Wednesday, July 26, 2017

SFPA On the Road

One part of this recent shift back to the Midwest that's been a positive part of it all has been meeting many of the new and longtime members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association along the way.This year, that has included:

The Texas chapter of the SFPA, including Deborah Davitt, Holly Lyn-Walrath and Michelle Muenzler were wonderful hosts during Comicpalooza in Houston, showing their wonderful talents as poets to a very supportive crowd.

That weekend, Saba Razvi wasn't able to join us at Comicpalooza, but I did get a chance to connect with her at the Houston Museum of Natural History and had a wonderful time looking at dinosaurs and other toothy denizens of our ancient past.

Ashley Dioses, who will be the editor for our 2017 Halloween poetry page at the SFPA. We had a great coffee and conversation on poetry and many things Weird and otherwise at the Rad Coffee Shop in Upland, where I picked up an awesome mug that lasted all of the way to Minnesota before the Great Old Ones absconded with it as a makeshift offering. Alas, K.A. Opperman was not available at the time to visit, but he was there in spirit.

I also had a chance to visit with Hmong American poet Renee Ya, who serves as the SFPA web designer among other duties for the organization in Palo Alto before I left California.

A good visit was also held earlier with Denise Dumars, Jaymee Goh and Deborah Kolodji during a panel at Los Angeles Harbor College. I also ran into Deborah Flores in Merced during my artist residency there with the UC Merced Center for the Humanities, but didn't get a picture, alas.

Poet Brian Garrison of Parody and a recent Eye to the Telescope guest editor for his issue Robots! in Portland, Oregon. It was a wonderful breakfast with him and his partner and a great stop before the Lao American Writers Summit, where I met SFPA members Krysada Panusith Phounsiri and Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, although I didn't have much of a chance for photos with them at the time.

After the Lao American Writers Summit, I was able to connect with poet Jeanine Hall Gailey and her husband at the acclaimed Open Books, a literary emporium dedicated to only poetry. And she provided some delicious cookies for the journey.

By cosmic happenstance, SFPA Membership Director Diane Severson-Mori was passing through Missoula at the same time I was, so naturally we had to connect before she returned to Europe.

Arriving in Minnesota, I had the chance to connect with SFPA Vice-President Sandra J. Lindow, Star*Line Editor F.J. Bergmann, Ruth Berman, and Terry A. Garey. I'll hopefully be connecting with more of you during my time here in the Midwest as things settle down. But my thanks to all of you who've made this travel enjoyable and eye-opening!

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