In the presence of genius

Rarely have I experienced a more enjoyable evening in association with the arts than the one I attended with my wife, Lisa, last night. The First Presidential Guest Artist at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville was Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry and former United States Poet Laureate. I have taught her works in my freshman lit classes when I was a professor, especially her beautiful poem, "DayStar." To my delight, she read that one last night (and it sounded better when she read it than when I did).


The woman is, to be direct, a creative genius, having been published in more genres than poetry. I did not know what to expect from her personality because, frankly, some artistic people are prima donnas, expecting their lessers to genuflect before them. Rita Dove was just the opposite. She was humble, funny (especially when reading her poem "Chocolate," written when she was on a diet), and approachable. The woman spent two days in Greenville, teaching two classes to creative writing students, conducting interviews, and offering up her reading last night. 

In short, it was a fine and glorious evening with a fine and glorious, gifted woman.

On a more pedestrian note associated with creative writing, my Book Launch for The Face on the Other Side, the third Thomas O'Shea mystery/thriller novel in the series, will take place tomorrow night, Thursday, March 8th, from 5-7 at Fiction Addiction, a wonderful independent book store here in Greenville. Please come! In addition to my novels, there will be wine and cheese. Admission is free. I hope to see you there.