Sunday, May 22, 2005

Weekend & Bloggers

What a great, crazy weekend this has been---full of adventure, poetry, and education. And really, who could ask for more than that?

It started on Thursday the 19th with, of course, Star Wars. Absolutely electric atmosphere, with a light saber duel by some teens at the front of the theater before the noon showing began. Great preview for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a series I never read as a kid but am reading to my older daughter now (she's seven) and which we're really enjoying. I need to see Sith again, as I think I was too critical. I still really enjoyed it, mind you.

Friday seems a blur now---work and all that---and Saturday we hosted 80 friends and neighbors for a book celebration (Riverfall, need I remind ye?), BBQ/potluck. Between grilling chicken, hot dogs, and veggie burgers (in the 110 degree heat, I kid you not, though fortunately we have a ceiling fan for the shaded back porch where the grill does its thing), and greeting the crowd, I was able to read a handful of poems to a wonderfully supportive group (and sold some books, too). My daughter also read one of her poems, which makes ol' papa real proud! I will read to her class on Tuesday morning, which should be a hoot, as she attends an alternative, neighborhood-based charter school (if you're familiar with Tucson, we live in the Community of Civano, named the "Best New Community in the West" by Sunset magazine last year).

Sunday morning, this morning, I loaded up a small boxful of books and set up a display table at our local farmer's market. It was another toasty day, with a small crowd, but I sold a few books and met some new folks (including a resident who is a children's book illustrator and photographer---we have a wonderfully disproportionately high number of artists living in our community).

This afternoon my family and I split up. I took our younger daughter to the neighborhood's monthly potluck, and my wife took our older daughter to her Girl Scout troop potluck. Soon, though, it was time for the Civano Speakers Series, which I head up. Tonight Emily Brott from Sonoran Institute spoke on the efforts to preserve environmental and cultural resources of the Cienega Watershed, which is nestled between the Rincon Mountains to the north, Santa Rita Mountains to the west and south, the hills of Patagonia to the south, and the Whetstone Mountains (sort of) to the east. Not as big a crowd as I'd like, but still a good, participatory group, and a great presentation.

We hold the Speakers Series every month, and the next one (Sunday, June 26, 7 p.m., Civano neighborhood center) is me reading from Riverfall, some come on over! I'll be reading in conjunction with slides, both actual photographs and abstract stuff, which will be a new approach for me in reading but something I've been looking forward to for a long time.

Well, still some work to do this evening, not poetry-related unfortunately, so I better get to it.

But before I do, a word (or more) on bloggers: I just got a nice note from Gina Franco, another poet/blogger, which spurs me to say that the online community that blogging builds is really awesome. I've already "met" a couple poets I didn't know through blogging. And while by now I suppose it's cliche to say that blogging is changing the face of communications, it's still such a young technology/communication/forum/community/thing, and I'm glad that I didn't delay any longer. Paul Guest is in part to thank for that, so thanks Paul, if you get to read this!

Simmons

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