Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm off on the road again. This time by car. It's been over a year since I took a road trip. The last time was last spring, when I went to Enchanted Rock out in Hill Country, Texas. I've been flying everywhere. Well, not this time. No. I'm going up to Illinois for the weekend. Hoping to run into some interesting folks. Maybe. Maybe not.

I just got back on Monday from Oregon, where W & I went to check out the Dutch Henry Homestead. We were awarded a PEN Northwest writing residency for 2008. As part of the process, the Boydens - who own the homestead, asked us to come check it out. It's 95 acres off the Rogue River and it's absolutely gorgeous. We saw a bear cub on our way into the homestead, and lots of cougar scat. No cougars, though I'm sure they were watching us. And the birds were amazing.

W. has the photographs and as soon as she downloads them, I'll put them up. There are some gorgeous photographs.

The residency is all about living by ourselves for 6 months to write and be in the world. The closest town is two hours away. We could fly fish in the river. Go hiking. Plant a garden. There's an orchard there, too. The writer's cabin is sweet - complete with wood stove and a viewing deck. The Boydens are great folks. And so is John Daniel, who is the Chair of PEN Northwest. We had a nice, nice time together.

W. and I are in the process of figuring out how we would occupy that space during the residency. It's an interesting question to consider - how do we create a welcoming environment in the community? How do we engage with folks in the area? How do we learn to be out in the wilderness on our own?

Oh - and such exciting news: I got accepted into Cave Canem. Yes! I'm so excited. So, so excited. This year's poets are: Cyrus Cassells, Toi Derricotte, Cornelius Eady, Erica Hunt, Yusef Komunyakaa, Patricia Smith,and Carl Phillips. SO exciting. I can't even believe it. I barely know what to do with myself, except jump for joy and connect with the other folks who are in Cave Canem. For whom I have SO much respect. I'm completely humbled to be in their company.

So, I'll be heading to Pennsylvania at the end of June. I may stop in New York for D'Lo's show: Ramblations. That would be off the chain.


Well, I'm off to Illinois.

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