Posts Tagged ‘Spoken Word Stage’

No, no, not the time, but I’d mentioned in my August 16 post that “I have my eye on one piece from THE TEARS OF ISIS that I don’t believe I’ve read before, but I need to go through it to make sure it isn’t overly ‘family unfriendly’ in terms of language.  And that said, I’ll probably need to choose a shorter piece too, or perhaps some poems, to round out my half hour.”  So a slight change of mind when I later did my timed reading rehearsals and, yesterday at 2 p.m., I read instead a tale originally published in THE STRAND MAGAZINE and reprinted in my second collection, DARKER LOVES, called “The Great Man.”  It neatly fit the time frame by itself and, set in post-Revolution France, contained lots of fun facts about guillotines for an audience of perhaps about a dozen people.

Other than that, Saturday’s weather for the opening day of Bloomington’s annual Labor Day weekend “Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts” (see also September 1, August 27 2018, et al.) was not as hot as in recent past years, but comfortable and somewhat cloudy, almost at times a little gloomy.  It also shared time with several other celebrations, notably the Saturday-only Bloomington PRIDEFest just one block north on Kirkwood Avenue.  Plenty of space for all, however, and sun and a bit more warmth this afternoon, Sunday, as the fair and its Bloomington Writers Guild sponsored “Spoken Word Stage” wind down to another year’s completion.


Writers Guild at Bloomington tagged you in the description of Writers Guild Spoken Word Stage was the email message header; the content the schedule of readings for this year’s Writers Guild Spoken Word Stage at the annual “Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts” (see September 1, August 27 2018, et al.) on Labor Day Weekend or, more precisely, August 31 and September 1.  I’m up for “Horror Fiction” on the Saturday, the 31st, in a prime time spot at 2 p.m., sandwiched between a half hour of audio theater and a poetry reading.  But what shall I read, that is the question — I have my eye on one piece from THE TEARS OF ISIS that I don’t believe I’ve read before, but I need to go through it to make sure it isn’t overly “family unfriendly” in terms of language.  And that said, I’ll probably need to choose a shorter piece too, or perhaps some poems, to round out my half hour.

So I’ll try to update in a week or so when I’ve made my decision and done some timings — with also perhaps a schedule then of other readers, allowing a little time for late adjustments.  But circle the dates, the Arts Fair is always fun and this year it’s Saturday and Sunday, the 31st and 1st, on Bloomington’s 4th Street with the Writers Guild’s booth and stage just around the corner to the south on Dunn Street.

As posted just below there will not be a September “First Sunday Prose Readings” scheduled because the Bloomington Arts Fair, and with it the Writers Guild’s “Spoken Word Stage,” will be on that weekend.  And now a preliminary schedule has been released, with me slotted for a half hour of “horror fiction” at 3:30 Sunday, September 3.  The reading most likely will be from TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, probably the same program I offered at NASFiC last month (cf. July 13).  Then, as we already know from the post below, I will also be a featured reader when First Sunday Prose resumes on October 1, most likely again with a story-chapter from TOMBS, but a different one this time.

In other news, PayPal has apparently adopted a policy this year of refusing to tell people when they’ve received payments, one would like to presume for good purpose.  Keeping us on our toes, for instance, or maybe trying to discourage small businesses from reporting earnings to the IRS.  I’ve asked (well . . . complained to) PayPal about this for which they’ve responded thus far by not bothering to get back to me on it.  Be that as it may, today I’ve discovered — only four days late! — that another mammoth royalty payment has been received by me, of nearly a whopping three times as much as the amount the PayPal folk skimmed off for themselves (to cover, presumably, the cost of providing such services as not emailing me that I’d received it).

For how much?  From whom?  For what story and where?  Well, as is my custom, let’s let that be secret to prevent embarrassment on all sides, but this is for an anthology that’s been in print for a few years now, and for which the initial payment had been refreshingly substantial (well, for an individual story, shall we say in a highish two figures?).

What is this about nine-day acceptances (see “Needle-Heat Gun,” July 29)?  We may recall England’s GRIEVOUS ANGEL, publisher among other things of my Rhysling-nominated poem “On the Other Hand,” on King Kong’s doomed romance with Fay Wray (cf. September 5, March 30 2015).  So on that same day, July 29, just nine days before today as it happens, I sent GRIEVOUS ANGEL a flash submission for which has just come from GA-White-Red copyeditor Charles Christian:  Another fantastic story — love it & will use it.  Has that wonderful mix of quirky with a human touch.  And so for the first acceptance for August, a new story, “Matches,” the 650-word “slightly absurdist” tale of a frustrated young man who hopes to set the world on fire.

Then yesterday brought the coming fall’s opening “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf. May 7, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and local bookstore Boxcar Books, with featured readers Dennis McCarty reading reflections on the Little Bighorn/”Custer’s Last Stand” battle site from his upcoming book, tentatively scheduled for early 2018, MONUMENTS:  ONE ATHEIST’S TOUR THROUGH TIME, CULTURE, AND MEANING; Wendy Teller with opening excerpts from her novel-in-progress BECOMING MIA BROWER; and novelist Annette Oppenlander, who noted that her first ever public reading had been at a Writers Guild First Sunday and, scheduled to leave Bloomington later this month, this will be her last reading here, an excerpt set in Germany in the final days of World War II from her fact-based SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND.  All were interesting and well received, though the presentations for the open mike session after the break were a bit skimpy.  Mine, third of only three on a rather gloomy afternoon outside, added perhaps to the ambience with a tale of New Orleanian vampiress Aimée, “Flightless Rats,” on a date gone bad, one that’s been around the block a few times already and is soon to be reprinted next month in FANTASIA DIVINITY (see below, July 16 and 7, et al.).

And two announcements regarding First Sundays:  Next month will be skipped insofar as September’s first weekend will also bring the Bloomington Arts Fair with the Writers Guild-sponsored Spoken Word Stage.  Then for the month after, on October 1, I have been asked to be one of the featured readers.

Starting cloudy but moving to sunny, temperature in the mid-to-high 80s (not quite the 91 degrees the Weather Channel had predicted before), today was the second day of the local Arts Fair with, at 3 p.m., my “A Half Hour of Vampires:  Poetry and Prose” reading (cf. August 8) on “The Spoken Word Stage.”  This was a section run by the Bloomington Writers Guild which included various local poets and short story writers, etc., an information table, and a very popular “Poems Written to Order” booth where patrons can suggest a topic or a word or a phrase and, in exchange for a donation, receive a typed copy (on a genuine manual typewriter) of a poem written especially for them.  That last is not something I’ve volunteered for — my on-the-spot poems, when I can even do them, are generally snarky — but I ended up a minor hero of sorts when, perhaps two hours before my reading, the on-the-spot poets discovered they were almost out of paper.  Where to get some (talk about popular! — but the gift shop first suggested turned out not to carry stationery)?  And it was I who thought of a nearby art supply store that, by happy coincidence, had pocket sketch books with tear-out pages of the appropriate weight and size required.

It would be nice to say my reading engendered equal joy, but the fact is “vampire poetry and prose,” as it was billed, is perhaps a bit on the esoteric side for your average community arts fair crowd.  However, though the audience was small, it was appreciated by those who came to hear (and went over well too on the mechanical side of things, apart from occasional pauses for low-flying planes overhead).

Then in another bit of good news, Chupa Cabra House announced late last night that RADICAL DISLOCATIONS, a.k.a. REALLY WEIRD POEMS (see July 28, 17), has been released in print just in time for it to count officially as an August publication.  At 150 pages with work by twenty of “the best new poets,” if can be ordered for “just 9 bucks” now via the publisher by pressing here.  And in a short while it should be available on Amazon and other sites, but at a no-longer-discounted $10.00.

I should add though that, blurbs aside, as genre poets go I’m not really that new,  but my offerings in this one, “Last Rides,” “Book Fair Buzz Is Not Contained Between Two Covers,” and “Why He Ate His Hat,” may represent a more absurd, playful side of my work than one sees that often.

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