Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Scenes from the OTOSOTE: Year 1 Celebration

It was a big weekend celebrating the release of On The Other Side Of The Eye with friends. Thanks to all of you who came out to show your love and support!

We started off with a visit to The Lounge in Minneapolis where the social diva Joy Elliott (http://www.thesocialdiva.com/ ) was hosting a great happy hour promoting a number of things including Otho's and Cooley's Anemia Foundation, a cause I've great sympathy for. Thanks, Joy for a fun happy hour.

The journey to Amazon Bookstore was thrown off a little by someone failing to inform me that the 46th Street bridge AND the 50th street bridges were both under construction. And Twins traffic wasn't much of a help either, plowing through downtown. But it was absolutely worth the trip.

Amazon Bookstore is one of the great independent bookstores of the Twin Cities and I hope more people come by to support them.

As I've mentioned before, we had the amazing talents of Katie Ka Vang, who has continued to demonstrate her amazing versatility and talent as well as Brandon Lacy Campos and Saymoukda Vongsay, author of the chapbook No Regrets.

I couldn't have asked for a better example of the amazing talent and diversity of writers in the Twin Cities. We had a packed house of both familiar friends and some all new faces, and I appreciate everyone who came by.

We gave away some great door prizes- a t-shirt by longtime friend and NY-based artist David Berube (http://dberube-art.blogspot.com/ ), a rare graphopoetics poster of my collaboration with Quillan Roe, a copy of a very special collection of my poetry, and other goodies.

But what's happened in a year?

On The Other Side Of The Eye has made it's way onto 4 continents, at least 9 countries including Japan, Iran, Austria, Denmark, England, Bangladesh, Canada, Australia and of course the US (at least 21 out of 50 states). It's going to be taught in at least one classroom as a whole, and other classrooms are using poems that appear within it.

It's been covered in several magazines and newspapers across the country, and we've traveled widely across the country presenting it to colleges and community events. Heck, even Neil Gaiman has a copy of On The Other Side Of The Eye, although I can't say for certain he's read it. He is a busy man after all. ;)

But of course the real news was regarding the follow-ups, and that 3 books of mine will come into print by the end of 2009: Barrow, Winter Ink and Reviews. Barrow and Reviews will be released in 2009 by Sam's Dot Publishing, while Winter Ink will be released by the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts this year.

And the rest of my weekend was spent just touring around the Twin Cities revisiting my favorite places that are tied to the creation of On The Other Side Of The Eye. And dancing at Senor Wong's, a fun little bar in St. Paul.

Thanks for an amazing Year One. Here's looking forward to Year 2 and even more wonderful things together with all of you.

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