48º ~ a fine temperature for 5 Jan, but again, all clouds, no sun, bleck
Davis McCombs (author of Dismal Rock, Tupelo Press, and Ultima Thule, Yale U Press, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets) arrived as a faculty member at the University of Arkansas midway through my time there as a graduate student; he arrived during the murky period when I was just beginning to find my own voice, and he was crucial in nurturing that voice. I owe him a debt that may never be repaid.
All of that is to say that I was thrilled to learn that he had been named the 2013 Laman Library Writers Fellow. This fellowship began three or four years ago (apologies, the website doesn't seem to be linking up) and is awarded to an Arkansas writer (of any genre) to support a current project. Past fellows include Grif Stockley, Mara Leveritt, and Kevin Brockmeier. I believe Davis is the first poet to receive this recognition. Wahoo!
Last night, Laman Library hosted a reception and I was able to spend a bit of time with Davis, his wife Carolyn Guinzio, the poet & photographer, and their two children. It was great to see their faces and hear their voices, as we normally keep in touch through email and FB updates. Davis spoke eloquently about the task of the poet and read two poems, which proved to be a tasty preview. On February 19, both Davis and Carolyn will be reading at PTC as part of the Big Rock Reading Series. When I get back to the office on Monday, the PR/marketing machine will churn into action with full details.
I'm definitely looking forward to an exciting new year and happy to celebrate with my friend!