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Nicole Santalucia
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I've been bitchin’ with Nin Andrews about what it’s like to live like a gypsy, about how being a poet has led to a vagabond life. I got a degree (hurray!), made a move for a job (at least I am lucky to get a job), and now I can’t help but think of how a lot of poets live out of a suitcase. And, it’s a little scary. As I was in the last stretch before my move—I had till Monday, July 14th to finish packing—the sea of boxes and clutter and exhaustion consumed me. I was already worried: will I have to do this again and again? I always feel vulnerable in the process of upheaval... I know it's normal to get nervous before starting something new. But it's all new: the job, the school, the town, the people, etc.—and for me that brings up self-doubt. I have this fear, what if I can never write again? Sorry to be dramatic. Moving brings out the drama in me, too. I wonder how many poets are out there, thinking these thoughts as they, too, move to another college town. To calm myself, I started bitching to myself, and then I started bitching to Nin, and then to Whitman as if he were my friend on Facebook. And that perked me up. Just the idea of Whitman on social media made me laugh. I am jealous of Whitman because he didn't have to worry about a classroom of freshman staring at him. And I am jealous of Emily Dickinson, too. She just stayed in one room as long as she liked. As I was preparing to make my big move, it was a late afternoon, a Sunday, and Walt had just updated his Facebook status, There is no loss of time in the mountains! I sing on this day: happy birthday to you, Fanny Fern. On the off-chance that Walt had his iPhone while he was riding the ferry back to the main island, I sent him an instant message because I worried that no one would ever read my first book. I wanted him to promote me, loud and gregarious man that he is. But I evaded the topic; instead, I started questioning him about what all of this means. NS: But Walt, what about the loss of identity? I fear that I am really no longer here, in the flesh. If I exist at all, how is it that I no longer know how to splay myself on a grassy knoll and look out at the emptiness? WW: Answer. Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost, No birth, identity, form—no object of the world (“Continuities”). NS: But Walt, every time I am on Facebook I feel lost in space and time. It’s as if my senses have been removed—carved out of my being by a motherboard manufactured in some foreign country. WW: Answer. That you are here—that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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AWP 2014 has come to a close. We saw Sherman Alexie and Tim Egan read on the main stage last night. This reading was a perfect way to end the conference. Now that we are bleary-eyed on all things literary it is time to go home. We won’t forget to tell everyone how great Seattle is and we hope that everyone else will do the same. Make sure to come and visit, if for no other reason than to get a cat and a bear in your cappuccinos. Travel safely and thank you Seattle! Video Poem: "Looking Out the Window at the SAM on Saturday Afternoon (Puget Sound)" Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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AWP is influencing the city of Seattle! Just a few blocks away from the Washington State Convention Center we noticed a poetry reading taking place in the dog park. We also noticed some great finds at the bookfair and learned that writer’s block can be cured with a little bit of chocolate, courtesy of Writers’ Workshoppe Imprint Books. Other things that we tasted in Seattle today that the rest of you might enjoy can be found at Purple Café and Wine Bar. We definitely recommend these menu items: The Quinoa and arugala salad: mixed quinoa, arugula, roasted butternut squash, le puy lentils, pickled shallots, toasted almonds, parmigiano-reggiano and lemon vinaigrette, and the Pan Seared Skuna Bay Salmon Sandwich with tomato,english cucumber and house tartar. We appropriately stumbled across Buster Simpson’s art installation on 1st Ave and Virginia Street on our way back to the hotel. I hope Sammy the dog didn’t do his business here. And for a night cap we ended up at Café Fonté for espresso that was to die for. There was also a great reading happening in the café by Gold Wake Press authors. Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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Picture taken at Pike Place Market AWP was rockin’ Seattle’s downtown area today. We found poetry all over the clean sidewalks of this wonderful city. There were so many caffeinated writers in and out of the Washington State Convention Center and their words and energy busted out of those conference rooms and onto the street; it was almost lethal. Boom! We hope everyone is eating well while in and out of the bookfair, readings, and panel talks. We could recommend lunch at Pear Delicatessen and Shoppe. Try any of their sandwiches, but we can specifically vouch for the Tuscan Tuna Fish, Market Veggie, and Egg Salad. Also, they have a great Clam Chowder. For quality and quickness, this is the spot. Lunch trumped dinner on day two of AWP. We were with a bunch of Italians from New Jersey and New York and went on the hunt for a little taste of home. And instead, we got a little taste of doo doo. Without meaning to be too negative, we must say that the Italian restaurant was a no go. Too much pepper and the pasta was frozen or boxed (except the gnocchi). What did we expect from a place that is not owned or operated by Italians? Can’t win them all. The best place for coffee on the way to the conference today was Monorail Espresso. Not only was the cappuccino awesome, but the service was above and beyond. And, I made a new friend. We did find a visual art gem. Do take a walk to Seattle Symphony located at 200 University Street and get a look at this beauty: "Crystal Cascade" by Dale Chihuly (A Washington native) 1998 Hand-blown glass and steel. Check out more details at Seattle Symphony Our night cap was provided by keynote speaker Annie Proulx and Shawn Wong who primed the stage with humor and insight into Seattle living. Keep an eye on AWP’s website for a recording of her address. She packed the house. Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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What is one to do after registration is complete for AWP? Stop for a snack of course. A short stroll later, we found ourselves at Belle Epicurian, a café and French patisserie. We recommend this cafe to grab breakfast pastries, desserts, sandwiches, salads & soups made from natural and organic ingredients (1206 4th Ave.). A strong cappuccino and almond croissant later and we were sugared up, caffeinated, and ready for AWP’s Opening Night Awards Celebration where the winners of the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature and the Small Press Publisher Award were announced. Congratulations to Maria Mazziotti Gillan, recipient of this year’s George Garrett Award and One Story, recipient of the Small Press Publisher Award! Stay tuned! Deanna Dorangrichia and I will be posting live from AWP these next few days.We will be talking mostly about food and where to eat in Seattle. We believe that getting to know a city happens through the food it serves and it's also a means of comfort and familiarity when adventuring into new territory. AWP attendees should remember to eat a good meal before entering the crowded venues. In order to ingest your AWP experience you’ll need to stay caffeinated, hydrated, and well fed. Left to right: Judith Baumel, AWP President & Northeast Representative (2010-2014) presenting Maria Mazziotti Gillan with the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature. AWP 2014 Seattle. Oh, and our hotel is right across the street from the Seattle Public Library (1000 Fourth Ave.) just a few blocks from the Washington State Convention Center, a perfect getaway from the masses. And, we have a pet fish in our hotel room. Appropriately named Tanker, this gold fish is on our AWP journey with us! More photos and AWP 2014 Seattle to come from Deanna and Nicole. Maybe you remember us from 2011 when BAP blogged about our wedding (if not, check us out here) We are still married and we are still bitches. Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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Feb 27, 2014