Last Thursday night at the Fresno Art Museum, I read seven poems before turning over the stage to the Armen Nalbandian Trio and then Nino Moschella and the Little Big People. All of the poems will be in my first book, This Many Miles from Desire, out next June. I had read most of them in public several times, but that night was the first time I read what I consider one of just a handful of love poems (specifically) I have ever written. It's called "Rurrenebaque," named for the small Bolivian town where my wife and I went anaconda hunting. It is a relatively thin poem about walking through the pampas on the lookout for anacondas, and I capture this vision of my wife---sweating from the heat, her camera slung around her neck, in her element and beautiful. I don't know how the audience received it, but it felt good to read. I will have to try a little more of that. By the way, if you are looking for good music to buy as gifts, check out Armen Nalbandian and Nino Moschella. It was also good to see Devoya Mayo, host of the great radio program Move On Up.
My wife and I and daughter are spending five days in New York City this winter break. Looking forward to that.
Oh, and those of you in and around Fresno, mark your calendars now: Amy Tan will be reading and speaking at Fresno City College at noon on February 12, 2007. Visit her website to remind yourself of her impact and to read an entertaining article in which she dispels many of the myths surrounding her life and work.