poetry chapbook sales, I am already a best seller. :)
For fun in the meantime, check out this podcast POET UP, from some of my Charlotte poetry peeps - they are hilarious and usually drinking when they are recording. I am interviewed at about minute 22.32 for this episode, which is about the OF EARTH AND SKY exhibit and book. My favorite quote from this "...you motherfuckers woulda gotten a pamphlet..."
Here's the link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/poet-up/id1505222998?i=1000557723231
Write a book of poetry and you'll find out who your friends really are. Here's what my friend, James Tabor, had to say for me. Damn. You'll hear more about James from me later this year when his newest book comes out. It's about Mary.