Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I went out to the Anacostia Museum with Mark Cohen, the producer of Takoma Coffeehouse. It's a very good Maryland cable program that highlights culture and examines political issues. Cohen met members of the Museum staff. He shot an interview with me that will air in a few weeks. I talked about the ideas behind the making of the exhibit "All The Stories Are True."

On Friday, I have a scheduled interview at the Anacostia Museum with a reporter from the Washington Post.

Today there was 2 buses of children visiting the show. The word is getting out, spread the word. Thanks.

I spent yesterday morning talking with Gina Lewis. She's a graduate art student at Howard. I'm a member of her thesis committee. Her work is really taking off...

I discussed by memoir FATHERING WORDS at the Loudoun County Public Library last night. It's a long ride to get to. Melissa West met me at the West Falls Church metro stop. It was good to see Linda Holtslander again. She is the assistant director of the library and the type of woman who makes a difference in an organization. Boy, you should see the posters that were done to promote my reading. The best I've seen so far in my career.

The audience was small but warm. Amy Petrine came with her parents. We first met about 17 years ago when she was a student at Foxcroft in Virginia. Amy is the type of person you meet and you know she's a friend for life. Also in the audience was the poet Steve Scafidi. He is the author of SPARKS FROM A NINE-POUND HAMMER which was published by Louisiana State University Press in 2001. I just read two poems and the collection seems to rock.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

There is a good interview with Wendell Berry in the latest issue of Sojourners. It was conducted by Rose Berger. The complete text is available on

"You have to be able to imagine lives that are not yours or the lives of your loved ones or the lives of your neighbors. You have to have at least enough imagination to understand that if you want the benefits of compassion, you must be compassionate. If you want forgiveness you must be forgiving. It's a difficult business, being human."

I just received a copy of Ravi Shankar's new collection of poems. ISTRUMENTALITY was just published by Cherry Grove Collections. Ravi is currently poet-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University. He is a founding editor of DRUNKEN BOAT:

This is what I wrote about INSTRUMENTALITY:

"Here are poems I've not seen before. A fog lifts and Ravi Shankar gives the reader a landscape of language filled with sharp, stainless, geometric forms. There is considerable distance to travel from page to page. Even in a poem like 'Home Together'
Shankar detects a vacuum in love. From a men's room to a San Francisco sunrise, Shankar emerges with a pocketful of koans reflecting the wisdom hidden in the stars."

This is what Gregory Orr wrote about Shankar's work:

"Quirky, quizzical, inquisitive, Ravi Shankar in INSTRUMENTALITY goes in quest of what the oddness of language and imagination can reveal: "a hust of atoms holding a planet together." By turns, lyrical and meditative, these poems are guided by a strong intelligence toward resolutions that are both surprising and apt."

Monday, June 28, 2004

On Tuesday I have a program at the Loudoun County Public Library (7PM).
I'll read from FATHERING WORDS and discuss the writing of the memoir.
That night I
slept alone and dreamed of finding
my way back to the house where I
was born.
- Philip Levine

Sunday, June 27, 2004

WHUT-TV this evening ran an excellent speech given on the Howard campus by Harry Belafonte. Belafonte is the type of cultural artist I still have the desire to become...
He always reminds us of what we should be doing. He always mentions Paul Robeson. In my own life the "giants" who have blessed my life have been C.L.R. James, James Baldwin,and Leon Damas. I sometimes can't believe that I was fortunate to sit in a room with these men and talk about politics and culture. I still remember Damas calling me up and inviting me to read poetry with him. of the fathers of the Negritude Movement. The last time Baldwin spoke on Howard's campus we did a program together at the Howard Law School. I got him to autograph my copy of TIME magazine (early 1960s) with him on the cover. I can still here Baldwin's voice...
Well I got everyone up and out of the house by 11:30AM. In 10 minutes we were at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring. We could see a line forming outside as we looked for parking. Standing outside the theatre talking on a cell phone was writer Greg Tate. I hadn't seen him in years. He had no ticket to the Michael Moore movie; all shows were sold out. Tate is a brother who I always thought was a genius. If you want to agree read his book FLYBOY IN THE BUTTERMILK:ESSAYS ON CONTEMPORARY AMERICA. It came out in 1992.

This was my first time inside the AFI Silver. It's a beautiful place and close to my house. Thanks to a friend (SS) who reads my E-Notes I was encouraged to order tickets on line for F/9-11. We had good seats,and so did Gary Stein (Book Editor/for Poet Lore)who sat behind me with his family.

What can I say about F/9-11? Well, both my children enjoyed it. I think that's very important. If there was a draft they would have to go to war.
If Moore can reach young people with this movie he will make a major contribution to pulling another generation into what I might define as the "politics of care." It's hard not to ignore the various political and economic ties Moore hits on and not be angry or just suspicious of the present administration. Moore's movie is edited well and it's funny. His use of popular culture (references to Dragnet and Bonanza) is slick and clever.

The premise of the film is that the Bush people stole the last election. FOX Network should be boycotted from what Moore presents in his film. Moore makes some early important points in his film. One is the low rating Bush was getting prior to 9/11.

In defense of Bush, I think the guy has a funny sense of humor. At times this can make him look callous or just dumb and maybe too funny. One can always find funny footage of actors and politicians getting ready before the camera is set to really record. This is why folks love those bloopers shows. Moore takes advantage of this.

The music in the film enhances the message. For me the comments by our soldiers, the wounded at Walter Reed (just a three blocks from my home)
is what upset me. Young lives destroyed for what? The group of people that we should be upset with is the U.S. Congress (especially the Senate). A democracy without dialogue is not a democracy. When Congressman Conyers mentions that folks in Congress seldom read the bills they vote on something made me want to ask for a few resignations.

Moore's film has footage of a beheading...and that's another image that stays with me. So many beheading these days. What year is it? I often feel as if we have one foot in the future and the other in the Middle Ages.

One departs from the movie theater talking to folks. There was a large crowd in front of the theater when I left with my family. So many other families in this country spending their Sundays with a love one missing.
Why? Moore's movie might not have the answers but it raises serious questions for all Americans to ponder. Go see it.

For A. Van Jordan his essay "Earning Transcendence: Blues Iconography to Get Me Over" in Nocturnes 3 (Spring 2004). Nocturnes is edited by my buddy Giovanni Singleton. You can obtain copies from her at:
P.O.Box 3653, Oakland, CA 94609.

Schwarzenegger's response when asked to describe his California governing philosophy the last seven months:
"Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women."
Was he joking in making this reference to Conan?

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Morning run, yard work, cleaners. I went to Karibu around 11:30 AM. I took the Metro (Green Line) to the PG Plaza Stop. I hadn't been out there for awhile. The Mall is under renovation. I sat in the food court and had lunch. I read a poem by a friend and an essay by Afaa Michael Weaver. The Weaver essay ("I'll Fly Away) is quite good. He talks about his early beginnings as a writer and the idea behind three of his books. The A.Van Jordan program didn't start until about 2:30 P.M. It was nice to see his fellow writers showing up to support him. In the store were Ken Carroll, Brandon Johnson, D. J. Renegade, Venus, and a few others.

I introduced A. Van Jordan. Here is an excerpt of my remarks:

"With the publication of his second book A. Van Jordan sounds like no one else. He is not Sonny Stitt playing Charlie Parker. You are not going to confuse MACNOLIA with another book of poetry.

You can place him among the best of what is a new generation of black poets. The Jordan river runs pass the shadow of the Slams. I connect Jordan to Brandon Johnson, D.J. Renegade, Shara McCallum, Kevin Young, Honoree Jeffers and Terrance Hayes. These poets are not spoken word artists and their performance on the page is what bends the ear as well as the eye."

Van gave a good reading and answered a few questions. He explained the story of Maccolia Cox, the 13 year old Spelling Bee champion whose life is documented in his book of poems. I spent time after the reading talking with Lee McDonald, the marketing/Event Coordinator for Karibu Bookstore. Lee is warm and very professional. Karibu is doing very well. They have to be the best Black Book Store(s) in the country. Here is their website:

They have a good stock of books. I autographed copies of FIRST LIGHT, HOW WE SLEEP ON THE NIGHTS WE DON'T MAKE LOVE and IN SEARCH OF COLOR EVERYWHERE. They had a hardback copy of my anthology. I couldn't believe it. I only own 1 cloth copy of this book myself. I spoke with Lee about having representatives of Karibu give a talk about "Starting and running
a Black Bookstore." I think a talk of this kind would work well with my Anacostia Museum exhibit.

Before leaving Karibu I purchased 4 books. Two for my son:

For myself it was AMERICAN DESERT by Percival Everett. I'm still laughing from reading his novel ERASURE. My other book was WARRIOR POET:A BIOGRAPHY OF AUDRE LORDE by Alexis De Veaux.

Friday, June 25, 2004

"I can understand someone wanting to save his presidency, but I don't accept that he had to completely desecrate my character, which not only affected me, but my family, my friends, and my future."
- Monica Lewinsky

Thank God Clinton wanted to save his presidency. Where would we all be today? Does Monica place herself above National Security matters?

Anyway, I just got back from my son's game. He looked good this evening.
No look and touch passes. His team seems to be coming together. I hope they can take the summer league championship.

I spent the late afternoon at Howard talking with my former student (from UNLV) Tracie Guzzio. She is teaching at a college in upstate New York.

Edna Ferber's SO BIG came in the mail today. I have to start reading it this weekend for the NPR book discussion on July 21st.

I also have to complete a few medical forms in preparation for a needed check-up. I'm turning in before Friday ends.

The usual rules do not apply in unusual circumstances.
- Joyce Maynard

My Van Jordan intro is done. My son has a summer basketball game tonight. I plan to see Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 on Sunday.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I spent the morning going through my A. Van Jordan file. It was fun looking at old correspondence. I'll draft my introduction for his Saturday reading this evening.

I wish I had a summer intern to work in the African American Resource Center this summer. Along with the Van Jordan file there are hundreds of other files to put in order. The scholar Julia Galbus is visting and doing research on Stephen Henderson.

I sent Bart Schneider my essay on "Fear" for an upcoming issue of Speakeasy. I think it's good. I hope to meet Schneider in August when I travel to the Twin Cities.

I went out to the Anacostia Museum and gave a tour of the "All The Stories Are True" exhibit to a local community group. It was nice going back to the show...only my second time. This is really an awesome exhibit. I hope folks will see it between now and December. I spoke to 40 young kids who ran around looking at things, asking questions and requesting autographs. It was fun. They really were interested in writing. A couple pulled me aside and read their poems. The kids were participating in the Our Black Authors Foundation 2004 Summer Youth Writing Camp. Charlene Harry runs this organization. You can visit her website:
This month I'm their featured author.

The Anacostia Museum should have a real nice website up for "All The Stories Are True" in a few days. You can reach it at:

Before coming home I went over to the Provision Library. New exhibit up:
Yun-Fei Ji: The Empty City.

I purchased a couple of CDs today:
The Best of Bonnie Raitt
Etta James new one, Blues To The Bone

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Upcoming events:
Rituals in the Buddhist Practice with Rev. Masao Kodani
Saturday, June 19th. 2PM
Smithsonian Institution, Meyer Auditorium
Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1100 Jefferson Dr. SW, Washington, DC

Carl Hancock Rux
Thursday, September 16th 8P.M.
National Geographic Society Gilbert H. Grosvenor Auditorum.
Tickets are $40.
49,696. The largest crowd ever to attend a baseball game at Camden Yards in Baltimore.
My friend Baruti and I watched the Yankees defeat the Orioles. It was good to be a part of history. A-Rod hit 2 balls out of the park. Jeter has his bat back. The Yankees look strong at this point in the season. Baruti and I sat in the Club Seats, Upper Deck, left-field side. That was a first for me. When I was a guest of the Ripken Center I watched the games from seats behind home plate. I could call balls and strikes with the umpire. The seats we had last night were really good too. When we left the ball park we got lost. The game ended around 10:30 PM. Baruti and I spent the next couple of hours trying to find the parking lot where we left his car. It was Seinfeld without Elaine. The more we looked the more we didn't have a clue to where we were. Finally we bumped into a funny cab driver who drove us all around the area for about another hour. Total cost $40.00. The cab driver helped us back track our entrance into Baltimore. When we found the parking lot we thought was ours it was of course closed.
The cab driver was nice to take us out to a hotel near BWI. Baruti and I were able to get the last available room. Of course the cab driver was willing to drive us to DC. I could see his nose in my wallet. I didn't want to let the dogs out. Around 5AM this morning Baruti and I left the hotel and caught a cab into downtown Baltimore. We started walking around again and finally found the right garage. The parking lot had two entrances and exits. :-(
When we walked into the garage this morning an older black man looked like he had been waiting for us. He told us not to walk down the street to checkout another lot. He said it might be better instead to check the level below the one where we were. Yep...all alone was Baruti's golden Jaguar. We said a prayer before getting in the car. Baruti had problems finding the way out the garage but we had enough gas. :-) I know last night will be something I will never forget. I wonder what's going to happen today.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Breakfast in Adams Morgan...Naomi couldn't make it. I guess folks are still recovering from Bennington. A number of good things came in the mail while I was away. Felicia Mitchell ( professor at Emory & Henry) sent me two CDs of my reading at E&H on April 15th. She also sent along a copy of Ampersand the creative writing journal the school puts out.

Be sure to read the Christopher Hitchens essay in today's Slate magazine. It's about Moore's new movie Fairenheit 9/11. Folks are choosing sides regarding this movie. I'll have to see it for myself. Hitchens writes like an old ex-leftist upset everytime he has to take a piss or comment on something he disagrees with.

I received a personal essay in the mail from Afaa Michael Weaver. I'll try to read it this afternoon during my break.

Many thanks to the staff of SQUARE LAKE Magazine. They sent me a copy and also wanted me to submit work. I might do that this weekend.

The new issue of Black Issues Book Review is out. I need to send those folks some critical comments. The publication could be doing much more to shape and interpret what's going on. Is that my name listed as a founding adviser?

The Afro-American Studies Department is developing its new website. It should be completed soon.

In other happenings...I'll be doing the Diane Rehm Show (NPR) on July 21st. I will be participating in a discussion of Edna Ferber's SO BIG. Ferber's book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1924.

Monday, June 21, 2004

I just got back from a meeting with Lois Claire Kincannon. She recently edited SHEETS FOR MEN ONLY. It's a project she worked on for four years.
The book includes work by twenty-five men with origins in fourteen countries. In this book you will find work by Joseph Zobel, Henry Taylor, Hall Gardner,Anselm Hollo, as well as me. For information about the book write to:
Home. :-)
The Bennington residency went well. I enjoyed teaching with Amy Gerstler.
I have five wonderful students this term:
Ilina Singh, Matthew Klein,Douglas Korb,Abbey Abbey Winant, and Chris Green.
Several beautiful new folks just joined the program: Caleb Thompson, Carla Porch, Mariela Perez-Simons and Turner Houston. I'm going to miss a number of the June graduates, especially Rebecca Brock (she gave an awesome lecture), Elizabeth Gatti,Sarah Kanning and Tim Mayo.

I didn't purchase too many books this time from the bookstore. I would warn folks to stay away from those cans of Red Bull. I drank too many.
I love the Bennington bookstore because of JC and Richard. It's the heart of the campus for me.

I purchased just three books:
David gave a good lecture on the last day of the residency. His topic was "Revising the Canon: On Editing The Oxford Book of Contemporary Poetry.

TROUBLE IN MIND by Lucie Brock-Broido. I heard her read for the first time...she has a head full of hair. So far I like her poem " The One Theme of Which Everything Else Is A Variation."

MY SKY BLUE TRADES by Sven Birkerts. I needed to own a copy.

Since this was the 10th Anniversary of the program many ex-Bennies were on campus. Rebecca Balcarcel gave me a copy of her chapbook FERRY CROSSING. Cate Merritt autographed for me a copy of the book she edited:

Oh, Tom Schabarum produced a great DVD celebrating the 10th Anniversary.
If you want a copy he can be contacted at: 206 722-3586. They sell for $10. I love the picture of me and my buddy Nathalie Handal.

It was great meeting Joyce Maynard. I will forever remember her playing softball. I love the way she laughs...

I must thank Turner and Remica for their gives me the strength to continue.


the mountain says yes
so far away is the snow
i find a gray hair

Saturday, June 19, 2004

I just came from Tishman auditorium where I watched a wonderful video presentation celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Bennington program. It was good to see old faces and what were joyful moments. I loved the music...

Afternoon reception at the library, then it's the start of graduation ceremonies.

In my room my bags are packed and ready to go. Hello Monday.

Friday, June 18, 2004

So it's Friday the last day of the week. I've started packing...folks have been arriving on campus for the 10th anniversary reunion. Good to see old friends. Last night the faculty readings were very good. I love listening to Liam Rector's poetry.

I have two more students to workshop in my group. This will be done on Sunday morning.
Graduation is Sunday afternoon.

I should be back in my own bed by Monday night. My work here is almost done. The good news is that faculty here received a small raise. :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2004

CREATIVE WRITING: A Prose Poem You Don't Have To Pay For

In the story the story begins with the car breaking down
somewhere outside Durham. I was with Ahmos who was from
a little town called DeRidder, Louisiana. It was his car because
I never learned how to drive. I come from a family of heart breaks
so I know when smoke comes from under the hood it's trouble
before the engine dies. Nothing like a highway becoming
a hospital and you can't move from your bed.

I make a phone call to the police. I tell a lie. In my lie
the car turns over and flames start to lie. They burn
the truth and I'm left with nothing to believe in. The police
arrive at the car looking for the fire. I tell another lie. The
police want to arrest me for making the call. I get back in
the car and give Ahmos my last few coins. I tell him to
go write a poem but don't call the police. The police are already here.

A famous poet who lives in Durham comes to our rescue. Ahmos
and I had read his books. The poet calls his mechanic and
tells him a story. It's another story. In the poet's
story the car breaks down in the third stanza. The mechanic
never learned how to drive. He only knows how to fix cars. He's
from DeRidder, Louisiana. This is his poem. He give me
money to make a phone call. I tell him I'll be right back.

The poem Ahmos is writing begins with the car breaking down
somewhere outside Durham.

- E. Ethelbert Miller

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

OK...the Bennington residency is coming to an end. Tomorrow I'll show the video tape interview I did with Suheir Hammad several weeks ago. Today I received a note from Humanities Profiled producer Michon Boston. She plans to edit the Hammad tape and make it available for a September broadcast on DCTV.

Our Edwidge Danticat interview is being pushed back. E must be very busy. Me too.
New poem. Haiku:

water undressing
sunlight dancing with arms
nothing to hold me

A morning of graduate lectures. One always comes away with good quotes:

We will never get rid of God until we get rid of grammer.
- Nietzsche

I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse.
- Emperor Charles V

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The poet Honoree Jeffers gave a good talk on the blues this morning. I guess that was the highlight of the day. I've been meeting with students outside my POD. Yes, I started packing my clothes for my return to DC. I'm counting days. I really need a vacation.

I received an email from my friend Carrin (in Wisconsin) so I'll send her a shipment of books for her jail project when I return to Washington.

I need to get the basement of my home in order. A number of things need to be sorted and shipped to Emory & Henry College.

Tonight is Dark Night at Bennington. This means no evening readings. Many of the students have left the campus and gone into town. Only a few more days until graduation on Sunday.

Monday, June 14, 2004

First the good news. Stevie Wonder will have a new album out next month. This is his first release in 10 years. I can't wait to see the direction his music is going in.

I revised the poem I wrote the other day; I think it's much better. I would like to write two more before the residency ends.

A couple of good lectures this morning by students who are graduating. Gail Hamburg wrote a line on the board which was taken from THE QUIET AMERICAN:

Sooner or later one must choose sides in order to remain human.

I think this comment is how we must live our lives. It echoes the remark Paul Robeson said about the artist making a decision to fight against the spread of facism.

Another quote Hamburg wrote on the board this morning was from Rushdie:

When writers go silent the politicians win.

Today was a good workshop day. The poet Honoree Jeffers arrived on campus. She will be giving a reading tonight and a lecture tomorrow. I love how Jeffers just claims her space and fills a person's insides with laughter. She walks around in the tradition of Hurston and Verta Mae. It's wild, crazy and fun. My spirits have been lifted and my soul is clapping its hands. Let the congregation say amen. Church tomorrow...who's bringing the prayer books and potato salad?

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I just had dinner and will finish doing some email. Today was a day of rest with students and faculty playing softball and volley ball on the campus. I sat on a bench with a couple of students and watched the action. Teams were selected by genre. I think the poets won the softball game.

I'm heading back to my room to prepare for tomorrow's workshop. Maybe Monday will end early. Should I make a wish?
Angela on the Bennington staff just gave me a copy of the Sunday New York I'm in heaven. I'll probably grab a bottle of water and sit outdoors. The weather here is very nice. I went to 2 morning graduate lectures. I'll spend the afternoon reading manuscripts and judging a literary contest for students at Goucher College.

My workshop here is going well. I think I'm going to enjoy working with my new students.
Yesterday I completed the reading of Danticat's novel. This morning I wrote a new my soul is rested.

Quote written on the blackboard in Tishman Hall:

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Morning walk. I've been trying to clear my head after talking with family members at home. I met with my POD this morning at breakfast. It was a chance to obtain feedback from my students. Each term I try to improve as a teacher. So much more to learn; changes to make.

I know I need a vacation. Things begin this morning with orientation and picture taking.
Workshops this afternoon.

The weather is nice so that's good. I'm doing just a bit better than the Lakers. Go figure.

Thursday, June 10, 2004 you thought it was Kobe hitting that 3 pointer that knocked out the blog. Well I'm back and sending this E-Note from Vermont. I flew into Albany yesterday and caught the limo that took me to the Bennington campus. I'm usually one of the first arrivals. I like to have time to get my things in order. This residency I'll be staying in Noyes. It's the housing unit at the edge of the campus. Nice and private. My room has good light.
Last night Liam treated the Writing Seminar staff to a nice dinner. I went too and had swordfish and a brew.

This morning I went to the bookstore and purchased my New York Times. I'm glad I can get the news up here. I spent the morning reading work by one of my new students. I also read the first part of Danticat's BREATH, EYES,MEMORY. Around Noon I went for a walk. I might do that everyday since I'm not jogging. I'm thinking about doing maybe a 6AM morning walk. I try to start my day around 7:30A.M. with student meetings.

I might try and write some new poems while I'm here. It would be good to return to DC with some new work.

Well, I have to go and get ready for a 3P.M. faculty meeting.
This residency the Bennington Writing Seminars will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary. I gave my first lecture (on the Black Arts Movement) here in August 1994.

Monday, June 07, 2004

I had a couple of good conversations today. Dan Moldea and I talked about Reagan and how he changed the world. Dr. Sulayman Nyang came by the Resource Center in the afternoon and gave me a copy of his new book: MUSLIMS' PLACE IN THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SQUARE. A couple of good essays in the book about African Americans and Islam. I told Nyang that some Black people have a triple consciousness (moving beyond DuBois 2). They see themselves as Muslims, Black people, and Americans. Three different ways of looking at a black person.

Jody, Rick and I spent about 3 hours during the evening selecting work for Poet Lore.

One last day to get things together before I leave town.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

I completed the reading of all my Poet Lore packets. I'm ready for Monday's evening editor's meeting with Rick and Jody.

The opening reception of ALL THE STORIES ARE TRUE was great. A very good turnout. Everyone thinks the exhibit is exceptional. In the audience were Walter D. Myers, Dolores Kendrick, Eloise Greenfield, Samuel R. Delany,Kenneth Carroll and Valerie Boyd.

Music during the reception was provided by the "Lions of Zululand."

I think once the word gets out about this's going to be a big success. In my opening remarks I thanked the Anacostia staff. What a talented group of people. I compared them to the big bands of Ellington and Basie.

I'm going to relax now by watching some African JumpBall tonight...Lakers against the Pistons.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

My sister is in town. She arrived this afternoon. For most of the day I read Poet Lore packets. I had to miss the Humanities Council meeting.
Around 5P.M. the entire family went to St. Albans to watch my son play basketball. It was Gonzaga against Paul VI. An exciting game with my son hitting 10 of his 13 points near the end. Gonzaga is know 2-0.

More packets to read this evening. I'm almost completely packed for Bennington. No last minute rushing. I'm taking a bigger bag this trip.

Tomorrow is the exhibit opening.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Music playing in the background. One of the most progressive songs today has to be "Dear Mr. Man" on Prince's Musicology:

Ain't no sense in voting
Same song with a different name
Might not be in the back of the bus
But it sho' feel just the same
Ain't nothin fair about welfare
Ain't no assistance in AIDS
Ain't nothin affirmative about ur actions
'Till the people get paid!
A busy day. Many things in the mail. I just got back from my son's basketball game. It was the Gonzaga varsity's first summer season game. The team has a new head coach. After a slow start things began to click for the players and they won. My son had a good solid game as guard. 6 pts (2 three pointers), 2 steals and 7 rebounds. I have problems keeping tabs on assists. Another game tomorrow.

Good news about the Anacostia exhibit. I think about 300 people have RSVP for the Sunday opening. I received a CD today of all the recorded interviews that will be on display during the exhibit. They are excellent. All the writers are talking about what makes a good story and where their stories come from. Very inspiring stuff.

Charles Johnson (he's represented in the show) just sent me a copy of the latest issue (July) of Shambhala Sun. Thich Nhat Hanh is on the cover. Charles has an article on politics and peace.

Folks at East Carolina University sent me several copies of their Expressions magazine. It's a cool publication which examines politics and art. This current issue looks at censorship. Give a shoutout if you want me to send you a copy. I have extras.

A box of material to read for Goucher College just came. I have about 6 more Poet Lore packets to read in preparation for the Monday meeting.

I'm almost finish with all my Bennington work. I started corresponding with some of my new students. I'll meet them next week.

Oh...and I must get ready for a Humanities Council meeting that will be held tomorrow morning. Yipes...almost forgot that.

Will we have a Triple Crown winner tomorrow? I hope so...

I'm taking the Lakers in 4 starting Sunday. Gotta go.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

So I open my front door this morning and there are 2 deer across the street in my neighbor's yard. It was obvious they were looking for housing. Is this a sign of things to come.

I met Yael in Adams Morgan, we chatted and then I went and got a haircut.

A slow day at Howard. I have a pile of things to sort and file away.

So our CIA director is gone. Look for additional changes to take place in the Bush Adminstration. I'm certain there will be a new government not only in Iraq but also here in the States. Folks forget that Bush loves baseball...a good manager knows when to take the pitcher out. He also never lets the fans decide when he should go to the bullpen.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I joined the Charles Johnson Society today. I sent my $20 off for membership. I've been making more contributions to literary organizations that I think are important:
Hurston/Wright Foundation, Cave Canem, HoCoPoLitCo, Wordworks, Academy of American Poets, etc.

I had a good meeting at the Resource Center with Rosemary Winslow. She's a good poet that I met one year ago at a reading Marilyn Hacker and Reetika gave at Chapter's Bookstore.

I also met today with Edelin Fields. She's a poet in her 70s. We had fun talking about the past and her new book project. Edelin brings that nice Sunday afternoon church feeling into the room.

Just got an email from Danticat asking to change the date of our interview. That works well with my schedule right now. I was doing too many things this week.

I read some Poet Lore submissions; editor's meeting at the house next Monday. This evening Sarah Browning will be coming by the house for a visit.

I received the latest issue of Multicultural Review. In it Lori Tsang has a review of Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge's new book of poetry. The title is NEST.

I started reading the V.S.Naipaul story "Suckers" in THE NEW YORKER. After a few paragraphs about the servant class I wanted to put my foot up his butt. Anyway, the guy can write so I'll take my shoe off first.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I'm still in a slump. A couple of folks came by the Resource Center today to chat. This pushed a couple of things back. I did get some mail out.
I spoke with a number of people about the upcoming exhibit. I expect a nice size turnout for the Sunday opening.

I made note of my son's basketball games in my schedule book. Gonzaga's summer league begins on Friday. I'll only miss a few games so that's not too bad. My daughter is still looking for an apartment. She was lucky to find a job one week after graduating from Boston University.

I received a nice little book from Traci Currie (Department of African American Studies at Ohio University). It's a book about SPOKEN WORD IN THE 21st CENTURY that she edited. It has a few essays I might share with my students. Currie has been looking at Spoken Word as an art form, communication tool and language.