Carol Peters was in town last week teaching a seminar and presenting her thesis as she finished up requirements for an MFA at Queens University. I attended student readings with her on Friday afternoon, was introduced to program director Fred Leebron, for whom I swiftly performed faux pas tricks such as inquiring after Robin Hemley (how am I supposed to keep on top of who replaced whom where?!?), poet Cathy Smith Bowers, and after a dinner with several students, attended readings by Ann Cummins and Robert Polito.
I bought Rebecca McClanahan's Word Painting based on Carol's recommendation, and will be seeking out Naeem Murr's work--opinion was evenly split among my dinner companions on whether I should start with The Boy or The Genius of the Sea.
Saturday Carol sent me a copy of the first chapter to her novel, which is, I'm happy to report, an absolutely brilliant piece of work: dead-on gorgeous language with plenty of narrative drive to boot. I can't wait until Place of Refuge shows up in the bookstores.
Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.
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When I finished Kevin Brockmeier's A Brief History of the Dead last spring I immediately did a search to see if the Coca-Cola Corp. had...