Last week was a big week for me. Three nice things happened.
1. It was my birthday. Fun times, growing old.
2. I got to reconnect with an old friend from college. Fun times, rehashing when I was a youngster.
3. I read at Thurber House, In Columbus, Ohio, where the writer Jamese Thurber is from. They run a summer series of literary picnics, and the most recent one was aimed at featuring three emerging voices in Ohio, in three forms: creative nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. Memoirist David Giffels was invited as the creative nonfiction writer, James. J. Siegal was there for poetry, and I was the emerging voice in Ohio fiction writing.
What was really cool about this reading is not just the reading itself, which is well-attended by a wonderful audience of people who clearly like to not only read books but to listen to authors read from their work, but what happens before and around the reading itself. A great interview session at Ohio State University that will be podcasted later this summer (I’ll let you know), and a tour of Thurber’s house, where a portrait of each author who has read there will be hung (that’s me next to Anna Quindlen! well, I don’t know where they’ll hang mine, but it’ll be up there!), as well as a ritual signing of Thurber’s closet, among all the names of all the other writers who have read at Thurber House as well. In addition, my books will be added to the library in Thurber House. It’s all very traditional and very quaint and the people who hosted the event were lovely and kind and accomodating. If you’re ever in Columbus, check out their website to see if they have an event coming up. It would be well worth it to attend one.
And if you’ve never read any James Thurber, you should start here.
“Discussion in America means dissent.”