Last week I had one of the greatest experiences of my life: the AKASF Mini-Gathering in San Francisco. I spent Thursday night, Friday and Friday night getting to know Korean adoptees from around the country, mostly from Minneapolis, Hawaii, New York, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. It was incredible being in the company of such an amazing group of people---Terry with the MBA from Michigan, Tim from the IKAA Gathering, Nick and Hyun Jin, the cool surfing couple (and when that historical novel is done, please let me know!), Leah the grad student from Canada, Melissa from the University of Minnesota, David from New York, Dave the special agent!, Jane from LA who I wish I could have talked to more, Lisa Marie the poet blogger of A Birth Project, Amie from SF with the best hair and the awesome story of the vibrations of Korea, and Andrew and Young Hee, the two organizers. They were such great hosts, and I was only there for part of it! It was nice getting to know Young Hee, a remarkable and very bright woman. All of the food and drink was so much fun!--all the OB and other drinks...and I had neng myun (cold spicy noodle dish) for the first time also.
I was excited to meet the Korean adoptee bloggers, and although I didn't get to talk to Sarah or Ji-in as much as I would have liked, I was very glad I got to meet them. They're awesome people! I felt like I was meeting celebrities, but it was also very comfortable because of our Koreanness, if you will. I was most happy, really on a massive level, to meet this person, and I was grateful that we got to spend so much time talking.
Anyway, the Gathering affected me on a rather profound level that I usually don't discuss on this blog. I will just say that if you are a Korean adoptee, you know what I'm talking about. I wish I could have stayed for the whole weekend, but if 2008 happens in Hawaii as I hear that it might, I am already booking my flight! I didn't attend camps as a kid, and I've grown up meeting fewer than ten or fifteen adoptees in my life, so to meet everyone was such an emotional high---I feel like I am still floating a bit.
On a completely different note, some random poetry notes:
My website (www.leeherrick.com) should be done soon--around the middle of May. I've seen the mock-ups. It looks pretty cool. I returned the first set of proofs of my book to my publisher, and I think we are still on track for a June release. I have been asked to be the featured poet at a statewide conference in October, and I will be reading in Modesto in October as well. Also, I will be talking with Poet Ivy Alvarez over the summer about our first books, and the transcripts of that conversation will be published in the Fall issue of Boxcar Poetry Review. Cool, don't you think?