Keeping in Touch

Lunch today at Legal Seafoods in Warwick, R.I., with former Business Editor of The Providence Journal, Joe Goodrich, my old boss, a true Yankee gentleman of the old school. My favorite comment of his came when I asked if he reads The Atlantic: "No, but I admire people who do." Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005

What We Remember

As I stepped into the library of the Providence Journal this morning, I recognized a face from nearly 25 years ago. It was Brian Beaulieu, a copy editor who's been working at the Journal ever since I left for Wyoming in 1981. We've had no contact since then, but maybe once a week I will find myself remembering how he used to always say, when someone mentioned the weather, "It's nice out. I think I'll leave it out." We had a cup of coffee after I collected a sheaf of old stories I'd written. He recounted the hard years of the Journal's downsizing, labor strife, people we'd known together who have died or moved to Florida. All the while I was looking at his brown eyes, big and dark and somehow French, and wondering where memories of eyes and faces and funny sayings live, deep in the mind. I also stopped by to say hello to Joel Rawson, managing editor of The Journal, who looked weary but hawkish and smart as ever, grumbling to himself as he read a story about crooked police in Rhode Island. The city has boomed since I've left. I am glad I spent four years here, and I am glad I left for the West.

On Edge

I have resented every hour of sleep since we returned from St. John. I am simultaneously wired about my continuing investigation of literary blogs and filled with anticipation about our upcoming two months at Institut de Francais in Villefranche, a French language immersion course that Darlene and I will plunge into starting April 4th.

At the Wazee editors' meeting on Sunday, I rattled on about what I'm finding in blogs and found myself trying to describe the distinctly blog voice that I am coming to recognize. I said it's edgy, honest, sassy, opinionated, and intimate. Or words to that effect. I also said that I'd discovered that a prominent blogger in lit-land lives somewhere in Denver, which led to the idea of contacting him for an interview in the upcoming issue of Wazee. So I have an e-mail into the Rake of Rake's Progress and hope I have a chance to meet him in person.

My return to Denver has also meant jumping back into my work as chair of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), one of six regional arts organizations funded by the NEA and the states. WESTAF, under the direction of its incredibly effective and visionary director, Anthony Radich, hums with the sort of energy and engagement that make you resent sleep, because you're so excited about what's next. So I love dropping by the Denver world headquarters and plugging in to the smart-art vibe, which currently involves digitally revolutionizing the art jurying process for art fairs across the country.

I know, I know. A person too wired to appreciate sleep is a person who needs watching. I plan to nap on the way back to Denver on the Boulder Express bus. Except that I'm curious what's in the issue of Agni that I brought with me...

UPDATE: The Rake, whose name turns out to be Traver Kauffman, a 1998 graduate of Colorado College, has agreed to an interview, and we're working on a date, probably late next week.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

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