Monday, January 23, 2006

The Empty Infosphere

On Saturday I held my first, and unfortunately last, session of the UA Poetry Center " Writing the Infosphere: Poetry, the Web, and You" workshop. Turns out only one person registered; a real shame, not the least of which, of course, because I'm teaching the workshop. But a shame moreover because, gosh darnit, it was going to be an outstanding workshop. One participant plus the instructor does not make a workshop, however, so after the session I cancelled it.

If you're interested in the session itself, which reviewed the results of the recent online poetry survey, general writing references, and online books and chapbooks, info (including the presentation from the session itself) is at:

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Last night was the first session of the 2006 Civano Speakers Series. My good friend Scott Calhoun, author of Yard Full of Sun: The Story of a Gardener's Obsession That Got a Little Out of Hand, read from one of his forthcoming books, titled either Wildflower Highway or Chasing Wildflowers, set against a slideshow. He then had me read a sort of counter-essay I wrote last March following an action-packed trip we took down to Mexico, titled "Chasing Wildflowers in El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar." You can view the essay and accompanying wildflower gallery here. Smaller turnout than I hoped for, but another great session, nonetheless.

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I'm still haunted, in a way and I suppose because I see it everyday, about the saguaro that fell over in our front yard. I've written about it here before, and it will be the subject of my editorial for the next issue ("Garden Gate," out March 5). I'm thinking about it in terms of important natural events in its 65-year life juxtaposed against important events in my 37-year life and then further against significant local, regional, and perhaps even international events of its years. Sixty-five years, of course, is not much in the geologic sense of time, but significant in our still young Western America history; significant compared, especially, to the short life spans of the plants around it. Saguaros can live to be over 250 years old. Dying at 65 years is dying young.


Suzanne said...

That stinks about the workshop, Simmons.

I'm looking forward to reading about the saguaro--your desert yard is so exotic to me, I definitely have to get to that part of the country sometime.

Simmons B. Buntin said...

Definitely! It's absolutely beautiful here today, and I'm off to see Billy Collins read this evening, to boot.

I'm definitely bummed about the workshop, but there's lots of other stuff going on, so there's still no rest for the weary!