12 Winters Blog

Some readings and other literary happenings

Posted in May 2011 by Ted Morrissey on May 29, 2011

The last few weeks have been very busy, both academically and literarily. Besides the always hectic conclusion of the academic year, several creative-writing-related things have been afoot as well. As such, I’ll only devote a few lines to each.

This past week, for example, readings for Men of Winter resumed with a very nice affair at Benedictine University at Springfield, in historic (and haunted) Brinkerhoff Home. A few folks who were counting on coming to the reading had to send last-minute regrets, but otherwise it was well attended as such things go, especially when scheduled after the regular school year has ended. The fine folks of Quiddity planned the reading, and I must say no one does a reading in finer fashion than Joanna Beth Tweedy and the Q staff. Unfortunately Joanna Beth had to be out of town, but associate editor Amy Sayre-Roberts stepped up to host the event, which I very much appreciated.

Then yesterday poet Lisa Higgs and I read at Jane Addams Book Shop in downtown Champaign, Illinois. Lisa read from her chapbook of sonnets, Lodestar, plus some really interesting new work. We were in the shop’s third-floor “Mystery Room,” reading while a noisy thunderstorm moved through the area — a thunderclap or two were serendipitously timed for dramatic effect. On the downside, the weather probably discouraged attendance somewhat, but we had a quaint and appreciative group. Lisa and I don’t have any other dual readings on our calendar at the moment, but we’ll both be participating in Chatham Public Library’s Local Authors Panel June 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. However, we may try to schedule another reading or two before summer’s end.

Speaking of authorial events, I’ve also signed up to be part of Authors Row in Peoria Heights, Illinois, June 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., sponsored by I Know You Like A Book bookstore. The event is part of Duryea Days.

On June 30, from 6 to 9 p.m., I’ll be participating in Poets and Painters in the H. D. Smith Gallery at Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield, Illinois. This is a very cool event in which local writers compose original poems based on works of art by local artists they’ve selected. (This event especially deserves more “ink” so I’ll be sure to blog about it further beforehand.)

Recently I also had the honor of showing around town and introducing writer Meagan Cass, who will be teaching creative writing at University of Illinois at Springfield starting this fall. With local commencements and so forth underway, it was an especially busy time, and unfortunately a lot of folks’ calendars were overflowing, but we did have a chance to have dinner with Anita Stienstra, president of Springfield Poets and Writers; and we stopped by the campus of Benedictine University for a nice chat with David Logan, prose editor of Quiddity (among many other duties); we also met with Ethan Lewis, our UIS English Department colleague, at Barnes & Noble for a cup of coffee and a delightful conversation. To say that the local creative community is excited about the energy and expertise that Meagan will be adding is a gross understatement. Read her terrific story “Girlhunt, Spring 1999,” recently published in Devil’s Lake, to get a sense of why we’re so looking forward to her arrival.

In terms of my own creative writing, I’ve completed a draft of my new novel, tentatively titled An Untimely Frost, and have started revising and editing the manuscript, which runs just over 400 pages. I hope to be completed with the revision process by July 1 or so. For my main read, I’ve been enjoying Tolstoy’s War and Peace (after this morning’s reading, I’m on about page 470, out of 1200 or so). My bedstand read, though, has been Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain, which I’ve also been enjoying very much. Years ago I skimmed through the novel as I didn’t have time to read it carefully, but now I’m soaking in every word at a decidedly leisurely pace. And I’m always absorbing a few lines now and again out of the Good Book, by which of course I mean Conversations with William H. Gass — America’s greatest living writer.

tedmorrissey.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: