--September 22, 2012, Fusebox Reading with Stuart Dischell, Chattanooga
--Sept 28, TCTE Conference, Nashville, TN
--October 26, Meacham Writers' Workshop, Chattanooga, TN
--October 12-14, River Pretty Writers Retreat, Dawt Mill, Tecumseh, MO
--Dec 9, Malaprops Bookstore, Asheville, NC, 5PM
--December/January, Vermont College of Fine Arts
--AWP Panel, Spring 2012
--Italian Consulate, October 2011, Boston, MA
--Italian Consulate, March 2011, San Francisco, CA
--Meacham Writers' Conference, March 2012
--Skocjan Slovenia Conference on Ecological Poetry, March 20912
--Vermont College of Fine Arts, June/July 2012
--Iowa Summer Writers' Festival, June 2012
From an Interview for the Slovene Journal, Nova Revija:
Today's world is not kind to poetry, and does not seem to need
it in any meaningful way.
There is a poem, “What He Thought,” by Heather McHugh which describes a meeting of a group of writers where one poet, quiet, seemingly conservative, tells the story of Giordano Bruno. This medieval thinker was burned at the stake in the Campo Dei Firoi in Rome for imagining the impossible, that life, for example, might exist on other planets. The poet describes how Bruno had an iron mask placed over his head so he would not incite the crowd to save him. And then the poet delivers his definition of poetry based upon this horrific scene of the burning thinker dying for freedom of thought: “Poetry is what he thought but did not say.” It is the responsibility of the writer to keep freedom alive through the imagination, through language, to fight restraints upon freedom and restraints upon the imagination and upon language. The writer’s language, unique to her or him and their culture, is not merely a record, but a gesture always trying to escape itself, escape our human condition towards something universal even as it honors it in its particularity and uniqueness. The language of freedom is a language of silences beyond language, free of all constraints, something we can strive for but never achieve. If we fail to attempt that state, we fail not only ourselves but our world, in which case Kocbek’s “freedom of nothingness” becomes merely nothingness, the death of both freedom and imagination. Today, as you have so strongly suggested in your question, in the light of how language is trapped and imprisoned by so many politicians, businessmen, journalists, advertisers and the like, that failure is the main danger threatening our various existences as unique cultures, that “nothingness” could imply our moral, social, spiritual, even our very literal, not simply linguistic, annihilation. Though imagination, through an imaginative language, we will either be free or we will simply disappear with the iron masks of our own making muffling our voices. Is this realistic? Your question, like my vision of things, hopes so.
Of course poets are like anyone else. Take Karadzic whose poem "Goodbye Assasins" laments the fact that he cannot partake of the bloodshed and has to keep a false front of humanness--savagery with a human face we might call it. That is a total misuse of language, a language of lies in the service of ideology, not a language of discovery and imagination.