First, tomorrow I will be featured on Black Authors Network Radio on June 9, 2008 at 8 PM EST. I hope you can tune in! I'm sure there will be a link to listen to it if you can't make it, so I'll put it up when it becomes available.
On Saturday, I spoke at the Roxbury Action Program's Luncheon for the Harlem Book Fair. It was me and two other writers--poets-Alicia Jefferson and Vasco Pires. It was wonderful to listen to their poetry. Very much along the vein of poetry I write (or used to . . . haven't written poetry in a hot minute). Afro-centric, empowering, talking about things we don't like to talk about. Alicia spoke about how it took her 35 years (her age) to accept and receive one particular poem she wrote, and it was a heavy one talking about all the psychic traumas young black children carry with them, and how those traumas manifest into destructive behavior. Vasco Pires spoke about Eurocentric standard of beauty and how that affects, particularly, the black woman's perception of beauty, and he celebrated Black beauty and talked about how much stronger black people are than we give ourselves credit for, because we often see ourselves in the stereotypes corporate media perpetrates. Deep. I loved it.
I was the second person to speak, and for the first time ever I actually read from my Being Plumville for an audience. I could've chosen so many scenes with Coralee and Benjamin, as they are the main characters. I chose the scene with LJ and Coralee, when he's talking about his experience in Vietnam. I'm glad I chose that scene, and apparently so did the audience because I got a great reception. Not that I didn't expect to be well received, but the audience really wanted to hear what I had to say, what my thought process was, how I wrote this novel. Similar experience to the one I had at RSJ, actually, and while I was more confident here than I was at RSJ, I still was a bit nervous about speaking and sharing my thoughts, especially when I thought with this audience, even less had heard about me than at RSJ. But it was wonderful. One man seemed very excited (I was too, because he's from Oxford, MS, and of course Vietnam Story is set there, so I will have a chance to pick his brain a little). I also met another author who writes fro Kensington. She said she was impressed with me, and I said, I want to be where she is! The mutual respect for each other is wonderful.
The actual Harlem Book Fair Roxbury is the 14th from 12-6 Warren Street (starting at Dudley & Warren) in Boston. Lots of amazing talent will be there!