Sunday, July 08, 2018


This year we decided to get our Fourth of July off to a start at the Democratic Service Club's annual holiday barbeque, at Stow park, not far from our home.  Despite the fact that I am not a member and am not even a California voter, I was given the warmest of welcomes and made to feel right at home.  (Though being an out-of-state voter, I was spared the usual round of petition signing.)

Many of Anna's colleagues from the Women's Political Committee and the Commission on Women, of which she is chair, were on hand. I was meeting several of them for the first time.  I tried to make a good impression.

There was the expected round of speeches, but these were neighbor-to-neighbor, and barbeque goes a long way toward making politics more palatable, a truth confirmed at state fairs everywhere.

Oscar Gutierrez, the newly elected City Council member, is a former student of Anna's at U.C. Santa Barbara.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


2018 marks the last time the American Literature Association will meet in San Francisco for the foreseeable future.  Our next meetings will be in Boston, San Diego and Chicago.  So it was one more trip to City Lights Books and Brandy Ho's Hunan restaurant in North Beach before leaping into the round-the-clock conference sessions. Next year, Legal Seafood!
Hairong Chen is visiting Cal State LA this year while writing her dissertation, and we caught up with each other during the conference.

Things started off for me with two sessions I chaired, the first panels of the African American Literature and Culture Society, and the Amiri Baraka Society.

Following the second session of the Baraka Society, we retired to the lobby to lay plans for the siege of Boston. Along the way we recruited poet/scholar Kimberly Andrews, graduate of Penn State and Yale, enlisting her in our cause.

My dear colleague from Wuhan, Lianggong Luo, made his first ALA presentation, on the poem "Cubes," by Langston Hughes. Lianggong is the Dean of Foreign Languages at Central China Normal University.

On Saturday, things reached a culmination with two sessions involving Lyn Hejinian, both organized by Laura Hinton. The first was a study of Sight, the book written in collaboration with Leslie Scalapino and published with Rod Smith's Aerial/Edge Editions.