A Literary Lunch in Boulder

It was one of those "I'll be wearing a black wool hat" meetings for lunch today in Boulder. After months of mainly e-mail conversations with Divide magazine editor Ginger Knowlton, I invited her to join me at the 14th Street Grill for a podcast about the current issue. It's a really good issue, and not just because Ginger had the good taste to accept a poem of mine for publication. The theme of the issue is Art and Politics. It naturally includes an essay about Dana Gioia, head of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as poignant remembrances of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia.

In the podcast, Ginger relates how the strength of the submissions from overseas showed her how, by comparison, much art in the U.S. seems to be adrift because it is not linked to a strong purpose, political or otherwise.

[Update (1/13/06): Ginger in an e-mail corrected my previous summary of her comments. She didn't intend to say or imply that American art seems flat, only that it was the body of overseas submissions that reminded her that political art, too, can be so enlivening.]

I was all set for the usual MHPC portrait photo, which would have been smashing with the light coming in from the big windows. But Ginger turned out to be as shy regarding photos as she is bold as an editor, so we settled for a shot of her hands holding one of the manuscript submissions she had with her. Her next issue will be on the theme of Travel & Enlightenment.

We had a great lunch, but the restaurant turned out to be very popular, resulting in much more background noise than I would have liked on the recording. Ginger was a good sport, diving in even before she knew exactly what a podcast was.

Here's the audio:

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

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