|A butterfly from SE Asia that Mom and I saw at the St. Louis Zoo...damaged but still beautiful.|
Hello, Dear Readers, today I'm blogging from the road as I'm smack dab in the middle of my Big Missouri Trip and smack dab in the middle of Missouri. This morning, I made my way from St. Louis west on I-70 a couple of hours to Columbia, MO, home of the Mizzou Tigers, Center: A Journal of the Literary Arts, The Missouri Review, cousin-poet Marta Ferguson, and friend-poet Stephanie Kartalopoulos. As I mentioned last week, Steph adopted Blood Almanac and today I was lucky enough to talk to her fantastic Intro to Poetry students about the book.
First, a huge shout out of admiration to Steph and her students. The students had read the book with care and asked insightful questions that lead to great discussions. I changed up my routine a bit this time and opened with a brief bio, then read one poem and asked if anyone had any questions or comments. One student did and we had a great conversation about "the line" and how the style of the poem results from the content of the poem (for me). I picked another poem to read and again we had a brief discussion prompted by student responses. Then, I let them pick the poems they wanted to hear and talk about. Those fifty minutes flew by in the most delightful way. One student even asked me to read a poem that isn't in the book but that he'd found online because he was interested in my work. (I'm blushing here as I sit on Steph's couch, admiring her cats, in Columbia, MO, one of my all-time favorite college towns!)
I will definitely use this back and forth approach if and when I'm asked to talk with other students who have already been assigned my work.
It's super fun being back in a town where I once lived (one year in the late 90's) and seeing what has and hasn't changed. It's also super fun to be able to spend some time with a friend from the internet in her "real world" environs.
Tomorrow night: 7:00 Orr Street Studios. I'll be reading. Y'all come!