Yesterday we took a nine-hour boat ride, in and out of harbors, past the archipelago of poets, to the UNESCO heritage site of Scandola Nature reserve, followed by the Isles Sanguinaires. We sailed through turquoise waters with turquoise fish swimming in them, past red cliffs hundreds of feet high that descend straight into the sea. It was breathtaking. Our little dog was scared at first on the boat, but as the hours passed, she settled in on our laps. She was polite to everyone who came to meet her, even the old ladies who greeted her by poking her on the nose.
We could see how outlaws chose to disappear in Corsica—the terrain is so rough and unforgiving that unless you know it, you don’t stand much of a chance. The photo of the kayakers gives a sense of the scale of the cliffs.We also learned that Corsica resisted fiercely during WWII, and were the first Department in France to liberate themselves (without outside help) from the German-Italian occupation. If you have the chance to visit Scandola, go—and go by boat if you are able.
We had lunch in Girolata, a small seaside village with no cars, only boats (fifteen inhabitants during winter months) accessible only by boat, where we were met by cows on the beach.
Thrilled to be one of the contributing poets for this stunning installation by artist Sarah E. Brook: Check it out this month in #NYC at Riverside Park South on the west side of #Manhattan at 68th street. Photo credits Sarah E. Brook, www.sarahebrook.com
(I wish we could attend!)
August 31, 2018
We have begun our big family trip! We’re here in Ajaccio, Corsica, swimming, wandering, eating olives and tomatoes and Tuscan melon, enjoying an entirely different pace of life. I’m working on a new book—fiction this time, and of course the stories are changed by being here, by all that’s not like home. Having the unstructured time with my family is such a gift. And we have also learned that our little dog is a surprisingly good traveler, and loves being able to come to cafes and markets with us. She's curious about the tortoises in the garden, but not enough to get too close.
Here are a few photos so far. And credit to the restaurant that quotes Brillat-Savarin, "Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai qui tu es," and then offers Octopussy burger for lunch.
Delighted to introduce my Cross-Border Conversations Interview Series. Astute observations on inspiration, community and the vocation of writing from Ayelet Tsabari, Valerie Trueblood, and Yael Neeman in Maisonneuve Magazine: https://maisonneuve.org/post/2018/07/29/cross-border-conversations-yael-neeman-valerie-tru/
Perhaps the best reason I’ve ever heard for not attending a book launch came from Sergeant Steve White, Seattle Police Canine Unit, who couldn’t make my first event at Elliott Bay Books because he had a last minute triple homicide come in. The life of a K9 Cop is full of the unexpected, and they learn to roll with whatever comes their way.
It was a great pleasure to see Steve at our event at Third Place Books. I know the audience appreciated his willingness to answer questions about his dogs. I so enjoyed meeting his wife Jennifer and talking to them both about their work and her own writing projects. Thank you!
More collaborative joy! Our most recent Farmer’s Market reading of Sustenance was truly a gift of an event, with recent refugee families who were BC Nutrition coupon recipients shopping at the market and joining us to listen to a poem, with poets bringing their best work to share, with a spirit of community that brought several of us to tears.
I also met Sustenace contributor Leef Evans, artist and poet, who came with a painting as a gift. Sustenance is that spirit of giving, of making art and sharing it, of unexpected and stunning generosity. Thank you Leef. Thank you all for being part of Sustenance:
And what joy to see this excellent review of Sustenance in The Ormsby Review: https://bcbooklook.com/2018/06/28/food-for-thought-2/#more-35014
It is a great joy to work with artists in other disciplines. David and Jordan Doody painted one of my favorite paintings of all time, and then gave me permission to use a reprint of it on the cover of Marry & Burn. Here's David holding the book in front of the painting:
Photo Credit: Benjamin Fieschi-Rose