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Poets I have known and cooked for

September 19, 2008

Pictured here are Rigoberto González, me, (cutting up goodies I’ve cooked), Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, and Tyehimba Jess. Susan B.A. Somers-Willett is the author of Roam, the 2005 winner of the Crab Orchard Award Series for Poetry. We became buds when she had a post-doc in the English department at the University of Illinois. Tyehimba Jess’s first book of poetry, leadbelly (Verse Press, 2005), was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series, and we’re colleagues at the University of Illinois. Sadly, Rigoberto left Illinois for Rutgers University—Newark. However, if you’re at San Francisco State University, chances are you went to his reading Thursday afternoon with Bhanu Kapil. Rigoberto is this year’s recipient of The Poetry Center Book Award from San Francisco State University for Other Fugitives and Other Strangers (Tupelo Press, 2006). Congratulations Rigoberto! I’m cooking Pashofa in honor of your win.

Can you guess whose kitchen I’m cooking in? Hint. At the time she was also a colleague in the MFA program at Illinois, and I was renting her house in Champaign-Urbana while she was on fellowship in Georgetown. Fiction author. Wrote The Untelling. Now at Rutgers University—Newark with Rigoberto.

You name her, and I’ll do the cooking!

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