No mass poetry reading this year, but there were many highlights sparkling in the cold of polar vortex New York. My own contributions were both presentations on Amiri Baraka. In a first day panel, I joined with the Beat Writers Association to talk about Baraka and the journal Kulchur in 1963. Two days later, I was on a Baraka round table with Jean-Philippe Marcoux, Kathy Lou Schultz and Billy Joe Harris (yes, we all appear with three names each). The round table was devoted to Baraka and the city of New York. I offered remarks on Baraka's engagements with literary magazine culture, Kathy Lou addressed the novel 6 Persons, and Billy Joe addressed Baraka's address, 27 Cooper Square. Despite weather and flight cancellations, we had a good turnout for our sessions.
One landmark for me: an entire panel on C.L.R. James. I hope this is a sign of more attention to James in future MLA conventions.
Not a food studies session; we were at Fogo da Chao for dinner.