Saturday, March 31, 2012

Marching On

March was a great and really busy month for me. I began the month in Chicago at AWP, which was a wonderful experience that you can read all about here. In the middle of the month, my first book came out (He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices from Sibling Rivalry Press) and I held a reading here in Orlando that went really well (blog post here). I finished the month in New York attending the Rainbow Book Fair.

Going to New York has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. It's always had a pull for me, yet somehow I'd never been there. I've been a lot of places and even to Europe, but not to New York. The experience was amazing. New York is actually one of those few places that is exactly how you expect it to be. I felt like I was in the middle of every movie or TV show I've ever watched set there. It almost didn't feel real at times (or maybe this a result of living in Orlando for four years where most things are fake thanks to Disney). Regardless, it was one of the best trips I've ever taken.

My partner and I made the most of our five days. He had been there before, so I got to basically pick what we did. We didn't pay to do any big tourist thing, but we did go see most of the sites. I loved seeing Times Square and Central Park and the New York Public Library (dork). I also had tons of fun shopping and spent way too much money, but that happens. The Friday night of our trip, I participated in a group reading for the magazine Assaracus. This was a powerful event and well attended (we actually needed a bigger room, which is a nice problem to have). It was great to be in a room with so many wonderful poets from all different places and all different ages. Poetry and literature are a huge part of the gay community and gay history and you could feel that in the room.

On Saturday, I attended the Rainbow Book Fair, where I read from my book and sat at my publisher's table. It was a fun event with a wide mixture of people and genres. It was nice to see a book event with so many attendees. My publisher sold a lot of copies of many books (including mine), so it was a great success. I also got to connect with more writers and even got to see an old high school friend.

Saturday night I attended Black Party. It was hard to pass up when I realized we were going to be in NYC on that weekend. It was amazing, but the details really aren't appropriate for this blog. Private message me for more (ha ha).

We spent our last two days experiencing more of the city and checking out other great places. Sunday night we saw Sherry Vine at Barracuda and Monday we spent at MoMA, which was amazing. MoMA was one of my main goals of the trip and the only museum we really had time for. I'm a huge fan of modern art and conceptual pieces, so this was the perfect place to go (plus Frank O'Hara worked there). I got to see more Jackson Pollock paintings, which is always an amazing experience. This was the third museum I've been to that had some of his work. It was a great end to our trip.

March felt like a new beginning for me and I'm thrilled to see what happens next. I also had some fun publishing news in March. A brand new poem of mine was published in Berfrois, which is an online journal out of London. I was honored to be in it, because they actually asked for my work and they don't print many poems and they get 400,000 hits a day. Check out my poem "The War in Iraq is Over and I'm Thinking of Oranges." I also got contacted by Reprint Poetry, which is an online journal that reprints published poems. They wanted to republish the very first poem I got published (at least seriously published) and I said yes. You can read my poem "My father reads my poem in a Chinese restaurant" here. Finally, I got interviewed by Evan J. Peterson on his blog about my book. Check it out here.

That's all the news for now.

-Stephen (Springing)

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