Need a literary fix?

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Randall Kenan and Jeremy Hawkins will be giving a free, public reading 7pm, Saturday, October 18, 2014, at the NC State University Club (4200 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC) as part of Raleigh Review‘s Southern Recitations series.

SouthernRecitationsLogo2_resizedRandall Kenan_Photo_Credit Miriam BerkleyRandall Kenan is an author of fiction (short stories and novels) and nonfiction (biography, essay, and more). Among his books is the collection of short stories Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, which was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was among The New York Times Notable Books of 1992. Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century was nominated for the Southern Book Award. His latest book, The Fire This Time, was published in May 2007. He edited and wrote the introduction to The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin (2010).

Kenan is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, the John Dos Passos Prize, and was the 1997 Rome Prize winner from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was awarded the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2005 and was elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2007. Currently he is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Jeremy Hawkins - CroppedJeremy Hawkins‘ debut novel, The Last Days of Video, will be published by Soft Skull Press (an imprint of Counterpoint Press) in March 2015. His fiction has appeared at Diagram, Pacifica, The Molotov Cocktail, and other venues. He earned an MFA in Fiction from UNC-Wilmington, and he is the founder and lead editor of The Distillery, a web-based editing service. Hawkins is also an independent bookseller at Flyleaf Books, and he teaches creative writing at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. He lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

I just read Randall’s book of short stories Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, and loved it! Haven’t read Jeremy’s stuff yet, but, hey, he has chickens, so must be good, right?? :-)

It’s about time

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Happy to report that gay marriage is now legal in North Carolina. Was appalled when Amendment One passed in 2012, making it unconstitutional for NC to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. It’s a pity we had to count on judges rather than voters to make the right decision.

Congratulations to those who now have the same marriage rights I do. Use them well.

Vote AGAINST Amendment One

Vote AGAINST Amendment One

Chicken haiku for Harry!

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Chickens strut their stuff

on the wall or on the cage—

all the world’s a stage!

wall and cage

Anne on the coop, Margaret on the wall, Victoria on the ground

Another in the chicken haiku series for those who supported Raleigh Review‘s scholarship fund.

take a bow

Take a bow, Harry! :-)

Mission Accomplished!

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Look, Cook, and Eat just hit their Kickstarter goal of $45,000 in pledges—with 50 hours to spare! (There’s still time to contribute…)

Congratulations to Sue and the whole gang at Main Dish Media and Look, Cook, and Eat! And thanks to all the pledgers!

97.9% there with 66 hours to go!

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The Look, Cook, and Eat Kickstarter campaign has reached $44,053 of the $45,000 goal! With only 66 hours to go, the end is in sight!

If you want to be the one to push them over the top, pledge now! (And of course, you can put a little gravy on those potatoes if you like.)

The project has gotten a good amount of media coverage. Rumor has it Nathan Fillion even retweeted it!

Thanks to everyone who has supported this project to create a digital how-to cooking magazine designed for those with intellectual disabilities to help promote an independent lifestyle.

I thank you. Mia thanks you. :-)

Chicken Haiku for Kjell!

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Here’s another of my promised chicken haiku for those who contributed to Raleigh Review‘s scholarship fund:

Feathers in the yard

and chickens cringe from touch—

the prick of new growth.

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We’ve entered molting season at Coop de Kaferberg.

Feathers in the yard

Feathers in the yard

Poor Victoria has lost all her tail feathers! She is very grumpy about that. (“Look away! I’m hideous!”) She doesn’t like to be picked up right now. Having all those new feathers coming in is a little like teething in babies—it needs to happen, but it doesn’t feel good.

Poor, tailless Victoria

Poor, tailless Victoria

Victoria is a faverolle, which is a variety of chicken that has feathers on the feet. You can see where the new pin feathers are coming in. If they get bumped and broken, they bleed profusely.

Pin feathers on Victoria's feet

Pin feathers on Victoria’s feet

Hang in there, Victoria! It will be over soon. (Well, in a few months, if last year is any indication…)

Chicken haiku for Kajsa!

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Chicks in the backyard

tumbling down the ramp—

the sun is up.

My three chicks already down the ramp

My three chicks after the morning ramp-tumble

 

One of Kajsa's chicks going down the ramp!

One of Kajsa’s chicks going down the ramp—no tumble this time!

Another of my chicken haiku promised for Raleigh Review scholarship donors!

Music and art and poetry galore!

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Debra Wuliger’s art opening last night offered something for everyone: art, music, and poetry—enough of each but not so much as to wear one out.

The event took place in the fabulous entry hall at the Durham Arts Council, where Deb’s work will be on display through December. Though the footprint isn’t huge, the many windows and very high ceiling create a spacious feeling. Deb had six Coffee Talk 2013 paintings on easels, four on the main floor and two on the landing of the stairway that wraps the perimeter.

Throughout the evening Deb’s son Abram Wuliger played beatbox flute and Emily Smith played cello from the second floor—music floating down from the sky. Six poets read poems they had written especially for Deb’s art (Alice Osborn, Cherryl T. Cooley, Arthur Powers, A. Kat Reece, me, and Bianca Diaz). In between poems, the musicians played a short interlude. The audience appeared to enjoy the smooth, short, engaging performance (not to mention the nibbles). All in all, a fine evening!

The evening's artists: Emily, Alice, Cherryl, Bianca, Debra, Abram, me, Kat, Arthur

The evening’s artists: Emily, Alice, Cherryl, Bianca, Debra, Abram, me, Kat, Arthur

 

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Me, reading from the landing

As promised, here’s my poem that goes with Deb’s “When Peace Came I Showered Under Streaming Light.”

PEACE CAME | Karin S. Wiberg

She stands, body hitched to one side
as though her t-shirt covers a muscle pulled
from too many hours cutting in the ceiling

or feathering wet edges, rather than an incision stitched
too tight. The smears on her shirt do not remind her
of yellowing bruises or iodine stains.

Nor are they reminiscent of the indigo tattoos
saying Aim here, burn here, or of the blistered
crimson target. Her hands relax as though

they never gripped a handle for steadiness
during showers of streaming light, as though they
only ever held a paint brush or roller.

She nods as though her scarf hides nothing.
She smiles as though her eyes do not reflect
her covert journey, the dove sent out three times.

She remembers reading that, unlike most birds,
doves secrete a sort of milk to feed their young, and,
unlike humans, they don’t require breasts to do it.

Me, with Debra Wuliger's "When Peace Came I Showered Under Streaming Light"

Me, with Debra Wuliger’s “When Peace Came I Showered Under Streaming Light”

P.S. Do you see the dove? Deb didn’t even realize she had painted it!

Chicken Haiku for Sue

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Well, I owe a few people chicken haiku for helping out Raleigh Review with scholarship contributions. The first is for Sue, creator of Look, Cook, and Eat!

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Scratch, scratch, scratch,

digging for gold flecks—

when do dreams hatch?

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Sometimes ya gotta get it yerself...

Sometimes ya gotta get it yerself…

 

Sometimes yer friends  help ya out...

Sometimes yer friends help ya out…

Incidentally, Look, Cook, and Eat has garnered 200+ backers and over $25,000 for their Kickstarter campaign to create a digital how-to cooking magazine for those with intellectual disabilities. With just under two weeks to go, they still need about $18,000 to hit their goal and be funded. Scratch, scratch, scratch.

Ooo! It’s a fancy vocabulary word: ekphrastic!

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Ekphrasis comes from the Greek for “description.” Ekphrastic poetry typically describes a work of art. (Check out poetryfoundation.org for a more robust discussion.)

My latest poetry project has been coordinating six poets to write ekphrastic poems for Debra Wuliger’s Coffee Talk 2013 series of paintings. This Friday, we’ll be reading the poems at her art opening.

Event Details
DATE: Friday, August 15, 2014
TIME: 5pm-7pm, poetry reading at 6pm
LOCATION: Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris Street, Durham, North Carolina
POETS: Cherryl T. Cooley, Bianca Diaz, Alice Osborn, Arthur Powers, A. Kat Reece, & me!
ARTIST: Debra Wuliger

Here’s my painting, but you’ll have to wait for the poem. :-)

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When Peace Came I Showered Under Streaming Light