Monday, December 29, 2008



Earlier this month, I had the honor of reading at UC Berkeley with Naomi Quinonez and Hugo Garcia Manriquez in honor of the 40th Anniversary of Berkeley's Ethnic Studies Department. Achiote Press sponsored the reading, and I'm extending a belated thank you to Craig and Jennifer, whose gracious spirit and hard work have produced some remarkable publications. Visit Achiote and stay a while.

Speaking of such publications, I was thrilled to get a copy of Oscar Bermeo's new chapbook and to see him, Javier Huerta, Patricia Wakida, and Summi Kaipa, among others, in the audience. Oscar kindly recorded some of the evening's readings---including this one of me reading "Exercises On Themes from Life," the last poem in Alice Walker's first collection, Once, published in 1968 (I read it with the 40th anniversary in mind). I'll leave this video up for a little while, and then it will disappear.

I think my blogging days might also be numbered. I am, however, very excited about the progress of my second manuscript. I have around 40 poems I feel good about---they are very different (darker, more assertive) than those in This Many Miles from Desire, but I am interested to see what shape they take as a collection. We'll see what happens. With the first book, I had a title early on and it never changed. With this second manuscript, no title has come to me. I doubt any of these will be the final title, but some of the new poem titles that I am tossing around as potential titles for the manuscript include:

* Division (or, This Division)
* Open Architecture
* Gardening Secrets of the Dead
* You Are Here

Anyway: Happy New Year to each of you---may 2009 be your best year yet.

6 comments:

Collin Kelley said...

A great reading from a great book. :)

Lee Herrick said...

Thanks, Collin.

papa2hapa said...

Happy New Year.

Great reading. The one about your father felt very polished to me!

As for titles, without knowing the rest of the collection, I couldn't comment. However, I do like "Gardening Secrets" because a lot of the poems had that feeling to them.

wasabipress said...

Good to see you in action, Lee!
I'm actually heading down to Fresno on Jan 1st-3rd. Are you free on the 1st or 2nd? I also had lunch today with Ken Chen from AAWW in San Jose today and we talked about you (snigger)....

Lee Herrick said...

I hope Ken's doing well! I'll be around on the 1st (after 6:30 pm) or the 2nd (before 2 pm)...let me know what works for you. It would be great to see you. I'm going to send you an e-mail, just in case you don't see this...

Lee Herrick said...

thanks, p2h! hope all's well with you.