A Visit to Chestertown

On Monday I trekked out past Annapolis to visit the Rose O'Neill Literary House at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. (Founded in 1706, it was the major port town until Baltimore came along. These days it is a little on the sleepy side. A local bakery was pointed out as the hotspot.) I was honored read with Kevin Vaughn, this summer's Cave Canem Fellow), visiting all the way from Paris. I was also thrilled to be home-hosted by Jehanne Dubrow--I finally got to meet her dog Argos!--a great poet, friend, and the House's newly appointed director. 

Thought you might enjoy a quick glimpse of the Rose O'Neill digs, which features a fully-functioning letterpress studio...


...where students and faculty work together to make a many broadsides, including this edition of Nick Flynn's poem "Bag of Mice"...


...and where local artists have donated their talent to spruce up the walls, including this playful mural that depicts Six Degrees of Bacon--both Kevin and Francis...


...and where students can access a spiffy kitchen for snacks and cooking, provided the recipes have a literary bent. (Madeleines a la Proust, anyone?)


Seriously, what a dream haven. So many books! So many places to sit, read, write! 


Our poetry salon was lovely--we began with music from the Pam Ortiz band, Kevin read from a long series-in-progress, and I shared a glimpse of the new manuscript. We had a big, friendly crowd. The editor of the Black Warrior Review was in the house, so I also read one of my sestinas, "The Platypus Speaks," which appeared in their journal. 

Afterwards Kevin and I ducked out to the Hotel Imperial where he ordered us an ace concoction that substitutes Dewars' as the base for a Manhattan, sweetens with SoCo instead of vermouth, & garnishes with lemon and lime. 

Now, off to the mountains for the Nightsun Writers Conference in Frostburg....