Friday, April 30, 2010

La Boca.

It's south of my hostel. So we go to Ave Santa Fe and I [being the only one who speaks Spanish] ask the kiosk man what bus. He says 152 and as he says it, it arrives and we spontaneously jump on it, hoping it's heading in the right direction. Once we passed la casa rosada, I knew we were headed south. Slowly learning BsAs landmarks.

The buildings in La Boca are famous because of their bright colors. I can't imagine ever being sad there, because it's so colorful, even on rainy days your world would be filled with crayon like brightness. It's fall in BsAs, and the trees are playing along with the buildings. Colors. So everything is even more beautiful, if that's possible.

I'm updating now because this seems to be the relaxed time of day. Watching Friends reruns with everyone in the living room and waiting to venture just downstairs for dinner. The man who sleeps in the bed across from mine, his name's Morris. He's from Israel, and he owns the restaurant downstairs. Como se what?? Amazing.

Aside: There's a balcony here. It overlooks our street. In the morning it's sunny, warm, and perfect. And there's a little park playground across the way.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Three important pictures for the day:

1.The famous Obelisco on la Avenida 9 de julio

2.La Casa Rosada, where la Presidenta Cristina Fernández de Kirchner works, on la plaza de mayo

3.Boats in the marina next to where we* ate dinner. Which for me was bread and butter due to what I will call lack-of-sleep-nausea.

We wandered the streets of the microcentro and most of the main downtown area of BA. Encountered a park we plan to return to later, during daylight. Bought some postcards [soon coming to a mailbox near you]. And had coffee at el Café Tortoni. And now, by god, I will finally sleep so I will not feel like a person who feels like a sandbag. Excited for breakfast on my hostel's terrace tomorrow morning.

Coming to Argentina is quite possibly the best decision I've ever made.

*I made two new friends. Simon and Lillian. And they are wonderful. Lillian is from the city, thank god, and directed us around all day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I leave tomorrow for Buenos Aires. I'm bringing four books.

1. Ficciones by Borges [because, hello, I'm going to Argentina]
2. The River Sutra by Gita Mehta
3. Americana by Don Delillo
4. Blindness by José Saramago

I wanted a mix of cultures. Mehta from India, Saramago from Portugal, Delillo from my home, and Borges from the place of my travels. Reading books in different places gives them an extra something, a weight, and I never forget where I've read them. For example,

Once, I read Wally Lamb's I Know This Much is True while in Venice, Italy.
Lamb's She's Come Undone was a few years later in Prague/Vienna.
Faulker's The Sound and the Fury poolside in Culver City, CA.
Nicole Krauss's The History of Love and Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in QRoo, MX [and I didn't even know they were married back then].
Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in Cabo.
Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting in the apartment in NYC.

And I'm excited to add these new books to that list.

What I have yet to figure out is good musical accompaniment for my travels. Lately it's been Broken Bells and Breathe Owl Breathe, but I want something fresh for a new place. I am taking suggestions. And a few new albums by really great bands are dropping while I'm away, so I need to remember tienda de discos so I can head to a record store and pick those up.

Bario Norte, Buenos Aires, Aregntina. Here I come. I don't know if I've ever been so nervous in my life.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I ordered this amazing handmade customized passport wallet from an artist on etsy. And it looks like this:

I also bought a large and a small backpack.
Ready... go!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Been listening to this album lately.

Ghost Glacier by Breathe Owl Breathe
ever since we saw them a week ago at the Larimer Lounge with Hello Kavita and Megafaun. They sing about boats. Which I have a fondness for.

Also, in case I haven't mentioned it before. There's etsy. It's like one giant world wide artistic extravaganza that is always open and always wherever you are. Things you can find there:
Vases that are upside down light bulbs
Bookshelves that look like things other than book shelves
Whale necklaces

Why would you want these things? Why would you not want these things?!

And. It's finally spring.
[So why is staying above water getting even harder?]

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A few things:

First. I am not going to start a separate travel blog for Argentina, so my travels will be documented here. My first four nights are going to be spent in a seemingly lovely hostel in Recoleta, Buenos Aires. I leave April 28th. And I have never done this before.

Second. Every single person that lives in Denver should attend as many off-site AWP events as possible starting this Wednesday and ending Saturday. If you look at my previous post, you will find a schedule of the events that I plan on attending. But there are even more options, which can be found on the AWP Denver 2010 website. Seriously. The country's writers are invading Denver for four days, and it will provide some incredible opportunities to do something a little different in this city where there is typically not too much do to [I'm been a little bitter/bored lately].

Third. I officially accepted my offer of admission from the University of Utah to be a student in their Masters in Literature program starting in August 2010. So I am moving to Salt Lake City, Utah in early to mid August. I've never seen the place, nor do I know a single person who lives there.

And now, because the Muse show is f&*#ing canceled because of "weather," R & I will go have a tasty dinner at Vesta Dipping Grill in Denver.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

AWP Denver 2010

Hi, everyone. Here is my AWP schedule. These are all the events I plan on going to. This does not necessarily mean that I will go to every event on this list, as my mood is dictated by my level of exhaustion and I live more than a half an hour away from any of these locations. But if you want to attend any of these with me, let me know and I'll let you know if I am for sure going. There are blocks of free time scattered through the schedule, during which I will go to the book fair, eat foodstuffs, hang out with people, etc. So if you want to go to something in one of these free blocks, I will most likely go with you.


6-7:30pm [The Other Side Arts Gallery]
Drink To Support Contemporary Literature! Beer will start flowing at 6 pm by a still-to-be-announced brewery. All beer sales from the evening will be donated to several literary journals who call Colorado home. Even if you have other AWP-related events to attend to tonight, be sure to start your evening here.
7:30-9:30pm [The Other Side Arts Gallery]
Stars are Symbols AWP Off-site Reading! See and hear the writers perform! Some readings will involve props, like graphing calculators or cellos. Check back here on March 15th for a complete list of readers and further details.


9-10:15am [CCC Rms 102, 104]
R102. Writing the West: The Transplanted Writer as Literary Outsider. (Summer Wood, Pam Houston, Robert Wilder, Uma Krishnaswami) Writing the American West means coming to terms with a mythic landscape and a checkered history. If it's true that land plus history equals story, as N. Scott Momaday wrote, how does not being from here affect the way writers encounter that land and history to write their way into the present? Four literary transplants who set their work along the spine of the continent talk about the creative, technical, and ethical issues that arise when claiming a place that didn't raise them.

10:30-11:45am [CCC Rms 103, 105]
R125. The 25th Poem: Putting Together Your First Book. (Nicky Beer, Dan Albergotti, Robin Ekiss, James Allen Hall, Anna Journey) Robert Frost said that if a book of poems has twenty-four poems in it, the book itself should be the twenty-fifth poem. We will discuss how ordering, structuring, sectioning, titling, and using elements of narrative, character development, and epiphany can turn a group of poems into a manuscript with a clear identity. We hope to demystify the process of putting together the first book, and to share the choices (and mistakes!) we've made with our manuscripts on the road to publication.

1:30-2:45pm [CCC Rm 207]
R181. A Tribute to Craig Arnold. (Jake Adam York) Invited poets and writers from around the nation will be reading poetry by Craig Arnold in tribute to his life and work. Moderated by Jake Adam York.

3-4:15pm [CCC Rms 401, 402]
R209. Goodbye Blue Monday: Remembering the Life and Work of Kurt Vonnegut. (Todd Davis, Michael Martone, Dan Wakefield, Susan Neville) With Kurt Vonnegut's death on April 11, 2007, the world of arts and letters lost a literary raconteur who stressed the moral nature of fiction, as well as a man who mentored and inspired many aspiring writers. Author of more than twenty volumes of fiction and nonfiction, Vonnegut pushed and often subverted the boundaries within the literary establishment, as well as within the broader culture. The panel will consider the ongoing importance of Vonnegut's writing and celebrate his life and legacy.

6-7:30pm [Tivoli Turnhalle, Auraria Campus]
Copper Nickel Presents 8 Debut Poets. Copper Nickel presents eight poets with stellar first books---Dan Albergotti, Jericho Brown, Stacey Lynn Brown, Michael Dumanis, Farrah Field, J. Michael Martinez, Alison Stine, and Allison Benis White---on April 8th as part of our AWParty. Reading begin at 6pm in the Tivoli Turnhalle on the University of Colorado Denver/Auraria campus, only six blocks from the convention center. The event is FREE and open to the public. Books will be on sale. A reception (with drinks) will follow at 7:30pm.


10:30-11:45am [CCC Rm 207]
F135. Remembering David Foster Wallace, Essayist. (Katie Livingston, Caroline Chapman, Natalie Graham, JIll Kolongowski, Daisy Levy, Suzanne Webb) David Foster Wallace's recent passing has inspired conversation about his legacy as a writer and editor. While Wallace continues to be labeled as a fiction writer, his substantial contributions to creative nonfiction are surfacing as writers begin to reinvent the genre using Wallace's unconventional techniques, rhetorical moves, and genre crossing. This panel aims to reclaim Wallace as a nonfiction writer by exploring his work, his influence on other writers, and on the evolving genre.

Noon-1:15pm [CCC Rm 203]
F157. Graywolf Press Reading. (Tony Hoagland, Alyson Hagy, Ander Monson, Catie Rosemurgy, Tiphanie Yanique) For over thirty-five years, Graywolf Press has supported the works and careers of some of the most important writers in the field. This reading features five writers recently published by Graywolf.

3-4:15pm [HRD Granite Rm, 3rd floor]
F211. Mock-Docs, Fakes, and Hoaxes. (David Lazar, Jeff Porter, Catherine Taylor, Mary Cappello, Patrick Madden) Although a spate of false memoirs has recently rocked the mainstream press, we shouldn't be too startled given the long history of aesthetic forgeries. Fakes and hoaxes, especially involving works of art, have a curiously abiding appeal which often supersedes any debates about their authenticity or truth value. This panel will explore our culture's romance with fakery across media, from Orson Welles's notorious radio hoax and Christopher Guest's sham documentaries to Nabokov's literary spoofs.

4:30-5:45pm [CCC Rms 301, 302]
F226. Colorado's Innovative Writers Past and Present. (Julie Carr, Noah Eli Gordon, Eleni Sikelianos, Bhanu Kapil, Dan Beachy-Quick, Matthew Cooperman) This panel includes five writers currently living and teaching in the Front Range, whose writing reflects the vibrant history of innovative writing in the area. Each participant will speak about a particular writer or group of writers who lived in Colorado and who has influenced his or her own work. The participants will then speak toward and briefly read from their own work in order to demonstrate this lineage.

9pm-Midnight [The Denver Press Club]
WILLA Goes Live. A Benefit Evening of Burlesque, Literature and Roller Derby. Cover/Admission: $10. Burlesque Performers: Vivienne VaVoom & Cora Vette, both of Black Box Burlesque.


10:30-11:45am [CCC Rms 103, 105]
S123. Criticism for Its Own Sake: The Rewards of Writing (and Reading) Reviews. (Dinah Lenney, William Giraldi, Sven Birkerts, Amy Gerstler, Dana Goodyear) Panelists will discuss the role of the critic as it informs the culture, as well as the art of critical writing, and when it's most rewarding for readers and writers. Do we need critics? What are their obligations? Do they deepen or enhance our understanding even when we disagree with them? Does criticism stand up as literary nonfiction, entertaining, enlightening, or offensive in its own right, regardless of its subject.

Noon-1:15pm [CCC Rm 203]
S153. The Collage Novel. (Heid Erdrich, Eric Gansworth, James Cihlar, Jonis Agee, Brent Spencer) The 20th century witnessed the formulation of the collage novel, which utilized interwoven plot lines, interrelated characters, and sweeping timelines—with novels such as Love Medicine, The Way to Rainy Mountain, and Beloved replacing the austerity of Hemingway, harkening back to the richness of Faulkner, in new and inventive ways. This panel of established writers, critics, and editors will examine how 21st-century novelists are interpreting, translating, and reinventing the genre.

3-4:15pm [CCC Rms 301, 302]
S198. A Chorus of Hauntings: Giving Breath to Ghosts. (Deborah Poe, Cole Swensen, Jake Adam York, Brandon Shimoda, Selah Saterstrom, Claudia Smith) This panel consists of fiction, poetry, and hybrid-genre writers whose literary work is deeply invested in meditations on ghosts and hauntings. The panel considers how writers negotiate history and human experience, illuminating what traces of violence, fragmented identity, collective guilt, memory, grief, and memorial mean for writing. This chorus of hauntings embodies the persistent presence of history as it asks difficult questions about lessons the "spirit world" might attempt to pass on.

7-9pm [Plus Gallery]
A Reading Hosted by Apostrophe Books with Action Books, Black Ocean Press, Slope Editions and Tarpaulin Sky Press. A small press reading featuring Johannes Göransson, Zachary Schomburg, Catherine Meng, Joe Hall, Paul Foster Johnson, Julie Doxsee, and many others….

7:30-9:30pm [The Denver Press Club]
Copper Nickel: An Audible Event. An edited reading, arranged into a live edition of Copper Nickel, including Hadara Bar-Nadav, Alyson Hagy, James Hoch, Aurelie Sheehan and other contributors.