Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Godfather Box and the Net of Indra

I know there is some kind of synchronicity in the universe.  The Hindu concept of the Net of Indra was right about that.  Not far from The Raven Chronicles J29 table I staffed at the AWP Bookfair in Seattle was The Converse College Low-Residency MFA table which runs South 85 Literary Journal, publisher of my eco-poetry post "The Godfather Box" the week before.

Probably the best AWP 2014 panel I attended was Rounding the Human Corners: Writing the Truth about the Changing World. (Marybeth Holleman,  Linda Hogan,  Ann Fisher-Wirth,  Eva Saulitis,  Juan Carlos Galeano).  In that panel, Linda Hogan spoke about migratory birds no longer showing up in the far north where the Gwich'in people live, and how some of our vets are trained to be business people instead of healers. Eva Saulitis spoke about a group of orcas called the Chugach Transients going extinct due to mortality and reduced reproductive capacity which may have resulted from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound.  Marybeth Holleman spoke about the "first-ever recorded" helicopter observations of four drowned adult polar bears due to global warming, and how a yearling wolf in Denali helped wolf cubs on a dangerous river crossing thereby showing these wolves function in the wild as families (I noticed there is a Hafiz quote on her site so there is another Net of Indra moment if you read my post "January in Oregon" below.) AnnFisher-Wirth read amazing poems about the Mississippi Delta area.  Juan Carlos Galeano explained, through poetry, how to use one's imagination to enter the ancient mystery of the predator/prey relationship in Amazonia and elsewhere.  The whole event was wise, informative, and facinating.  In more enlightened times such as those experienced by the the Hau de no sau nee (ho dee noe sho nee) of the Six Nations, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, these speakers would have greater say in how things are run in the U. S. Congress instead of the oil companies that commonly puppet our elected officials.  

On a personal note, Marybeth Holleman's wolf part brought memories of waking up in the middle of a caribou herd just before crossing nontechnical Anderson Pass in Denali.

Other fine panels I attended included  The Literary Legacy of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain True North: Alaskan Literary Nonfiction, A Tribute to the Poetry of Raymond Carver, and The Greening of Literature: Eco-Fiction and Poetry to Enlighten and Inspire (in which Ann Pancake spoke of her novel Strange As This Weather Has Been about mountaintop mining in Appalachia).

At Kells, my colleague Bonnie ZoBell read from her new book What Happened Here. I enjoyed visiting with Alaskan fiddling poet Ken Waldman again. 

Tanya Chernov visited my table with postcards to help promote her new anthology Burden of Light, Poems on Illness and Loss from which 100% of the proceeds will benefit the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.  I am honored to have two of my audio/print poems (click orange button left of sound wave graphic) included about my former life partner, the artist and writer Shura Young who died April 27, 2011.

This morning before my planned fishing trip, I met with writer Sheryl Clough to get my free copy of her new anthology Through A Distant Lens: Travel Poems since she included two of my poemsThis beautiful book "celebrates the joys, pitfalls, and surprises that come along with traveling.  The four thematic sections are illustrated with black-and-white photos from diverse locales including Bhutan, Costa Rica and London." My two poems in the book are about Depoe Bay, Oregon, and the Columbia River that separates Oregon and Washington. Another anthology poet was there from Coupeville, a neighbor of a doctor who recently took me squid and English sole fishing on his boat.  Sooner or later, you knew fishing was going to appear in this blog post.