We are having an Open Studio! Lots of people were here yesterday, looking at books & paintings. Even printers stopped by — one from Baltimore, one from Boulder! Four framed broadsides are out on our main table, along with unframed broadsides, copies of fine press books, and copies of recent paperback books. Chax Press looks great yesterday & today! Joni Mitchell (SHINE) is on the stereo right now — did I mention that we finally set up the stereo yesterday, with the speakers about 10 feet high, music sailing through the room.
And the Tucson Festival of Books is going on at the University of Arizona campus. A huge huge festival, with thousands of people. In poetry, Jefferson Carter (Chax Press book: Sentimental Blue) read yesterday, and people flocked to his books. He was the headline for poetry, YES JEFFERSON CARTER! NOT Billy Collins or CK Williams or Jane Miller or anyone else. But it was all there. I DO wish the festival had a wider aesthetic view, I mean, not a single true descendant of the New American Poetry (black mountain, beats, NY school, objectivists, etc.) and not a single LANGUAGE poet, and not a SPOKEN WORD/SLAM poet, so a pretty significant ignorance of the "now" poetry outlook. But hey, though this is the first, it's set up to be an annual event, so let's hope next year for: Tracie Morris! Mei-mei Berssenbrugge! Lisa Jarnot! Laynie Browne! Charles Bernstein! Michael Cross! Tyrone Williams! Nathaniel Tarn! Leslie Scalapino! Ron Silliman! Rosmarie Waldrop! Bruce Andrews! Erica Hunt! Rodrigo Toscano! Tim Peterson! and how about, from across the Atlantic, David Miller! Ken Edwards! Caroline Bergvall! Carol Watts! Jeff Hilson! and a lot more of the poets we believe in. And yes, maybe I'll just have to try and get involved in order to make some of this happen.
Still, great to have a book festival in Tucson, and I did manage to get a book signed by Gail Carson Levine for one of my daughters.
One fine Tucson poet, Frank Parker, was spotted in the crowd, looking fine, taking it all in.