So it's no surprise--but still merits a hearty YEAH!--to announce that Charlie has just been elected to the Emerging Leader Council of Americans for the Arts, which is now in its 10th year. He is one of seven new members and the only representative of the literary arts. ELC members engage the field of arts leadership on the national level, learn firsthand about new programs and resources (courtesy of Americans for the Arts), and are charged with designing and implementing programs for their peers.
This is a roundabout way of saying that Charlie is awesome, and has jump-started the Writer's Center's activities and goals. Because of his service he is being asked to share his leadership principles on a national level, and in return will receive some much-merited attention and support for his own professional career.
...Which is a roundabout way of saying I'm glad to be along for the ride. If you're a writer who has not volunteered, think about doing so in 2010. I'm not a do-gooder. I'm infamous for not recycling. I hate to admit it, but I've never ladled soup in a community kitchen. But I do support my local writing community, at all skills levels, from all backgrounds, and people like Charlie inspire me to do more.
So, we've had some snow. We've had a lot of snow. 16 inches, best as I can tell from what is piled up on our balcony--an unusually deep snowfall for downtown. Fun to walk in on the first day, when pedestrians took over and the snow was still falling; not so fun on the second day, when cars reclaimed roads and we had to jump slushy curb-moats four inches deep. Why do people panic over grocery supplies in a city? The local bakeries sold out on Friday night. Seriously, people, there are five grocery stores and umpteen restaurants within a five-block radius. Take snow for what its worth: an excuse to stay in with soup, or venture out for a snowball fight. Don't buy six loaves of whole wheat as if the apocalypse is nigh.
Another snow pastime: Breaking Bad. I'd pitched Netflix-ing this series a few times over the past year, based on my love for Bryan Cranston courtesy of Malcolm in the Middle, the early years. But it wasn't until the wrap of Mad Men and Top Chef that we were driven to give this show a shot. The verdict, based on Season One: Love it. The pace is a little wobbly and the premise is fundamentally grim, but the acting is spot-on. (This is something I also could have also said about X-Files, and sure enough the show's creator, Vince Gilligan, worked on that show as well.) I like Weeds, but this is the anti-Weeds--no broad humor, no perky set design, no pretending the drug world is run by sexy MILFs. Season Two awaits!
Below is a call for submissions from Persea, a truly wonderful independent press that (always a bonus) distributes its books through W. W. Norton. They have decided to begin sponsoring another prize in the name of Lexi Rudnitsky, a wonderful poet who died too young. Through these tragic circumstances comes something promising--a post first-book award, which is a precious commodity in the poetry world. Check it out....