I’m really happy that my novel, Unspeakable Things, is being published by Alfred A. Knopf in the forthcoming year! It’s about European intellectual refugees in New York during the second World War. More on that later.
In other news, my essay, “The Tundra,” won a gold medal in the Solas Awards for Best Travel Writing. It’s available online here if you want to look at it. As far as other recent publications, an excerpt from Unspeakable Things, “The Rat,” just came out in The Chattahoochee Review. And I’ve had poems out too: “Missile Silos” in America, “Neon Rest Stop” in The I-70 Review, and “The Story of Herself” in Constellations.
In terms of events, I’ll be speaking this Friday at BOLLI at Brandeis University! Friday, March 21, 10:30 am, in their meeting space at 60 Turner Street in Waltham, MA. I’ll be doing a presentation on Puritanism and Madness: An American Love Affair? Starting with reading from my recent book, With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz and Others, I’ll add my own insights on what I, as a young writer in Boston, personally observed in my long-term friendships with these poets. I’ll talk about the American literary milieu, the pressures on American writers including those I knew personally, and the connections between American Puritanism, “madness” i.e. mental illness, and the creative flowering that is so much a part of American literature. There’ll be lots of time for discussion.
We’re also coming into poetry festival season! I want to call your attention to the Boston National Poetry Month Festival, a wonderful free festival that’s running from April 10-13 at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, and the Old South Church. I’m reading with Richard Hoffman and Fred Marchant on Friday the 11th, 3-4 pm, in the Commonwealth Avenue Salon Room at the library. And there’s plenty else going on, of course.
On Friday, May 2, I’m giving a workshop, Conceal/Reveal: Writing About Relationships, at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. It’ll be from 2:15 to 3:15 pm, in the Essex Room at the Hawthorne Hotel. It’s open to all levels and ages, and I encourage you to bring works in progress or to write about whatever relationship themes that interest you. (They’ll have their full website up in a few days, you’ll need to sign up in advance there when they do.) People have loved my workshops in the past, and I look forward to seeing you there! Also I’ll be reading with Doug Holder and other poets at 12:30 pm on Saturday, May 3.
Looking ahead, I’m going to be teaching at the Cape Cod Writers Center Conference, August 7-10 in Hyannis, MA. I’ll be teaching a four-day master-class on Developing Your Poetry Manuscript, with intensive classes and individual conferences devoted purely to you and your work. All levels welcome, limited to twelve. It’ll be a lovely working vacation conference, and I hope to see you there.