May 2011 flashback

Click hear to listen to
My Jack Straw Productions podcast!

jack-straw-head The recording is from my May 2011 Jack Straw Writing Fellows reading in the Jack Straw studios. Being a fellow for 2011 was a fantastic experience that introduced me to warm, generous people and talented writers. I was privileged to meet my fellow "fellows" and the directors and staff at Jack Straw. I continue to benefit from these attachments!

The readings by the 2012 fellows are going on right now and I would urge you to attend! Here's the schedule.

Opportunities Abroad with Writing!

Attention all writers and lovers of art and travel!! Here are two great writing trips for summer adventures!

Speaking in Pictures: A Poetry Workshop Concerning Art

ireland

Leader: Susan Rich (http://poet.susanrich.net/) One-week Residential Workshop Retreat
Arrival: Saturday, 4 August 2012
Departure: Saturday, 11 August 2012

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
--Henry Thoreau

Poetry and painting are sister arts according to the Greeks. It’s a natural collaboration to focus on ekphrastic poetry. Ekphrastic poetry simply refers to our poems inspired by visual images. Together, we will discuss traditional and experimental models of the form by Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Hayden, Lisel Mueller and Rainier Maria Rilke; study recent examples by contemporary poets, and sharpen our powers of observation and description.

Finally, through a series of provocative exercises, we will write our own poems on a variety of works of art. For the purposes of this workshop, art includes sculpture, collage, architecture and the natural world. All levels of writers are welcome — from beginners to very advanced practitioners.

http://poet.susanrich.net

AND 

Write With Us in Istanbul, Turkey

May 11-15, 2012 + optional trip to Izmir area, including Ephesus
Learn, Become Inspired, Build a Bridge to Another Culture

istanbul

Conference Fee: $550
Optional Three-day add-on Trip: about $450
With Sheila Bender, Yesim Cimcoz and Susan Bono
Optional 3-Day Trip Extension to Ephesus Area May 16-18

Sheila Bender joins Susan Bono, editor of Tiny Lights, and Yesim Cimcoz of the Writing Istanbul Project in guiding poets and writers of personal experience in writing and touring the amazing city of Istanbul. We have an optional add-on trip following the workshop for those who want to see more of Turkey. Spouses, friends and partners are welcome to join us in activities surrounding our writing groups work.

http://writingitreal.com/writers-conferences/istanbul-turkey

Speaking in Pictures: A Poetry Workshop Concerning Art Leader

One-week Residential Workshop Retreat Arrival: Saturday, 4 August 2012 Departure: Saturday, 11 August 2012 The question is not what you look at, but what you see. ·Henry Thoreau Poetry and painting are sister arts according to the Greeks. It’s a natural collaboration to focus on ekphrastic poetry. Ekphrastic poetry simply refers to our poems inspired by visual images. Together, we will discuss traditional and experimental models of the form by Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Hayden, Lisel Mueller and Rainier Maria Rilke; study recent examples by contemporary poets, and sharpen our powers of observation and description. Finally, through a series of provocative exercises, we will write our own poems on a variety of works of art. For the purposes of this workshop, art includes sculpture, collage, architecture and the natural world.

All levels of writers are welcome — from beginners to very advanced practitioners.Speaking in Pictures: A Poetry Workshop Concerning Art Leader: Susan Rich (http://poet.susanrich.net/) One-week Residential Workshop Retreat Arrival: Saturday, 4 August 2012 Departure: Saturday, 11 August 2012 The question is not what you look at, but what you see. ·Henry Thoreau Poetry and painting are sister arts according to the Greeks. It’s a natural collaboration to focus on ekphrastic poetry. Ekphrastic poetry simply refers to our poems inspired by visual images. Together, we will discuss traditional and experimental models of the form by Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Hayden, Lisel Mueller and Rainier Maria Rilke; study recent examples by contemporary poets, and sharpen our powers of observation and description. Finally, through a series of provocative exercises, we will write our own poems on a variety of works of art.

For the purposes of this workshop, art includes sculpture, collage, architecture and the natural world. All levels of writers are welcome — from beginners to very advanced practitioners.Speaking in Pictures: A Poetry Workshop Concerning Art Leader: Susan Rich (http://poet.susanrich.net/)

Hey Writers–Here are some great upcoming opportunities to work with poet Elizabeth Austen!

Ready to try something new? Elizabeth Austen is teaching a couple of poetry writing workshops in February:

Poems from Poems: Call and Response

austen-jack-straw

"Good poems are the best teachers. Perhaps they are the only teachers," writes Mary Oliver in A Poetry Handbook. This workshop explores ways to let others’ poems not only teach you, but lead to new poems of your own. We’ll experiment with po-jacking, sonic translations, echo translations and other ways to use one poem as a jumping off point for another. Come prepared to write and stretch your craft – participants will leave the workshop with fresh drafts of new poems.

February 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Richard Hugo House $96/$86.40 for Hugo House members. Registration is open online or via phone at (206) 322-7030. Here is a link to the class description and registration.

Elizabeth will also teach a shorter, free version of the class on February 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lopez Island Library.

Contact Elizabeth at eaustenpoetry@gmail.com for more information. More information is available on her website as well!

Podcasts, Geospatial Poetry and Vienna Angels

The Cathedral in Pec, Hungary

The Cathedral in Pec, Hungary

My colleague here at the University of Pecs, Joseph Horvath, produces a podcast called "Take Off," which features interviews with students and recordings of classic literature. I guess I fall somewhere in between. Joe interviewed me on one of the nicest days of autumn here; we sat outside at a cafe by the cathedral near my apartment. I read a brand new poem, "Dream Map-Vienna" at the end of the podcast. And we are laughing because earlier we had watched two girls walk past us wearing angel's wings.

Kathy featured on Horvath Joseph's podcast, Take Off

Below is a video I made inside the Alte Bibliotek in Vienna (the Old Library), which is basically a museum. It's quite a place--if you have 5 minutes (warning) I show the ornate painted ceiling, old globes, statues, huge book stacks, and treasures.

Vienna, Part I: Schlagobers

Two trips to Vienna (one solo in Sept and one with Bob in Oct). The train ride is 6 hours each way via Budapest. When I visited Vienna alone I hit the last weekend of summer weather. I was able to sit outside with my plum cake and grosser brauner at Cafe Sperl.  I also tried the plum cake at the historic Cafe Hawelka. Better at Sperl.

When it rained on the next visit, Bob and I and everybody else in Vienna had the same idea: to go to Cafe Demel

cakesschlagobers

The nut cake is almost gone but the cup in my hand contained hot chocolate with Bailey's and schlagobers, one of the best words in the German language. I'm trying really hard not to blink at the flash.

BUT the best dessert was at the Albertiner Keller:

abertina-keller-dessert

Poppyseed-honey mousse with sour cherries. In a little glass preserves container. What??? You can see in the top left corner what was left of Bob's sachertorte.

More later on art and buildings!

I’m not going to make a joke about the word HUNGARY

...though believe me, I erased a few puns before I took the high road. It's been a while since my last post. A lot has happened in my writing life, my academic life and my life-life. Bob and I both got faculty exchanges to teach at the University of Pécs, in Pécs, Hungary. It's still summer weather here, on the 4th of October. We arrived almost a month ago and since then I've taken the train to Vienna for the weekend,  hosted a party on our back patio for our colleagues, Bob has assisted in the grape harvest and we've settled in to watch the parade of feral cats cruise through the yard.

I'm teaching a Multi-Genre Writing Workshop to upper-division students at PTE and an online class for CWU.  I'm also working on a new book and training to run the Ljubljana Half Marathon this month.

Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia.

Marian, Szabolcs, me and Bob after a Charity 3K run our first weekend in Pecs. The run was sponsored by Magyar Posta, the Hungarian Postal Service and benefited cancer research.

Marian, Szabolcs, me and Bob after a Charity 3K run our first weekend in Pecs. The run was sponsored by Magyar Posta, the Hungarian Postal Service and benefited cancer research.

The Cathedral in Pec, Hungary

The Cathedral in Pec, Hungary

The school on our street.

The school on our street.

Beautiful Morning, Beautiful Afternoon

I ran this morning up to high lookout at the top of the next valley over from Labastide Esparbairenque. The temperature was hot even at 9 and I hadn't done a longer run in a while, but I loved every minute of it. The runs here are so refreshing that I don't want to turn around—I come back feeling better and full of hope. Beauty erupts everywhere out on the trail—vistas open around each turn. I plan to have some new shots of the trail and the views to post later.

Then a long (3 1/2 hours) French lunch was devoured by our group at Sire de Cabaret  in Roqueferre—with glorious desserts and duck, lamb, entrecote, etc. I have no photos of lunch, but I think I was the only one not taking pictures. Today was a day to look ahead to our last big project of the Creative Castle class and to enjoy being in France.

Everything is Illuminated

candles

We had a beautiful day to explore the Cite (the medieval town) of Carcassonne. I hadn't visited the cathedral inside the Cite in the fall, so I appreciated having a tour led by Maria with the class this time.

cite-carcassonne

We have been so fortunate with the weather during our stay in France. The air is dry, warm and fragrant (in a good way). I might even say we've been blessed.