Miss the fun this weekend at the UICA? Have no fear. Here’s a few pictures and a video here to get you all caught up…
But I will say this: it was a real pleasure. I look forward to more readings in the future!
Just a few days from now, I’ll be off into the heart of Grand Rapids and the sprawling 2014 Festival of the Arts for some quality artsy time in Michigan.
Though there will be many events going on in the city all weekend, I’m going to be reading at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (2 West Fulton, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503) on Saturday. Events will range from 1 – 2:30 p.m., with a whole host of other poets and writers also participating. If you’re in the neighborhood, swing by the UICA and join the fun. In addition to creativity on display, there will also be free books, autographing, and witty banter. Not to mention art.
Plus, like I said, I’ll be doing a reading. With words and everything!
Time to mark some calendars.
I spoke last week about a rather serious life update, and a huge professional milestone for me. Now I’m prepared to attach some numbers to the featureless and let you all in a little deeper into the fold of the Dyer-Ives award.
The Dyer-Ives Foundation was begun 50 years ago, an organization dedicated to building grassroots and neighborhood functions in the community. For the past 46 years, they have also run the Kent County Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition–an event divided into three different categories, for the young, the undergraduate and the young at heart.
My poem, Grand River, won first place in the adult side of the competition, and as a result I will be giving a public reading of it, alongside fellow poets, at the Grand Rapids Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (UICA) on JUNE 7, 2014, from 1 – 2:30 p.m. Dearest readers, are any of you from Michigan? If so, you’re more than welcome to attend–the event is free of charge and everyone is invited!
Additionally, my work is going to be published in a chapbook. Print copies of the chapbook will be made available at the reading (and attendees can get us to sign shiny copies there as well), but they’ll also be made available online in late May, if you feel like waiting.
This is the point where I say: but wait, there’s more!
This little poet is also going to be on the radio. If you can stand my voice for even more time, there’s going to be an interview with me on 88.1 WYCE at an undisclosed future date–once I’ve made those necessary arrangements, I promise you’ll all be the first to know.
What all this boils down to is that the month to come is going to be quite a ride; I’m excited, I’m nervous, but most of all I’m looking forward to what all of this means. For me, this is my first (true) step into the professional side of the poetic sphere. Published author was already under my belt, but now I can add published poet to the plaque alongside it–and that’s enough to swell this creative heart of mine with bliss.
There are friends I could (and shall) thank for all this–friends that helped me come to this. My family has never ceased in its support. What’s more, I can extend personal gratitude to what once was One Stop Poetry, and the dream it had embodied; I learned a lot there, and I’d like to think it helped me hone my trade. Of course, one also has to extend a hand to Michigan itself–my beautiful, if troubled state, which has always been a source of inspiration.
But don’t think that any of the rest of you have been forgotten. If blogging weren’t worthwhile, if I didn’t enjoy sharing with you all, and hearing from you, and doing these silly things I do–I wouldn’t do them. You have all helped me grow, and I hope you shall continue to do so in the future.
silver remnants in the fog, the misty air
wrinkled by the drip
of swelling rivers, drunken lakes
which feed the tears
a lone wolf cries from the river bed.
Coyotes yip nervous cooperation
about the scent we heave,
fear of the bear baring our skin.
As we lie in our tent,
we listen to the trickle,
wonder if this place could survive
Water. Water everywhere! While many things have been occupying the eyes of the nation this week (and rightly so–many tugs of the heartstrings have gone to many corners of the U.S. these past few days), but locally, nature has been at the forefront of things.
Michigan, my home, is a land of water. It surrounds us. It pierces into the very heart of our state in its many rivers, lakes, and ponds. This is, truly, the Great Lakes State. Yet this week the state has been rocked by record rainfall. The end result: flooding. Massive flooding. And when I say record-breaking, don’t mistake me: the Grand River, in western Michigan, was predicted to hit a 24.76 foot crest today. Compare that to previous floodings here, as listed from the Grand Rapids Press…
Flooding is not new here, but bloody hell, this one takes the cake. Large swaths of the city of Grand Rapids and western Michigan are going underwater. To prove that point, I took a little photographic adventure. Here are just a few things to show you what we’re dealing with up here. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
And the real kicker? More rain is expected to come…
Well…actually, no, crank that printer and keep the good times rolling: this little writer made the news today. The Hollow March and I took up joint space today in the pages of the Lansing City Pulse, in a full page article for which I’m eternally grateful. Catch the title of my upcoming second novel, see me ramble on about literature “goldmines,” and catch a few of my quirks…
As if they weren’t apparent already, of course. Must be the poetry–I think I’m a little transparent. Fantasy fans, read on.
Or, alternatively, if you live in the Lansing, Michigan area, go grab a copy of the City Pulse off any number of street corners. Here’s hoping the pictures turned out alright in print!
If you’ve been following me on Twitter (@aurinth), you probably have heard me rambling on about a new venture of mine, among other things. While I do so love to engage myself in the written word, I also have a passion for photography – you’ve undoubtedly seen bits and pieces of my work scattered here and there about this blog – and that passion has finally (belatedly, some lecture me) into making a website dedicated to that passion.
Galford Photography is a Wix-based site pertaining to all categories of my work. Portfolios including portraiture, nature and landscape, city and architecture, as well as my editorial photography, all make an appearance. Through the site, those interested will also now be able to contact me regarding potential photography work, whether requesting services for some grand new venture, or simply regarding interest in one of the myriad numbers of images already swirling through the galleries.
The real challenge in getting the thing up and running, I would say, was in going back through all my photo archives looking for the right images to showcase. Goodness. Let me tell you – I knew I loved photography, but my own library startled me at just how many images I had lying in wait. Suffice to say, it took me many hours to weed through, and I’ll confess my efforts on commenting for One Shot certainly took a hit for it (don’t hurt me!)…but the end result was a vastly more efficient archiving of my files, and a glittering new website ready and waiting to go. Plus, it kept me out of the 95+ degree June we had going on around us the last few days.
I mean, what was up with that?
But I digress. Now that I can breathe a bit again, I think I’ll be off to actually partake of a little more photography, rather than simply staring at my collected works of it. Certainly enough to stir a bit of the wanderlust in a person, let me tell you.
And of course one last shameless self-promotion for the road: http://www.wix.com/galfordc/galfphotography#! Check it out, let me know what you think – and be sure to let me know if you encounter any issues with the site!
While many of you may have been living the good and bountiful life the past little while, I can assure you spring is only just recently hitting Michigan…this past week marked the first time it’s stayed consistently and comfortably above freezing even in the darkest hours since winter kicked off.
Naturally, I’ve been loving it. Everything is green and blooming and warm…the world has opened its arms in invitation, and how can one but accept such a generous offer? As a result, this week’s quotes are in celebration of this beautiful time…and the pictures are from one of my fresh new adventures…
“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”
Hello, my name is Chris, and I’m not Irish. My ancestors are from the isles, but they never did call the white-foamed cliffs or the emerald fields of Ireland their home. I know, I’m sorry – but now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, allow me to add that I appreciate a good St. Patty’s as much as anyone. Started my day off right, with a fine play list taking us from as far off as the raging typical St. Patty’s tunes of Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys, through the Dubliners and Stephen Lynch and even a touch of Buck O Nine, between more traditional bits.
Outside, the day is already surrendered to the sound and the sight of the drink on campus – Frat Row, as it is called, has already got their beer pong tables set up, as usual, and I’m sure anything with pub or anything vaguely Irish in its name will be roaring with business all day. The weather couldn’t be better – 60s in Michigan in March, for St. Patty’s? Yes, please – and I am in a fantastic mood. I wrote and I danced, and you know what else? I worked up a little poem for you all, and I do hope you enjoy.
A shamrock lies between us.
The grievances of history
Balanced on the tips of leaves
Are swallowed in green beer
To high tide tunes of fiddlers
Passing in the night
Where love and lust are staggering
With dignity and design—
They say as much to Mr. Jameson
As they pour a little more cream,
Pondering the existential implications
Of the girls in their shortest skirts
Swaying and serenading
Edit: And also to note – it is my good pleasure to announce that today is also my dear friend Kila’s (Willowwish) birthday! Happy Birthday Kila! And in the travesty of all travesties, she has to spend it AND St. Patty’s day mired in class…oh dears.
Last week, if you weren’t aware, we here in Michigan experience a little phenomenon we like to call “Fake Spring.” It wouldn’t say it’s commonplace, but it happens often enough that while we are still terribly confused by its appearance, I doubt there’s anyone out there really protesting at this point.
So what is fake spring you might ask? Fake spring is when you have fine, snow-laden winter going on around you, complete with bitter wind chills, hordes of Ugg boots, and North Face jackets, when all of a sudden Michigan decides that all this snow’s gotten a little boring, and all of a sudden the sun break through the clouds, the birds circle and chirp, and all that snow recedes into wet, gloppy pools of thick brown mud.
Suddenly, there is grass again. Bikes make a tremendous resurgence. Coats depart and the crazies (we call them residents) start walking around in short-shorts and flip-flops again. Good times, really.
Of course that strange little bizarro world you’ve entered comes to an end. It ended this Sunday, in fact, when after all that snow had melted, Michigan let loose a maddened giggle, and dumped us with another 7 inches of the white stuff. Yes, it is a strange place I live in. One with a sick sense of humor I might add.
But life goes on, snow or no, and those same crazies in their short-shorts and flip flops return to ice-driving, barreling down the ice-laden stretches without concern to speed or silly little things like…reason, AKA traction. Then, we all cry a little inside.
Hope you’ve enjoyed a few of the pics I took while out and about enjoying that Fake Spring. All are from the Lansing River Trail, a local favorite of mine. These pictures were taken on the first day of Fake Spring, before all the snow had its chance to melt – but as you can see, the river was a lot less icy than it was a couple weeks ago.
Fifty degree weather in the midst of February – to some, apparently, a fact that means “Let’s go kayaking!”
And then, of course, there’s this…