I am really behind in posting news of several wonderful recent events, and will want to come back to them individually in the future, giving them their due, complete with photos. However, for now:
First, October 7th-10th, I had a wonderful time at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in and around the Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. My reading went very well, and I loved both seeing many old friends in the poetry community, and making some new ones. I traveled with Jan Marler, a poet and librarian I have met here in Mays Landing, and it was her first time at the Festival. It was great to share it with her. I also enjoyed spending some time at the table for the Haiku Society of America, the first time I know of that the HSA has been represented at a Dodge Festival. Ce Rosenow, this year’s President of the HSA, and publisher, with her Mountains and Rivers Press, of my new chapbook, Recycling Starlight, was there, and it was great to have the chance to get to know her even better. Also, dear poet friends from Canada, Terry Ann Carter and Claudia Coutou-Radmore, as well as Rick Black from Highland Park, came. It was great to see them! Having the Festival in Newark worked very well, and I found it every bit as exciting as the previous Festivals Bill and I had attended over the years. I enjoyed a number of readings and panel discussions, and was especially impressed with the fine introductions Martin Farawell gave each of the poets on the main stage. It was an honor to be counted among the Festival Poets.
I came home from the Dodge Festival on October 11th, then drove up to Princeton to participate in the opening celebration of the Scott and Hella McVay Poetry Trail at the D & R Nature Center. What a blessing it is to have a poem of mine selected for permanent installation on the Trail. I hiked the Trail, stopping to contemplate each poem, and later read my poem along with Paul Muldoon, Jerry Stern, and other fine poets reading their work. I will come back and tell much more about that marvelous occasion, adding more links and photos.
I’m behind in posting about these because the day after I came home from Princeton, I got the news that the results of an endometrial biopsy indicated the need for surgery. Between the 19th and the 28th of October, I had a CAT scan, blood tests, visited several doctors, and did pre-admission intake. Then, on the morning of October 28th, I had a successful hysterectomy. I am pleased to report that surgery went very well, and I received excellent pathology reports (cancer caught so very early, and so confined, that surgery has taken care of it). I got out of the hospital on Saturday, October 30th, went to my daughter’s for a few days, and came home on Wednesday, November 3rd. Now, though sore, I am recovering well, rejoicing that I was proactive, had excellent doctors, and as a result am fine and will continue to be fine. It was hard to go through this without Bill, and I thank family and friends across the country and the world for their prayers and loving support.