Saturday, October 13, 2012

Moving Sidewalks

Busy two weeks. First I took a Bildungsurlaub, a German institution that allows employees to take an extra week of paid vacation studying something for their personal or professional development. An industry has grown up around it with all kinds of this and that, most with a shiny certificate at the end. It does have to be approved by one’s employer, but they also need a reason to say no. Anyway, long story short, I did a week of online journalism courses - at my mother’s house in NJ. 
I came back and did some coverage of the Frankfurt book fair, which was fun but also time consuming without too much yield. I’ll have to think it over better next time. One thing I did was put together a slide show of the best book covers I saw. Like any reporter I did a lot in advance - in fact I had a list of books I hoped to find, and wrote blurbs in anticipation. But not one of those books was there! I had to start from scratch, navigating acres and acres of space. 

I hope my routine returns to normal now. I did go back to the fair for pleasure. One of the highlights was seeing Richard Ford, whose “Canada” I just finished. I met a woman born in the same hospital as me. I talked to various people and came away with seven great books. Six of those books were handed to me free, including two Fence books, put into my hands by Rebecca Wolff herself. Fence shared a stand for 4-5 other poetry/literary presses, including Red Hen, and the funny detail was that, unlike most other stands, instead of a bottle of water there was a bottle of Jack Daniels on their table.

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