November 2, 2009
Spectacular event at the Luxe with a very crowded room. Many old friends. More than 150. Far too many to name here. Helen Saltman, Carolyn See, Lisa See, Naseem Rakha, Mark Doty, Chris Abani, Douglas Kearny, Alicia Ostriker, Eloise Klein Healy, Nancy Boutin, more friends and lovers of poetry than I can name here. Peggy Shumaker, Joe Usibelli, Robert Wyman and Lisa Krueger, Gina Knox and Petra Eiko. Bart Edelman long time Red Hen poet was there sitting with my mother-in-law and our friend Richard Nino. We had champagne and salmon, listened to poetry and music, the day flowed around us like wine, I loved the sound of clinking glasses, the sense of excitement and celebration and love. Red Hen press books out in stacks. People I haven’t seen for ages like Ricardo Means Ybarra, Jean-Marie Gabay, J-son and Aimee Liu all friends who for some reason unfairly don’t age at all but look far more beautiful than the last time I saw them. J-son even with touches of grey managed to look like Buddha as a child. The women were goddesses. Rex Wilder and his wife Angela who always is beautiful. Everywhere I turned there were happy people, and that’s what celebrating fifteen years of publishing should be. Joy. I’m off today to meetings at Claremont Graduate University where I will hear Mark Doty and Alicia read again and I feel so fortunate. Books and poetry have been an open door for me. A way out and up and into the open air. Upside down in the sky, someone is breathing.