Loved all of the other readers in the Why There Are Words reading last night: William Brewer's heart-wrenching poems about the epidemic of opioid addiction in W. Virginia, Erika Mailman's recreation of Lizzie Borden's story by way of her Irish maid, Elizabeth Rosner's nonfictional exploration of inherited trauma, Brittany Perham's playful poems about relationships, Mary Volmer's historical novel about self-reliant women after the Civil War. So good of Peg Alford Pursell to host the reading amid the heartbreak of the ongoing fires (when she and Cass have been evacuated from their home and are still uncertain about its fate). It was a smaller group than usual, but intimate and appreciative. I think we were all aware of how special it was, coming together in a time like this.
Today Steve and I both have headaches, probably from the air in Sausalito, which is worse than the East Bay, where the air is gray and hazy, and you can't escape the smell of smoke.
Can't seem to stay away from the computer. As ever, mesmerized by Trump's debacles (how imminent is nuclear war, can he really destroy the entire health care system himself?), the unfolding disaster in Puerto Rico, and now the progress of the fires, where the new evacuation areas are, where to send contributions of what kind (so far we've just sent money, but there are various organizations accepting supplies). Also checking in online because the new issue of Midway Journal is supposed to come out today, with my flash "Zig Zag" and news of the contest that I won. And b(OINK) should be coming out too, today or soon.
Off to Litquake tonight in San Francisco, and to Lit Crawl tomorrow night in San Francisco, where Steve's reading a piece about two poet friends of his in Fresno who both died of cancer: Ernesto Trejo and Omar Salinas. I'm so glad they'll be remembered through Steve's work.