Once again, I attended the 10th annual Collingswood Book Festival yesterday. It's a great one-day street festival celebrating the printed word (and we need to do that more than ever these days), with local and regional authors giving talks and signings, as well as kid's events (Kathy O'Connell from XPN's Kid's Corner was there, along with local kid-band favorites Ernie and Neal), publishers, lots of new and used books for sale, and a day-long schedule of poetry events. Lots of my poetry friends were there: Tammy Paolino and B.J. Swartz, along with Walt Howat, organized the "poetry tent"; Anna Evans judged the children's poetry contest; Kendall and Christinia Bell represented their own Maverick Duck Press (who will be publishing my new chapbook later this month); and Don Kloss represented our group, The Quick and Dirty Poets, at the "Occupy Poetry" event that showcased local poetry groups. My son came along, too, and we participated in a workshop run by Peter Murphy (founder of the Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway), and an afternoon open mic. I also got to meet Pulitzer-Prize-winning political cartoonist Tony Auth, late of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and got him to autograph a copy of his new collection The Art of Tony Auth: To Stir, Inform and Inflame. The weather was nearly perfect - a little cloudy and windy in the afternoon, but nothing to complain about.
I'm looking forward to the new print issue of Verse Wisconsin, which will be featuring two of my poems, "Ghosts" and "Downsizing", both of which, you could say, are autumn-themed. Also, I need to remind you all (if you're local) of my upcoming reading for Maverick Duck Press at the Daily Grind, High St. in Mt Holly, on Friday Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m. Hopefully it will be a "book launch" as well, with the impending publication by MDP of my new chapbook, Twenty-four by Fourteen. Be there if you can.
I've been enjoying entering online humor contests lately. I finally submitted to the New Yorker's weekly Cartoon Caption Contest - I'll know in a week or so if I'm a finalist. (Website visitors can vote online for one of the three finalists in the contest.) I also entered another political poem to Salon.com's weekly limerick contest, though I can't tell if it's actually still running. I did, however, score another HM in Mad Kane's Limerick-off for this one:
Young Hester displayed her dismay
that her rep in Sex Ed would hold sway:
"They think that I'm sultry,
imbued in adult'ry -
it's a class where I don't want an 'A'!"
Baseball: The Phillies season is over. They succeeded in having their first non-winning season in 12 years (81-81) and missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. If their first half had been as good as their second half (which would have been tough with all the regulars who were injured) they would have at least got a wild card spot. Well, no use crying over spilt milk. Retooling has already begun with the firing of three coaches, and the hiring of Hall-of-Famer Ryne Sandberg, who did a fine job coaching their minor league Iron Pigs franchise, as third-base coach. I have little interest in the post-season at this point, though I seriously think the Nationals could go all the way.
Poem: Here's the timely limerick I submitted to the Salon.com contest, after viewing the (so-called) debate:
Mr. Romney has stated that, yes,
he plans to de-fund PBS.
I can just see the headline:
Big Bird in the breadline,
and Elmo a homeless hot mess!