Monday, June 8, 2009

Popping up for some air

This is me attempting to be social. Hi. I'm Rachel. How are you? You look real good. I like your face.

I have been running around like a crazed Price is Right contestant. I haven't enough hips for all these kids! Nor enough fingers to type out all the things happening these days. I can, however, give you the lowdown on a few of them:

1) My first full-length book, Pink Elephant, is going to drop on Halloween. Because the universe is always such a sweet little schemer like that. The cover design is by one of my most favorite artists, Mike Stilkey. How I made that happen is beyond me. But I am SO effing excited, I might need to borrow a diaper about it.

2) I will be featuring three times in Ohio next month. I am fascilitating writing workshops at the first annual Hope Springs Womens' Poetry and Performance retreat (for more deets, go here ) I will teach a workshop in the morning, then drive up to Columbus for a feature at the First Draft poetry series (where I will read all new or never before read work.) And, because I am bananas, I will drive up again to feature (with a different set, as well as a small workshop beforehand) the next night at the Writing Wrongs Poetry Slam. The next day, I will close out with a feature (again) in Columbus along with the other fasciliators/features from Hope Springs.

3) In August, I will have friends and family visit and will be the first time in nine years that I will not be attending the National Poetry Slam. I do, however, encourage everyone else to check it out. It's in Florida. Sizzling! Still, it is weird for me to not be attending. The closest possible slam team is (I think) Syracuse and/or Buffalo, so that's a wrap for me. Folks keep asking if I plan on starting a slam here in Rochester, and the answer is a consistent "Nuh-uh." I coached my ass off for the past four years, and I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a new team with fresher voices, etc., but it isn't going to happen this year. I will miss all my poetry peeps at NPS, though, even if I did always hide out in my hotel room most days/nights.

4) In September, I will be reading at the Kentucky Women Writers Conference. It is their 30th anniversary, and boy have they created a stellar line-up. The inaugural poet, Elizabeth Alexander, was recently added to the roster, (as if I didn't already feel like a party crasher enough) so, of course, I will undoubtedly embarrass myself in front of her. Under pressure, I fold like a housewife. What can I say?

Okay. That's it for now. I have to go clean the spit-up off my ankles. I wish that was a metaphor.