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It’s been a busy and inspiring coupla months. Here’s a little recap of things I saw and did, starting with the AWP Writers’ Conference in Washington, DC, where I was on a couple of panels, did a reading, and got to sign some books at the Rose Metal Press table. Those are my books on the left side of the sign:

My colleague and friend, David Dodd Lee had a book release and art show at Lang Lab. Here he his reading from his latest Ashbury erasure book, surrounded by his fans and collages:

I was thrilled to have my visual essay, “Empty Nest/Emptiness,” published (in full color!!!) in the latest issue of Passages North. It’s 14 pages, something I made when my daughter left for college:

Speaking of my daughter, I got to see Mamma Mia in Bloomington, IN with her and her bestie for her birthday. The next morning I saw the whole cast and crew in the lobby of my hotel!

Colson Freaking Whitehead came to my campus, Indiana University South Bend, and I got to sit in the almost front row. Here he is talking to Darryl Heller of the Civil Rights Heritage Center:

I invited the comic artists Marnie Galloway and Scott Roberts to visit IU South Bend, and the room was full for their artist talks:

Then the poet Steve Henn came to talk to my classes about his new book by Wolfson Press: Indiana Noble Sad Man of the Year. Here he is showing off his “tour” T-shirt:

Another visual/collage essay published in Quarterly West!

I already blogged about being the guest author at Butler University’s Litfest and doing a workshop for the Indiana Writers Center, which was an honor and a blast.

And over the weekend, Wordman and I headed to Chicago and saw Lambchop at Lincoln Hall:

Then I got to read at Sunday Salon Series with amazing fellow readers and a fabulous crowd. Here’s Howard Axelrod reading:

Got some partial views of the Navy Pier Ferris wheel from the hotel window:

And made it to the Bean for the first time, and took the requisite selfie:

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Thanks to Bryan Furuness, Chelsea Yedinak, Barbara Shoup & the Indiana Writers Center, and all the other folks who hosted me at Butler University’s Litfest over the last couple days. I got to play some trivia, hear students read terrific poems and stories, give a reading, judge some manuscripts, eat pastrami and Mexican food (at different times), and teach a workshop on Writing the Novella/Memoir-in-Flash. Much of it took place in Jordan Hall, the 1923 building pictured on the left. (When you walk in, you automatically feel smarter, seriouser.)

And now I get a little rest before spring break ends and I become the hostess. This week, two awesome comic artists are visiting at Indiana University South Bend: Marnie Galloway and Scott Roberts. My students have been studying their amazing work, and they are going to meet with my class Thursday and give a public artist talk afterward. If you’re in South Bend, please join us. (Free pizza!)

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