12 Winters Blog

Vachel Lindsay Association and upcoming Pharmacy showing

Posted in November 2011 by Ted Morrissey on November 6, 2011

It’s been such a busy fall in the local literary and art community, here in Springfield, Illinois, that it’s been a challenge to find time to blog about it (much to everyone’s disappointment, I know). I’ll only hit a few of the recent and upcoming highlights.

Last week was particularly bustling with Halloween-related doings. Last Thursday, Oct. 27, was the Midwest Gothic Costume Ball on the campus of Benedictine University at Springfield. I donned a get-up in honor of Herman Melville, and in spite of the well-worn copy of Moby-Dick protruding from my coat pocket, and my “Hello. My Name Is ‘Herman'” sticker, most folks needed a little assistance to connect the dots. That’s all right. I was joined by fellow authors Edgar Allen Poe and Hunter S. Thompson (complete with manual typewriter and verbatim suicide note — talk about commitment to a role), among a host of other costumed revelers.

Held in historic and haunted Brinkerhoff Home, the highlight of the ball, for me, was a discussion and reading by Jodee Stanley, editor of Ninth Letter literary journal, who is co-editing, along with Brian Kornell, an anthology of Midwest Gothic literature (in other words, creepy stories set in the Midwest). Her talk was fascinating, and her selected readings appropriately creepy. Check out Jodee and Brian’s website. The Costume Ball was hosted by Quiddity international literary journal and public-radio program, which also released its new edition, 4.2, featuring the paintings of my favorite local artist Felicia Olin.

Then the following evening, Meagan Cass, of the University of Illinois at Springfield, organized the first annual Horror Reading, held at Cafe Andiamo in downtown Springfield. Attendees could read from their favorite horror stories or their own original prose and poetry. It was well attended by UIS faculty, graduate students, and a host of others.

Meanwhile, Springfield Poets and Writers, Prairie Art Alliance, and Sangamon Watercolor Society have been quite active, including some joint ventures. There’s been too much afoot to even adequately summarize here, but check out their various websites, especially for upcoming events.

Last night I proudly joined the board of the Vachel Lindsay Association, which is devoted to maintaining the poet’s family home and promoting the work of one of the twentieth century’s most influential poets. The Association’s meeting and dinner was held at Maldaner’s, a historic restaurant in downtown Springfield; and the featured speaker was Louisa Lindsay-Sprouse, the poet’s granddaughter. Louisa gave a spirited, informative and entertaining talk on her grandfather’s influence growing up, though she never knew him as he took his own life in 1931.

I was asked to join the Vachel Lindsay board by my friends and colleagues Lisa Higgs, who became board president last night, and Tracy Zeman, also a board member. Lisa and Tracy are exceptional poets in their own right.

I fear I may be burying my lead, but I’m looking forward to the upcoming showing by artists of The Pharmacy, which will be this Friday, November 11, at the wharehouse, 1022 S. Pasfield Street in Springfield, just a couple of blocks north of The Pharmacy. In addition to being an artists colony, The Pharmacy has been very active in promoting creative writing as well, hosting workshops and readings.

In terms of my own writing, I continue to tinker with stories set in a bizarre Midwestern town — though I believe they’re clamoring to be a novel, and they’ve pretty much talked me into it. I have a paper on William H. Gass that I need to write for the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900, so I’ll get to that shortly, and when it’s done, I’ll turn my full attention to this bizarre Midwestern town … thing … project (yes project sounds better). Somewhat in preparation for the paper, I read Gass’s book-length essay On Being Blue, though mainly my paper will focus on the author’s long and dense novel The Tunnel.

One last note, I received a text message from my publisher, Amy Ferrell of Punkin House, that my novel Men of Winter is going to be released, eventually, as an audio book (Nook and Kindle versions were recently made available).

tedmorrissey.com

Pathfinding: a blog devoted to helping new writers find outlets for their work

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: