Chang, Everett, & Fanatic!

Victoria Chang talks about what makes a good poetry manuscript and what doesn't.

I am reading Percival Everett's I Am Not Sidney Poitier. I like the dream sequences very much. I like that the author forms a character with you from birth and then puts him into impossible situations. It flows very nicely. Elements can definitely be taken as satire, but the world is so convincingly told that it seems like reality. It's similar to Spinal Tap for me. I was about ready to cry after I saw that film, since it was so close to my life touring with a band. ...Not Sidney Poitier has had a similar effect on me. Every time the main character gets pulled over for being black, or ventures outside of Atlanta, I get flashes of myself in the character's exact same predicament. Even from the perspective of his name being as complicated as "Not Sidney." (You have no idea how many times a name like "Pirooz" could cause trouble in a first meeting. "What is it exactly? P what? Is it hot in Iran?")

I will finish Poitier and start on Glyph today. More of Percival's books are on their way from Graywolf. Who knows? Maybe, Percival will be willing to chat with me about funny names and American strangeness.

I will go see the Rockies play the Phillies today in Denver. I am excited. I have not seen a baseball game since I saw the Dodgers play in 2006. This will also be the first baseball game I've attended since I've come back to the United States. Everyone is telling me to dress warm. I just hope I get to shake hands with the Philly Fanatic!

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