July 27 I turned New York City 10 years old, which is to say I am amazed I have lived this long in one city. Amazed. When I made it up in my mind to stay here, it was also with the goal of to thrive here. Coincidentally, July 27 is also exactly one month since I quit my full time job and stepped out into the unknown.
Whether or not I’ve thrived is probably up for debate, but, the photo above of my most recent reading with Jayson P. Smith (please y’all read & listen to this poem of his!) really drives home to me what it means to have community: when you are about to step out on a limb, out into the world with its weather, its unpredictability, you survive (and thrive) because of the folks around you, those who are both with you, and protecting you, and shielding you. I strive to be a shield and a running partner and more to each of you.
So what’s good?
Last week, poet and sister-friend Jennifer Bartell published this conversation with me about Black Southern (woman) poetry & poetics in The Conversant.
This Thursday, August 3 (how is it August already?!!?) I will be reading at Poet’s House as part of their Poetry Showcase. It’ll be my last NYC reading for a bit, I think. Then a few weeks later I’m on the road to launch, officially, my book in my hometown, Columbia, SC at the Columbia Museum of Art on Aug 19, and to read during the historic Solar Eclipse on Aug 21.
After 6 years in the biz, I launched my consulting website: Red Olive Creative Consulting! This is my new full-time venture, when I’m not writing or teaching poetry classes, so if you have a creative project/organization that needs funding–let’s chat!
Art + Culture Plugs:
Please check out this important feature: A New Colossus; Last month in SF, I got to see this amazing exhibit of African American Southern artists.; If you’re looking for a sound-oasis in the middle of NYC, go to Rubin for The World is Sound exhibition; my fly fly friends just started a new low-res MFA program, and the Furious Flower Poetry Center just started an online journal.
May you find respite, and also beauty, in these days.