Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Many thanks to those who have faithfully read my blog all year.
Apologies again on the blogging being so sparse. Have a splendid
and prosperous new year, everybody.

Created this image in my phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.
Hope you like it! Season's Greetings, friends.  

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look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click
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Posted by Vince, then find the word comments and click it once.

Ingat, everyone.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Announcing Catherine's Other

Friends, I'm very pleased to announce that my good friend Catherine Pritchard Childress has a poetry chapbook titled Other coming out soon from Finishing Line Press. You may recall Catherine as the poet who produced a poem a day with me during April 2012. (Click here to see those NaPoWriMo posts.)

About Catherine's Other chapbook Jesse Graves (Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine) said, "The poems in Other move seamlessly between worlds, invested in the biblical and the contemporary, the mythical and the uncomfortably real. . . . Essentially, this is a book of enchantments." Don Johnson (Here and Gone) wrote about Catherine's writing: "as her characterizations of biblical women cut through our received notions of their roles and destinies to construct other women who defy easy categorizations, so do the 'personal' poems resist the easy labeling of confessional." About the themes of this collection Linda Parsons Marion (Bound) said, "Other teaches and tempts us with guerrilla knowledge of the female experience."

If the proof is in the pudding, as the old adage says, the proof here would be in the poetry. Here is one of the poems in Other. I hope you enjoy its "guerrilla knowledge."

Wedding Vows

When she stood before God and all those witnesses to say I Do
What she really meant was I Don’t. I Won’t.
She meant You’ve got to be kidding me.
Who wants to spend the rest of her life with some poor, old, sick guy?

What she meant is I don’t intend to wash your clothes or wear lipstick any more.
I won’t walk barefoot in your kitchen.
I promise to gain at least twenty pounds, to honor my Daddy’s name,
And to obey a plethora of self-help books.

She could have meant I Do.
I do have a mind of my own, my own life, friends, musical taste.
I do know how to order take out and maintain separate accounts.

She meant with this ring I will have a headache, often!
I will leave the lights on at night so I can read.
I will breathe down your neck, and in your face with morning breath.
I will forsake shaving my legs from the knee up

Until Death Do Us Part.

—Catherine Pritchard Childress, Other (forthcoming 2015)

Besides sharing her poems in this blog during NaPoWriMo 2012, I have also had the great pleasure and privilege of publishing Catherine's poetry in the North American Review: her poem "Hush" in the Summer 2012 issue. Catherine has also appeared twice in the North American Review blog: her interview of Charlotte Pence (November 2013) and her Next Big Thing Interview (April 2013). That last item would be very interesting to look at now since it concerns the Other collection.

Catherine Pritchard Childress lives in the Appalachian Mountains
of East Tennessee and teaches at East Tennessee State University
and Northeast State Community College.

I hope I've enticed you enough to pre-order Other by Catherine Pritchard Childress. Click here to reserve a copy from Finishing Line Press.

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Ingat, everyone.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Princess Grace and Amanda Blue Gotera

Yesterday, I posted about a musical performance by two of my daughters, Amelia and Melina. Today, some mad props for my other daughter, their oldest sister Amanda.

Amanda taking a snapshot at a family
gathering on Fathers' Day, 2014.

On 15 August 2014, Amanda Blue Gotera won a prestigious award from the Princess Grace Foundation. She is the proud recipient of a 2014–2015 Princess Grace Film Graduate Award, specifically the John H. Johnson Film Award. The monetary prize associated with this award will support Amanda's MFA thesis film at the University of Texas in Austin.

The Princess Grace Foundation supports emerging talents in fields that Princess Grace Kelly worked in during her career: film, theatre, and dance. I feel this award presages a magnificent, scintillant career for Amanda in film. Congrats, Amanda!

Here's the wonderful news release Amanda's department at UT posted to announce her award:

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Amelia and Melina Gotera, Hearst Center, February 2014

Yesterday, I posted about the February 2014 Final Thursday Reading in which I was the featured presenter. If you watched yesterday's video, you saw that my daughters were also interviewed. They had performed music in the open mic section of that night's event.

It was quite an interesting performance for Amelia and Melina. As an acoustic duo (voice and guitar) they play at bars and coffeehouses, and this was their first time playing for an artsy crowd (and I mean that in the best possible sense). Their usual fans and audience members can be a racuous crowd but at the Hearst — our city's arts center — the people in attendance were quiet and attentive. As much as they love and appreciate their bar fans, Melina and Amelia told me later how refreshing this audience experience was for them.

It was certainly a wonderful evening for me. I loved being able to perform on the same stage, same night, with Amelia and Melina. That night was also a kind of preview for our performing together the following week: my band The Random Five played a benefit concert at the Lutheran Student Center at the University of Northern Iowa on March 7 and Amelia and Melina opened for us.

Anyway, at the same time that yesterday's video was launched on YouTube, the Cedar Falls Cable TV station uploaded a video Amelia and Melina's whole performance that evening. And I am proud and pleased to present that video below. I hope you enjoy it.

As I mentioned yesterday, parts of this video are also dark because of the way the room was lit that evening. Many thanks to Shelby Gappa for her great work. If you would like to hear part of Shelby's interview of Amelia and Melina, watch yesterday's video.

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Amelia and Melina Gotera, Hearst Center, February 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Final Thursday Reading, February 2014

On the last Thursday of February earlier this year, 27 February 2014, I had the privilege of being the featured reader for the Final Thursday Reading Series here in Cedar Falls. In this event, I read some fiction and some poems; I also sang a couple of songs on an electric guitar, my trusty Gibson SG.

A few days ago, the news department of the City of Cedar Falls posted on YouTube a video they had filmed of that event, and I'm honored to call your attention to it. My colleague at the University of Northern Iowa, Jim O'Loughlin, founder of the series, had been for the first time in over ten years unable to attend and MC the reading. So in a way, this will be Jim's chance to "attend" the reading, however late. Well, at least, a brief 4-minute program about that reading.

Parts of the video are dark because of the way the room was lit that evening. The person who opens the video is Rachel Morgan, English prof at UNI, who was subbing for Jim O'Loughlin. Many thanks to Shelby Gappa, the reporter in the video, for her great work.

Incidentally, the still from the video (see below) shows my two daughters, Amelia and Melina, who were at the reading that night. Check back tomorrow for a video featuring them at the same event.

I hope you'll check out the Final Thursday Readings. They take place at the Hearst Center for the Arts on the last Thursday of each month in the school year, except for November when that month's reading is held the week before Thanksgiving. As always many thanks to Jim O'Loughlin for creating and maintaining this important mainstay of our cultural life here in Cedar Falls.

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Ingat, everyone.  

Vince Gotera, Final Thursday Reading, February 2014
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