I’ve been away from posting for a while. Fall 2014 was busy with five readings or presentations — two out of town and one out of state.
September 19-21: I read some of my north Louisiana poems at the annual Louisiana Studies Association meeting at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. I showed how universal themes can be rooted in a regional landscape (cf. Frost, Hardy).
October 9: I read my poems based on Greek and Roman myth to an Honors Forum at Nicholls State University here in Thibodaux. Many of these poems were written in the 1980s and appeared in my first book, The Burning Fields (LSU Press, 1991). I had to look up the many classical references and was pleased to see that the poems made sense after all these years.
October 16 I read my “Saline” poems in the village of Saline, Louisiana in Bienville Parish in north Louisiana. The reading was in the Saline Branch Library. In my childhood, that old building was The Bank of Saline of which my grandfather, Henderson Edward Sudduth, was president. For years the bank building was abandoned. Now it is a small public library. My four LSU Press poetry books are in the collection. I read my poem “The Old Bank in Saline” in that old bank-now-library while images (old family photos) of my grandparents inside the bank in 1953 on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the bank were projected. I’ll post these photos later. A great circle closed with this reading. Saline is my poetic heart and home. The reading took place around the corner from the Magnolia Baptist Church Cemetery where my maternal grandparents, maternal uncle (Joe Lynn Sudduth), and father (David V. Middleton, Jr.) are buried and where a place waits for me.
October 25: I read my Anglican poems to a meeting here in Thibodaux of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) at the Southwest Deanery meeting at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Some of these poems are humorous, and one ECW member said she saw a side of me (I am usually serious) that she had never seen before. That is a subject for another post one day.
November 7-9: The annual meeting of The Guild of Scholars of the Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.: I read my paper “‘Tell Me a Story’: The Life and Verse of Wilmer Hastings Mills (1969-2011).” Wil was a fine Louisiana poet, who died at 41. His Selected Poems 2013) on The University of Evansville Press is highly recommended. I also read two poems in memory of recently deceased Guild members Charles Forker and Richard Bailey. I gave out 23 copies of a limited edition (30 copies) of a privately printed chapbook of my Anglican poems entitled Outside the Gates of Eden (2014). This book will be a rarity as I do not plan to have it reprinted. it is dedicated my brothers and sisters in the Guild.
Note: I promise to post more frequently.