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Monday, July 9, 2018

They Come From Near and Far!

Saturday evening and Sunday morning I was busy getting ready for the annual visit from my mother and sisters.  Living in Illinois, they look forward to the cooler temperatures of northern Michigan for their July getaway and the chance to dip their toes into Lake Michigan. They stay at Sunrise Landing, and we spend evenings at the farmhouse, so I had had floors to sweep, grass to mow, groceries to buy, and meals to plan. Italian sodas, smoked trout paté, a big pan of burritos; vanilla ice cream, brownies, strawberries; brioche buns from 9 Bean Rows for our hamburger night. That much seemed like a good start. I’m so glad the weather is neither punishingly hot nor disappointingly cold and rainy for my family’s time in Leelanau, yoo. We’ll enjoy our mornings and evenings together before and after my bookshop days! And my delphinium blooms are certainly ready for company.

Too bad my family has to leave on Thursday morning and will have to miss the Dog Ears Books TEA with poet Richard Gilmore Loftus. Richard’s new book, Dress Whites, received a review from Kirkus that must have put him over the moon! Read it here. While living in New York City a while ago, he published chapbooks of poetry, was published in literary magazines, and gave a few readings which I for one will be eager to ask him about. (Where in Manhattan did he read? When? What kind of audiences did he have?) I know he has New York stories to share, including some about famous neighbors. And how many guys do you know who dated a candy cane in Balanchine’s “Nutcracker”?

Before Manhattan, this poet lived in iconic Greenwich Village (the dream of my adolescent years!), and he has also lived and traveled in Ireland, Spain, Mexico, South Africa, and Rwanda, doing volunteer teaching in the last two countries. He worked as IT manager for Delta Dental (he calls Delta his Medici), has built wooden boats, and is presently making his first violin. 

Loftus has Up North bona fides, too. Having noted that my blog often stresses authors’ northern Michigan roots and connections, he assures me that he has “spent much time, much of my life - winter, summer, spring, and fall - in the Manistee, Glen Arbor, and Traverse City environs. In that regard, I am pretty sure my credentials are in order.” 

So you see that at the same time I’ve been getting ready for a family visit, I’ve also been gearing up for my next TEA guest, because every week has a Thursday in it and thus another guest to Thursday Evening Authors. 

Richard Loftus will be with us this coming Thursday, July 12, beginning at 7 p.m. I like his poetry, and I think you will, too. So now, in anticipation, I’ll tantalize you with one of the poet’s own statements about his writing:

“I have a desire to convey well in words the beauty I've been privileged to witness. We shall see. So far, it's been an interesting and rewarding journey.” 

An interesting life and gratitude for it. Great combination! I am grateful for and enjoying every day this week and also looking forward to Thursday.

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