Wednesday, May 20, 2009

276: michael pollan

Tonight: Michael Pollan giving a talk in the Twin Cities suburbs on eating locally. He spoke mostly on content, which, as a journalism instructor, I can understand, and knowing your audience is crucuial too; I only wish he could have come a few weeks earlier, visited the program, given a craft talk for some of us studying creative nonfiction. I love his work not just because I believe in what he is saying, but also because he has an immense talent for saying it--we studied his book The Omnivore's Dilemma, and while we discussed content on some levels, we also did a lot of work examining the craft of his book.

Even more so, I was grateful for the good company: Angie, Emily, and Emily's friends Suzanne and Laura. We went out to PF Chang's beforehand, and I loved the chatter--the diversity of the conversation, but also I loved so much that it can come back to passion, to words, to language. Being in the bookstore reminds me of how much I love to read, and even though I'm thoroughly enjoying my poetry book-a-day project, and though I'm also glad I'm going to focus myself with the summer reading list, I also look forward to the expansive narrative of prose. It's something I'm glad I've returned to through the creative nonfiction class; one bit of academic history is that my undergraduate thesis was in nonfiction, though I loved all genres as an undergraduate and still do, here and now. Sometimes I feel as if I'm stomping around in frustration so much over the poetic experiences in the program that I've forgotten all the blessings in between. It's been such a good first year, and I feel a bit high, a bit floaty as we go into summer, and I hope I don't lose that momentum.

Tomorrow: I'm going to pack up my things and work at a coffee shop. I figure if I change venues, I'm more likely to not get distracted. And no laptop either. Just me, my chapbook manuscript (such as it is), and my writing notebook. Fully focused. I hope.

(PS: Also--a few more Michael Pollan shots in this photoset.)

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