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Best Day Ever at the Poets House!

February 17, 2012

Getting to spend the day at the Poets House is always a good day, of course. Surrounded by nice people (both those working there, and the ones who come in to read- lovely!) and shelves upon shelves of interesting poetry.
And I like shelving books and shelf-checking titles. It’s meditative. Creating order in a small place. Getting to stop and snack on a few pages of poetry here and there doesn’t hurt.

But today? Today was outstanding!

There was some kind of big meeting going on in the conference room. I started scooping up books from the cart, and returning them to their spots. I settled into the zen of going from cart to shelf, finding places for books. Smiling at the people who passed. A lot of new faces today!

Cornelius Eady. Photo from the Blackbird Archive at VCU

Then Cornelius Eady walked by. And we exchanged smiles.

Outwardly, I might have been cool. But I promise you, I forgot how to alphabetize for at least a few minutes.

I fangirl for stanzas.

One of the many, many things I like about the Poets House is that the people there understand feeling awestruck about poets.  “Was that Cornelius Eady?” I asked one of the Poets House staff. As befits a librarian in training– I managed to squeal in a fairly approximate whisper.

But the celebrity poet sighting wasn’t even the best part of today!

I returned to my meditative shelving fugue state after the Cornelius Eady sighting. Shelving, alphabetizing, smiling vaguely at all the nice people walking by.  But mostly thinking about arranging books, and how to fit more literary magazines onto that one crowded shelf…

That’s about the only reason I can think of that I didn’t recognize Michael Joyce when I saw him.

Michael Joyce!

My freshman advisor at Vassar!!!! He was doing hypertext and digital text when I was in college!

We caught up a little (he was there for the big meeting) and I told him I’m doing a masters in library science and interested in learning about digital things and libraries. Asked him if he knew my Pratt advisor, Chris Sula.  Getting the two of them together would be fascinating. (Possibly incomprehensible, but fascinating.)

I met Michael Joyce when I was a freshman in college. I remember having such fun during our advisor meetings… the only bad part about majoring in anthropology was that he stopped being my advisor. I remember taking a class with him, and playing with StorySpace hypertext stacks. I can’t wait to catch up on what he’s working on, and what his classes are like now.

And now, starting Pratt is making me feel like a freshman in grad school, and Michael Joyce has crossed my path again. When the digital possibilities for literature and information are even more amazing than before!

I am so very glad I happened to be at the Poets House this particular afternoon.

Now, to write an email that attempts to explain ten years (Ten years, man!!!) of not doing digital literature things, before finding my way here. Back here? I don’t know.

So… yes. Best day ever.

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